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NEW YORK — Following a report published Monday in The New York Times about how high doses of the supplement ginkgo biloba caused cancer in lab animals, many are calling for the removal of the product from store shelves to prevent consumer consumption.
On Tuesday, the Natural Products Association issued a release protesting the indirect correlation.
"NPA believes there are three major issues with the study from the National Toxicology Program. First, the study tested the effects of gingko biloba in animals, and these results cannot be directly translated to humans," noted NPA CEO John Shaw. "Second, the lab animals in this study were given quantities of ginkgo biloba that were much higher than humans would consume. The New York Times story even points this out, noting that 'doses used in toxicology studies tend to be very high,'" Shaw said.
According to the report, mice received up to 2,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight five times a week in this study; consumers take up to about 120 milligrams a day.
"Finally, it has been found that the ginkgo extract used in the NTP study was not the same high-quality type that has been used in clinical trials establishing the benefits and safety of ginkgo biloba," Shaw asserted. "The NTP study and the accompanying story from The New York Times should not deter consumers from taking ginkgo biloba."