What is Sea Buckthorn?
Sea buckthorn is a medium-sized, hardy, deciduous shrub that grows 2 to 6 m in height. It is found along riversides, in mountainous areas, and in sandy and gravel ground at elevations of 3,300 to 4,500 m. The bark is thick and rough. Each leaf is elongate-oblanceolate or elongate-spatulate, green at the top, and silver-ash green on the underside. It flowers in April and the sour, pearl-shaped, yellowish-orange fruits are collected from August to October. There are considered to be seven species, two of them probably of hybrid origin, native over a wide area of Europe and Asia.More than 90 percent or about 1,500,000 hectares (5,800 sq mi) of the world’s sea buckthorn plantations can be found in China where the plant is exploited for soil and water conservation purposes.
Sea buckthorn has a rich history of use in treating numerous medical conditions. It has been called a wonder plant in many Asian countries, including China, India, and Pakistan. The berries have been used for more than 1,000 years in Tibetan and Indian systems of medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, it has been used to aid digestion and treat cough, circulatory disorders, and pain.
Numerous pharmacological effects are documented in the scientific literature, including antimicrobial, antiulcerogenic, antioxidant, anticancer, radioprotective activity, platelet aggregation, liver injury, cardiovascular risk factors, and effects on skin and mucosa.
Chemical constituents of Sea Buckthorn Extract
Sea buckthorn contains carotenoids, tocopherols, sterols, flavonoids, lipids, ascorbic acid, and tannins.
The berries appear to be an unsurpassed natural source of vitamins A and E, carotenes and flavonoids., containing calcium, iron, manganese, and 18 amino acids. Sea buckthorn berries are second only to Rose hips in vitamin C content. They are also rich in several other vitamins, including B1, B2, K and P as well as in more than two dozen microelements.
Benefits of taking Sea Buckthorn Extract supplements:
Phenolic compounds from the berries of sea buckthorn inhibited the growth of gram-negative but not gram-positive bacteria. Myricetin inhibited the growth of lactic acid bacteria from human GI tract flora. Extracts from sea buckthorn seeds inhibited the growth of Bacillus cereus (minimum inhibitory concentration or MIC 200 ppm), Bacillus coagulans (MIC 300 ppm), Bacillus subtilis (MIC 300 ppm), Listeria monocytogenes (MIC 300 ppm), and Yersinia enterocolitica (MIC 350 ppm). Ethanol extracts of sea buckthorn inhibited the growth of Helicobacter pylori at a MIC around 60 mcg/mL.
Anti ulcerogenic activity
Compounds active in the protective and curative effects on gastric ulcers may involve the fatty acids, β-carotene, α-tocopherol, and β-sitosterol found in sea buckthorn. Oral administration of CO 2 extracted seed and pulp oils from sea buckthorn may have protective and curative effects in water-immersion ( P < 0.05), reserpine-induced ( P < 0.01), pylorus ligation-induced ( P < 0.05), and acetic acid-induced gastric ulcers ( P < 0.01) in rats. 6 Effects on skin and mucosa have been associated with the sterols and long-chain alcohols in sea buckthorn.
Effects on liver injury
The seed oil inhibited malondialdehyde formation of liver induced by CCl 4 , ethyl alcohol, and acetaminophen in mice. It decreased serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase levels induced by CCl 4 and acetaminophen. Furthermore, the seed oil from sea buckthorn blocked the depletion of glutathione in acetaminophen-induced liver damage. Hepatoprotective properties of the oil have been demonstrated in rats.
Clinical effects of the oil have been tested in 48 cirrhotic patients of Child-Pugh grade A and B treated with a sea buckthorn extract of 15 g by mouth 3 times daily for 6 months. Primary outcomes included measurements of cytokines and various blood parameters of liver fibrosis and liver function tests (eg, IL-6, TNFα, ALB, AST, ALT). Patients treated with sea buckthorn extract had reduced serum levels of laminin, hyaluronic acid, total bile acid, and collagen types III and IV. These results suggest that the seed oil of sea buckthorn may be useful for prevention and treatment of liver disease.
