Urinary excretion of ginkgolide terpene lactones following acute consumption of Ginkgo biloba extract

Tristan P. Dew, Guan Wang, Gary Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Urinary biomarkers of plant food supplement (PFS) exposure/intake represent an accurate, objective tool for determining PFS consumption in humans with applications ranging from epidemiology to subject compliance in clinical trials. Ginkgo biloba remains one of the worlds most popular PFS, yet few studies have investigated the uptake and metabolism of its primary unique bioactives: the terpene lactones. To this end, we conducted a dual-dose, acute crossover intervention using G. biloba supplements in healthy participants (n=12). Pooled 24-H urine samples were analyzed by triple quadrupole LC-MS-MS. We observed that bilobalide and ginkgolides A and B were passed into urine intact and in a dose-dependent manner. Low levels of intact ginkgolides C and J were also excreted. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report intact ginkgolide J in urine following oral consumption of ginkgo supplements and is also the first to account for excreted terpene lactones as a proportion of dose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-274
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilobalide
  • Biomarkers of exposure
  • Biomarkers of intake
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Ginkgolides
  • Terpene lactones
  • Urine

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