Ginkgo biloba Extract in Vascular Protection: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications

Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2017;15(6):532-548. doi: 10.2174/1570161115666170713095545.


Background: Leaves of Ginkgo biloba, a "living fossil," have been used as traditional herbal medicine for hundreds of years in China. Currently, its application in vascular protection is garnering much attention.

Methods: In this manuscript, preclinical studies were reviewed to discuss various mechanisms underlying the vascular protection by Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE). Additionally, we reviewed clinical studies to present the application of GBE in the ischaemic disease.

Results: GBE, a commonly used dietary supplement, has been shown to act as an antioxidant and freeradical scavenger, a membrane stabilizer, an inhibitor of the platelet-activating factor, a vasodilator, and a regulator of metabolism. Currently, there exist a growing number of clinical studies about GBE in the application of cardiovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease (PVD) and diabetic vascular complications.

Conclusion: GBE, a promising therapeutic agent for cardiovascular and ischaemic diseases, exerts vascular- protection function by a comprehensive mechanisms.

Keywords: Chinese medicine; Ginkgo biloba; Ginkgo biloba Extract (GBE); cardiovascular disease; molecular mechanisms; vascular protection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Ginkgo biloba / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Protective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Vascular Diseases / drug therapy*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • Ginkgo biloba extract