Effects on platelet aggregation
Total flavones from sea buckthorn fruit prolonged thrombotic occlusion time in a mouse femoral artery thrombosis model. In the same study, total flavones inhibited platelet aggregation induced by collagen in a concentration-dependent manner but did not affect aggregation induced by arachidonic acid and adenosine diphosphate. Mechanism of action remains unclear but may be caused by suppression of arachidonic acid synthesis by collagen receptor stimulation.
The effects of sea buckthorn berry oil on cardiovascular (CV) disease risk was studied over a 4-week period in 12 healthy normolipidemic men in a double-blind, randomized, crossover study. Patients were treated with ten 500 mg capsules of sea buckthorn berry oil by mouth daily. Patients taking sea buckthorn berry oil indicated a clear decrease in the rate of adenosine-5-diphosphate-induced platelet aggregation ( P < 0.05) and maximum aggregation (aggregation percentage at 4 minutes, P < 0.01). The mechanisms behind these effects remain unclear.
Numerous studies clearly demonstrate the antioxidant activity of sea buckthorn. The alcoholic leaf and fruit extracts of sea buckthorn inhibited chromium (VI)-induced free radicals, apoptosis, and deoxyribonucleic acid fragmentation. A hexane extract inhibited depletion of glutathione in gastric tissue and inhibited nicotine-induced oxidative damage in erythrocytes. Oil supplementation increased the activation of glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrase, and membrane levels of sialic acid and the sulfydryl group in erythrocytes. The oil also protects against oxidative damage from sulfur dioxide.
Anticancer and radioprotective effects
Based on promising radio-protective effects of sea buckthorn berry extract in rats, scientists conducted a study published in November 2009 in the «Indian Journal of Medical Research» that evaluated the chemical effect on human cancer cells. The extract, referred to as RH-3, was applied to cells in the early and late process of radiation. The antioxidant effect of RH-3 reduced the damage to cells both inside and out most effectively at certain doses. RH-3 also activated proteins in the cells that help to protect them from radiation.
Protection against whole-body irradiation has been reported in mice; an alcoholic extract of the berries rendered nearly 82% survival as compared with no survival in untreated irradiated control. In liver, the oil from the berries inhibited the Fenton reaction and radiation-mediated generation of hydroxyl radicals, and superoxide anion mediated nitroblue tetrazolium reduction and FeSO 4 -mediated lipid peroxidation. The radioprotective effects may be associated with any of the following actions: free-radical scavenging, acceleration of stem cell proliferation, immunostimulation, and direct modulation of chromatin organization.
Flavonoids from oil extracted from the seeds of sea buckthorn induced apoptosis in the liver cancer cell line BEL-7402. In the human breast carcinoma cell line Bcap-37, 32 genes related to apoptosis were induced by flavonoids from seed extracts of sea buckthorn. Flavonols from sea buckthorn inhibited promyelotic leukemia HL-60 cells. Fruit and berry extracts from sea buckthorn inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells HT29 and breast cancer cells MCF-7 in a dose-dependent manner. These extracts inhibited carcinogen-induced forestomach and skin tumorigenesis in mice; mechanisms of action may involve up-regulation of phase II (eg, glutathione S-dimutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase) and antioxidant enzymes.
Sea buckthorn oil may stimulate the recovery of hematopoiesis after chemotherapy. Blood cell counts in mice with myelosuppression fed with oil from sea buckthorn exceeded those in the control group and mortality decreased.
>Heart and blood vessel disease (cardiovascular disease).
>Liver disease (cirrhosis).
>Digestive tract infection.
>Stomach and intestinal ulcers.
>High blood pressure.
>Chest pain (angina).
>A skin condition called eczema.
Side effects and safety of Sea Buckthorn Extract
Sea buckthorn has been used as a food in Asia and in Europe. Toxicological studies in animals suggest seed oil and oil from the fruit’s soft parts are safe. Acute and chronic toxicity of blood, liver, and heart as well as mutagenicity and teratogenicity of sea buckthorn oils have been studied.
Sea buckthorn might slow blood clotting. that it might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery.
Dosage of Sea Buckthorn Extract supplement:
Doses of seed oil taken orally in clinical trials ranged from 5 to 45 g daily for 4 to 6 months. Juice has been administered to volumes of 300 mL daily over 8 weeks. Sea Buckthorn Extract powder Generally 1-2g a day.