Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba
L.) is one of the most distinctive plants, characterized by excellent resistance to various environmental conditions. It is used as an ornamental plant and is recognized as a medicinal plant in both traditional and Western medicine. Its bioactive potential is associated with the presence of flavonoids and terpene trilactones, but many other compounds may also have synergistic effects. Flavonoid dimers—biflavonoids—are important constituents of ginkgophytopharmaceuticals. Currently, the presence of 13 biflavonoids has been reported in ginkgo, of which amentoflavone, bilobetin, sciadopitysin, ginkgetin and isoginkgetin are the most common. Their role in plants remains unknown, but their bioactivity and potential role in the management of human health are better investigated. In this review, we have provided an overview of the chemistry, diversity and biological factors that influence the presence of biflavonoids in ginkgo, as well as their bioactive and health-related properties. We have focused on their antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory activities as well as their potential role in the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases. We also highlighted their potential toxicity and pointed out further research directions.
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