Sea Buckthorn May Benefit Cardiovascular Health

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Daily consumption of sea buckthorn may provide important heart health benefits, according to a new review. Sea buckthorn, which despite its name grows in the mountains, is rich in vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and antioxidants.

Sea buckthorn provides antioxidant benefits

A review conducted by researchers from the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Manitoba, Canada, has revealed that taking sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) supplements on a daily basis (more than 28 grams daily of the berry or 5 grams daily of the oil) may provide cardiovascular benefits.

According to the lead author of the new study, Yan-Jun Xu, sea buckthorn is a rich source of many bioactive substances, including flavonoids and carotenoids, “which have been claimed to lower cholesterol, platelet aggregation, blood pressure and blood sugar.” Sea buckthorn has demonstrated powerful antioxidant abilities, helped prevent cardiac cell death, and improved cardiac cell health.

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Several parts of the sea buckthorn, including the berries, leaves, seeds, and oil, possess an ability to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, fight inflammation, and prevent accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels. All of these properties are important in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

In a previous study of sea buckthorn, researchers reported that the plant, which grows in the mountains of China, Russia, and Canada, can reduce symptoms of dry eye syndrome, a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include eyes that are dry, burning, irritated, and susceptible to inflammation.

This new review of the cardiovascular benefits of sea buckthorn suggests the plant’s benefits are primarily associated with its many antioxidants, vitamins, fatty acids, and other bioactive components. The authors noted that large-scale, double-blind clinical trials are needed to support these findings.

SOURCE:
Xu YJ et al. Journal of Functional Foods 2011; doi:10.1016/j.jff.2011.01.001

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