Can ginkgo cause stroke?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Based on my personal experiences and the available information, I can say that there is some evidence suggesting that ginkgo may have the potential to cause strokes. However, it is important to note that this is not a definitive conclusion and more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between ginkgo and strokes.

One study that caught my attention is a randomized controlled trial conducted on a group of individuals taking ginkgo supplements. In this study, seven people developed a stroke or transient ischaemic attack, also known as a mini-stroke or warning stroke, during the course of the study. It is worth mentioning that all of these cases occurred in the group that was taking ginkgo.

This finding is indeed concerning and raises questions about the safety of ginkgo in relation to strokes. However, it is crucial to interpret these results with caution and not jump to conclusions. The study did not have a large sample size, and the occurrence of strokes in the ginkgo group could have been due to chance or other confounding factors.

It is also important to consider that this is just one study, and more research is needed to confirm or refute these findings. It is possible that other studies may have different results, and it would be premature to make sweeping generalizations based on a single study.

In addition to this study, there have been reports of isolated cases linking ginkgo to strokes. These cases involve individuals who experienced strokes shortly after taking ginkgo supplements. However, it is important to remember that these are anecdotal reports and do not provide conclusive evidence of a direct causal relationship between ginkgo and strokes.

To further complicate matters, ginkgo has also been suggested to have potential benefits for cognitive function and circulation. It is used in traditional medicine for various purposes, including improving memory and reducing symptoms of peripheral artery disease. These potential benefits should also be taken into consideration when evaluating the overall safety profile of ginkgo.

While there is some evidence suggesting a potential link between ginkgo and strokes, it is important to approach this topic with caution. The available studies are limited and more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between ginkgo and strokes. If you are considering taking ginkgo supplements, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances and medical history.