Effect of ginkgo biloba on blood pressure and incidence of hypertension in elderly men and women

Tina E. Brinkley, James F. Lovato, Alice M. Arnold, Curt D. Furberg, Lewis H. Kuller, Gregory L. Burke, Richard L. Nahin, Oscar L. Lopez, Sevil Yasar, Jeff D. Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Accumulating evidence suggests that Ginkgo biloba is cardioprotective, in part, through its vasodilatory and antihypertensive properties. However, definitive data on its blood pressure (BP)-lowering effects in humans is lacking.MethodsWe determined the effects of G. biloba extract (240 mg\day) on BP and incident hypertension in 3,069 participants (mean age, 79 years; 46% female; 96% white) from the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study. We also examined whether the treatment effects are modified by baseline hypertension status.ResultsAt baseline, 54% of the study participants were hypertensive, 28% were prehypertensive, and 17% were normotensive. Over a median follow-up of 6.1 years, there were similar changes in BP and pulse pressure (PP) in the G. biloba and placebo groups. Although baseline hypertension status did not modify the antihypertensive effects of G. biloba, it did influence the changes in BP variables observed during follow-up, with decreases in hypertensives, increases in normotensives, and no changes in prehypertensives. Among participants who were not on antihypertensive medications at baseline, there was no difference between treatment groups in medication use over time, as the odds ratio (95% confidence interval (CI)) for being a never-user in the G. biloba group was 0.75 (0.48-1.16). The rate of incident hypertension also did not differ between participants assigned to G. biloba vs. placebo (hazard ratio (HR), 0.99, 95% CI, 0.84-1.15).ConclusionsOur data indicate that G. biloba does not reduce BP or the incidence of hypertension in elderly men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-533
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Blood pressure
  • Elderly
  • Gingko biloba
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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