There have been many interesting studies concerning ginko biloba and green tea. These and other herbal supplements are widely used, because they are available for purchase over the counter, regulated as dietary supplements, rather than drugs. What concerns many researchers is this:
There are compounds within the herbs that have medicinal activity. They could interact with prescription medications, causing toxicity or unwanted side effects. They could also decrease or increase bioavailability.
The bioavailability of a drug, herb, nutrient or other compound has to do with the body's ability to absorb it through the intestinal tract. Many factors combine to determine bioavailability, including the effect that stomach acid has on the compound, the size of its molecular structure and the inclusion of other compounds that help the body to absorb them.
A recent study concerning ginko biloba and green tea showed that they increase the bioavailability of certain drugs, which would mean that a person taking that drug would need a lower dose. For anyone that is wary of talking to your doctor about the herbal or other dietary supplements that you take, this is another good reason to discuss it.
Herbs react with drugs in different ways. There is at least one drug, a cancer drug, which is rendered inactive and therapeutically useless by the catechins found in green tea.
The interactions between drugs and herbs have not been completely studied. There are hundreds of possible interactions. The interaction could be beneficial or negative. If you are currently under a doctor's treatment, be sure to list the herbal remedies and dietary supplements that you take along side any medications that you are currently taking.
If you are a relatively healthy individual, the benefits of ginko biloba and green tea are to your brain, your heart and your long-term health. The supplements combine to improve alertness and the ability to concentrate. Gingko increases the amount of oxygen that is present in brain cells. Both of the herbs improve circulation and have antioxidant activity.
Antioxidants are nutrients that protect our body from reactive molecules commonly referred to as free radicals. There are lots of different radicals in our bodies. They are byproducts of many cellular processes. Some antioxidants act as reducing agents to convert them to innate substances, like water. Others stimulate the production of antioxidants within cellular DNA.
Those antioxidants protect the DNA strands from mutation and damage that can lead to cancer. The antioxidants in ginko biloba and green tea are relatively weak. They are simply reducing agents like vitamin C. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant. It is one of the few that are known to stimulate the production of antioxidants within the cell.
Health experts disagree on many issues. But, there are two subjects that they agree upon. Discuss your health supplements with your doctor and increase your daily antioxidant intake, either by eating more antioxidant-rich foods or by taking a well-designed health supplement. Some of the best supplements contain ginko biloba and green tea, along with dozens of other nutrients that protect our current and long-term health.