Why the NIH Uses Bogus Study to Malign Ginkgo Biloba

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A new NIH study proclaiming that Ginkgo biloba causes cancer is so absurd you must wonder if they produced it with a straight face. More important, though, is why—and the reason is truly frightening. It's part of a system determined to steal all natural health methods and hand them to Big Pharma & Big Medicine for profits.

 Why the NIH Uses Bogus Study to Malign Ginkgo Biloba

by Heidi Stevenson

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recently funded and published a study that purports to demonstrate severe risk from the ancient and commonly-used herb, Ginkgo biloba.[1] They claim that Ginkgo extract causes thyroid cancer in male and female rats and male mice, and liver cancer in both male and female mice. While that sounds scary, the reality is that the study's parameters were such that it's difficult to take it seriously.

Ultimately, we're left to wonder why the NIH is pouring public money into studying a well-known and long-used natural herb on which many people depend for their health.

Here are details of the study. You can skip them by clicking here.

The Study

The NIH researchers force-fed (gavaged) differing amounts of Ginkgo biloba extract in corn oil to mice and rats. Their report states that they "deposited solutions containing Ginkgo biloba extract in corn oil through a tube directly into the stomach of male and female rats and mice five times a week for two years." The amounts given to the animals were:

  • Rats: 100 to 1,000 milligrams of extract per kilograms of body weight
  • Mice: 200 to 2,000 milligrams of extract per kilograms of body weight
Findings, Rats, 3 Month Study

Rats were given "0, 62.5, 125, 250, 500, or 1,000 mg of Ginkgo biloba extract/kg body weight by gavage, 5 days per week for 14 weeks".

All male rats suffered from liver cell hypertrophy at all doses and females at doses of 500 and 1,000 mg/kg. Follicular cells hypertrophy was increased in the thyroids of males at 500 & 1,000 mg/kg, and in females at 125 mg/kg or greater.

Findings, Mice, 3 Month Study

Mice were given "0, 125, 250, 500, 1,000, or 2,000 mg Ginkgo biloba extract/kg body weight in corn oil by gavage, 5 days per week for 14 weeks."

Liver cell hypertrophy was increased in both male and female mice at doses of 250 mg/kg or greater. Localized liver necrosis occurred at 1,000 and 2,000 mg/kg dosed males. Similar results involving noses were also reported.

Findings, Rats, 2 Year Study

Rats were given "0, 100, 300, or 1,000 mg Ginkgo biloba extract/kg body weight in corn oil by gavage, 5 days per week for 104 or 105 (females) weeks."

Survival of 1,000 mg/kg male rats was "significantly less". Liver adenomas were slightly increased in males given 100 and 300 mg/kg. Both males and females were found to have an increased rate of noncancerous liver lesions at all doses. Females were found to have local fatty changes in the liver at all doses. Males given 1,000 mg/kg had oval cell hyperplasia and necrosis.

Thyroid follicular cell adenomas were increased in males given 300 and 1,000 mg/kg, while follicular cell carcinoma occurred in females at the same dosing.

Mononuclear cell leukemia was "significantly greater" than controls in male rats given 300 or 1,000 mg/kg.

Males were found to have dose-related nephropathy.

Findings, Mice, 2 Year Study

Mice were given "0, 200, 600, or 2,000 mg Ginkgo biloba extract/kg body weight in corn oil by gavage, 5 days per week for 104 weeks."

Survival of males that received 600 or 2,000 mg/kg doses was "significantly less" compared to controls. Survival of females that were given 600 mg/kg doses was significantly greater! (This fact should put the entire study into question, but the authors seem unconcerned.)

Males at all doses and females given 2,000 mg/kg doses had "significantly increased" rates of liver adenomas. Males at all doses and females given 600 or 2,000 mg/kg doses had "significantly increased" rates of liver blastomas. Noncancerous liver legions were increased in males and females at all doses.

Thyroid gland follicular cell adenomas occurred in males given 600 and 2,000 mg/kg. Follicular hyperplasia (precancerous condition) was significantly increased in males at 2,000 mg/kg, and follicular cell hypertrophy were increased in males at 2,000 mg/kg and females at 600 and 2,000 mg/kg. Similar nose-related results also occurred.

