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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 689142, 17 pages
Review Article

Ginkgo biloba Extract for Patients with Early Diabetic Nephropathy: A Systematic Review

1Nephropathy Department, Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, China
2Key Unit of Methodology in Clinical Research, Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, China
3The Second Clinical Medical School, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510405, China
4National Center for Design Measurement and Evaluation in Clinical Research, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510405, China

Received 9 June 2012; Accepted 29 September 2012

Academic Editor: Benny Tan Kwong Huat

Copyright © 2013 Lei Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of a Ginkgo biloba extract for patients with early diabetic nephropathy. Methods. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) conducted on adults with early diabetic nephropathy which used Gingko biloba extract were included. The major databases were searched, and manufacturers of Gingko biloba products were contacted for information on any published or unpublished studies. Two authors independently extracted the data from the included studies. Data analysis was conducted using Review Manager 5.0 software. Results. Sixteen RCTs were included. Ginkgo biloba extract decreased the urinary albumin excretion rate (UAER), fasting blood glucose (FBG), serum creatinine (SCR), and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). The extract also improved hemorheology. The methodological quality in the included studies was low. The explicit generation of the allocation sequence was described in only 6 trials. None of the included trials were confirmed to use blinding. Three studies had observed adverse events. One study using angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi) reported mild cough in both groups. No serious adverse effects were reported. Conclusions. Gingko biloba extract is a valuable drug which has prospect in treating early diabetic nephropathy, especially with high UAER baseline level. The safety for early diabetic nephropathy is uncertain. Long-term, double-blinded RCTs with large sample sizes are still needed to provide stronger evidence.