Ginkgo biloba protects rat lens from radiation-induced cataracts. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effects of oral Ginkgo biloba supplementation on cataract formation and oxidative stress occurring in lenses of rats exposed to total cranium radiotherapy.
Jpn J Ophthalmol. 2004 Sep-Oct;48(5):499-502. PMID: 15486777
PURPOSE: To determine the antioxidant role of Ginkgo biloba (GB) in preventing radiation-induced cataracts in the lens after total-cranium irradiation of rats with a single radiation dose of 5 Gy. METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups. Group 1 received neither GB nor irradiation (control group). Group 2 was exposed to total-cranium irradiation of 5 Gy in a single dose [radiation therapy (RT) Group], and group 3 received total cranium irradiation from a cobalt-60 teletherapy unit, plus 40 mg/kg per day GB (RT+GB group). At the end of the tenth day, the rats were killed and their eyes were enucleated to measure the antioxidant enzymes, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and the lipid peroxidation level [malondialdehyde (MDA)]. RESULTS: Irradiation significantly increased both the MDA level and the activity of GSH-Px, and significantly decreased the activity of SOD in the rat lenses. GB supplementation significantly increased the activities of SOD and GSH-Px enzymes and significantly decreased the MDA level. Total cranium irradiation of 5 Gy in a single dose promoted cataract formation, and GB supplementation protected the lenses from radiation-induced cataracts. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that Ginkgo biloba is an antioxidant that protects the rat lens from radiation-induced cataracts.