A Rebuttal On Behalf of The Beljanski Foundation

An article published in the New York Times on April 29th, 2013 has created a controversy surrounding the well-known natural product, Ginkgo Biloba. Millions of people around the world use this natural plant extract to boost their memory, improve blood circulation to the brain, ear, neck and throat, and to attack free radicals.

Although some of the effects for which Ginkgo is most often consumed have never been clearly proven, its popularity remains. Widely used in the US, Asia, and Europe, the sale of bottles of Ginkgo leaf extract can be counted in billions.

Green Leaf Ginkgo - As Seen In NY Times Article

It is important to note that the extracts mentioned in the Times article are obtained using organic solvents. It is known that these solvents leave behind residues, which at best are generally toxic and at worst, can be carcinogenic. The article notes that the carcinogenic effects observed in rats are concentrated in the liver and thyroid. The rats used in this study were administered absurdly high doses (up to 2gr for a 20gr mouse), at which many substances normally considered safe can become toxic. For example, the 2gr/kg dose used in the study is ten times the lethal dose of aspirin. One of the peer reviewers stated, “the liver tumors in mice and the thyroid tumors in rats may have little if any relevance to humans who consume Ginkgo Biloba leaf extract at much lower dose levels”. This reviewer also remarked that the mouse strain used in the study is “highly susceptible to chemically induced tumors”. Another reviewer asked whether the extract that was tested is chemically similar to the green leaf extract that is widely available. Rather than an alarmist study with questionable methodologies, what is needed is a scientific determination of safe levels of a Ginkgo product that is actually used and a scientific assessment of its actual benefits.

Beljanski's Golden Leaf Ginkgo

In the 80s, Dr. Mirko Beljanski became very interested in Ginkgo Biloba as its leaves contain an abundance of molecules with very interesting properties. Determined not to use young green leaves as others had, he waited until the leaves had aged and synthesized different profiles of molecules, and by doing so, effectively eliminated the need for organic solvents in the extraction process. Some highly beneficial aspects of the extract include: regulation of nucleases (pathology and chemotherapy change quantitatively and qualitatively), protection from side effects of gamma-radiation (powerful protective element against various side effects including fibrosis), the protection of chromosomes, and beneficial effect on the liver. No carcinogenic effect has ever been observed with the yellow leaf extract neither by using the Oncotest[1] (Beljanski’s sensitive assay for carcinogens), in mice (used extensively in studies on radiation protection), nor in humans who have been using it for many years.

It is important to remember that the Ginkgo Biloba extract developed by Mirko Beljanski is fundamentally different from others, due to time of maturation of the raw material and the method of extraction. Therefore, Beljanski’s yellow leaf extract is not affected by this controversy.


[1] The Regulation of DNA Replication and Transcription. Mirko Beljanski. 1st Edition, 1983, Karger. DemosMedical, New Edition in the Classical Monographs in Biomedecin collection, New York, 2013.