All dosed males and females given 2,000 mg/kg doses were found to have inflammation, epithelium hyperplasia, and epithelium hyperkeratosis in the forestomach. Epithelium ulcers were increased in both males and females at 2,000 mg/kg doses.

Study Conclusions

The authors stated:

We conclude that Ginkgo biloba extract caused cancers of the thyroid gland in male and female rats and male mice and cancers of the liver in male and female mice.

That sounds scary, doesn't it? We all want to avoid cancer, and this gives the impression that Ginkgo biloba causes it.

But is that actually true? In fact, it isn't. The only dosing that matters is what is actually used. Notice that these rats and mice were fed amounts calculated in milligrams per kilogram. What if we were to give a human being 2,000 mg/kg of Ginkgo biloba? Good luck trying to find out! The average human weighs around 70 kilograms. 2,000 mg/kg—equal to 2 g/kg—would be a dose of 140 grams, between a tenth and a fifth of a kilogram, nearly a third of a pound, of Ginkgo biloba extract!

Exactly how would you cram 140 grams of Ginkgo biloba extract down the throat of any human every day of his life? Even the lowest dose given, 62.5 mg/kg, would be an absurd amount to attempt to give a person. It would be 4.375 grams of Ginkgo biloba a day! Yet, these were the doses given to the mice and rats ... and we're supposed to take the study seriously?


The question is: Why would the NIH spend the inordinate amount of money that it costs to produce a study so utterly devoid of legitimacy, so obviously pseudo science? Clearly, it has no meaning in anyone's life. Both the need to do such an absurd study and the long history of Ginkgo biloba use, on top of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' database[2] demonstrating its and most other herbs' lack of harm, document only that Ginkgo biloba is safe.

The fact is that the US, along with most other nations in the world, is in the process of moving all beneficial natural substances out of the commons, making them unreachable by the general population. These natural products, which have always been freely available to anyone who wished to make use of them, are being stolen and handed over to Big Pharma to use and profit from, and to Big Medicine, which acts as the gatekeepers, charging for the dubious service that we've never needed.

In other words, our right to natural health products is being stolen by whatever devious means can be managed. The primary method in the EU has been the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (THMPD), which simply handed all natural products to Big Pharma and Big Medicine, with the government acting as guard to remove these substances from the public's direct access.

In the US, a less direct, but equally effective, method is in use. The agencies tasked with managing the public's health—a questionable subject for government meddling, especially since it's never been mandated by the people—are acting in coordination to accomplish the same thing that's been done by edict in Europe. The NIH is doing its part by producing junk science that gives cover for removing substances as dangerous. Obviously, as this Ginkgo biloba study demonstrates, they must go to ridiculous lengths to give an impression of danger, but reality is not their concern. Their concern is merely how to wrest natural gifts of the earth from the people.

The FDA will then declare the substances illegal by virtue of being drugs. An example, which was covered by Gaia Health, is pregnenolone, a natural bio-identical hormone sold at low cost to women for the prevention of premature deliveries. They then declared it an "orphan drug" and handed exclusive rights to a single pharmaceutical corporation. That corporation turned around and raised the price by 15,000 times over what the compounding pharmacies had charged. Notice also the current attack on compounding pharmacies. They're being run out of business by the FDA because they are competition to Big Pharma.

You can expect something similar to happen with Ginkgo biloba. All the natural health methods that have always been available to us are being stolen, taken from the commons and handed over to organizations whose sole interest is profits. Any and all means are used to make this happen. Big Pharma and Big Medicine don't particularly care how it's done, as long as it's done. Our government agencies are hiding behind the lie that it's for our own good.

Our health and welfare are being sold to the highest bidder along with all the elements of the commons that had belonged to the people, but now are being fenced off. Even the knowledge of those things is being destroyed, lest the people ever develop the sense to rise against it.

The rights of health and body integrity that were thought to be so basic, so primal that they couldn't possibly be questioned, were not included in the Bill of Rights. The founding fathers couldn't have imagined a world in which their right to walk outside and pick a herb to cure an ailment would be taken. But that's exactly what's happening today. All in the name of the general good, of course.


  1. Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Ginkgo biloba Extract (CAS No. 90045-36-6) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1/N Mice (Gavage studies).
  2. 2011 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers ' National Poison Data System (NPDS):29th Annual Report
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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