Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is found throughout Europe and Asia, particularly eastern Europe and central Asia. The plant’s orange fruit and the oil from its pulp and seeds have been used traditionally for skin conditions, coughing, phlegm reduction, and digestive disorders. Today Sea Buckthorn is turning a lot of heads in the USA for it’s incredible and comprehensive health benefits that support the entire body.
Sea Buckthorn has been used for centuries in Mongolia, China, and Tibet. In Tibet, Sea Buckthorn is recommended for pulmonary disorders, cough, colds, fever, inflammation, abscesses, toxicity, constipation, tumors, and gynecological diseases. Generally, sea buckthorn is considered a panacea in these cultures.
According to the Chinese Pharmacopeia, internal use of Sea Buckthorn is recommended as a pain reliever, cough suppressant, expectorant, digestive tonic, and blood flow promoter. In traditional Chinese medicine, Sea Buckthorn is mainly used as an expectorant and soothing agent.
In Russia, Sea Buckthorn seed and fruit oil have been used topically for eczema, psoriasis burns, frostbite, lupus, and cervical erosion, and internally for blood clots as well as eye disorders. In Tajikistan, sea buckthorn flowers are used to soften the skin. In other parts of central Asia, the leaves are used internally for gastrointestinal and skin disorders and topically for rheumatoid arthritis. In India, sea buckthorn fruit is used to treat lung, gastrointestinal, heart, blood, liver, and metabolic disorders.
Omega 3 & Omega 7
Sea Buckthorn is also the perfect natural supplement for those who have problems with their mucus membranes. Mucus membranes are important to the digestive tract, as well as the respiratory and urogenital tracts. Those membranes also keep your eyes healthy. When aging processed causes the mucus membranes system to slow and now perform, Sea Buckthorn is an important part of membrane repair. Its essential Omega 7 fatty acid properties improve one’s mucus health, creating a better barrier against allergens, moisturize their body, and repair the natural rhythm of the body’s tract systems. Learn about sea buckthorn’s impressive Omega-7 content here.
Your immune system can also benefit from Sea Buckthorn. Because of its high Omega 3 fatty acid properties, you can expect a higher functioning immune system. In general, it’s been found that our diets include too many Omega 6 fatty acids as it is, causing the immune system to not function as well as it could. Restoring the essential Omega 3 fatty acids is a great way to promote better health.
Vitamins with antioxidant properties form a natural line of defense against free radicals; they “catch” free radicals and neutralize them. These anti-oxidant vitamins, all present in Sea Buckthorn oil, are vitamin A (derived from -carotene), vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin E (-tocopherol).
Sea Buckthorn for Heart Health
A study, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, suggests that the cardio-protective effects of Sea Buckthorn flavonoids have been attributed to their ability to increase circulating lipid markers, act as powerful antioxidants, improve cardiac cell health and prevent cardiac cell death from oxidative stress and injuries. “Dietary modification by inclusion of foods with bioactive components (such as n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, plant sterols, antioxidants and vitamins) is one of the major factors for lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said study author Y. J. Xu and colleagues. Read more about sea buckthorn and your cardiovascular health here.
Sea Buckthorn and Wound Healing
Findings from animal-based research suggest that Sea Buckthorn may promote wound healing when applied topically. In a 2009 study in Food and Chemical Toxicology, scientists discovered that topically applied Sea Buckthorn seed oil helped speed up the healing of burn wounds in rats.
Sea Buckthorn and Diabetes
In a small 2010 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that Sea Buckthorn may help keep blood sugar in check and protect against type 2 diabetes. In an experiment involving 10 healthy, normal-weight volunteers, the study’s authors discovered that adding Sea Buckthorn berries to meals helped prevent a post-meal spike in blood sugar.
When you need to supplement your dietary regimen to incorporate necessary omega fats and other bioactive compounds into your overall well-being, Sea Buckthorn could be the way to alter you strategy. In addition to having significant vitamins, anti-oxidants and the critical essential fatty acids, you will find that other nutrients also demonstrate some of the most critical benefits in the improvement of nail tone, hair, texture and skin, as well as marketing of a healthy and balanced aging and digestive wellness.
“Health benefits οf sea buckthorn fοr the prevention of cardiovascular diseases” by Y. J. Xu, M. Kaur, R. S. Dhillon, P. S. Tappia, N. S. Dhalla. Journal οf Functional Foods 3:2-12, 2011
Gupta A, Kumar R, Pal K, Singh V, Banerjee PK, Sawhney RC. “Influence of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) Flavone on dermal wound healing in rats.” Mol Cell Biochem. 2006 Oct; 290(1-2):193-8.
Yang B, Kalimo KO, Mattila LM, Kallio SE, Katajisto JK, Peltola OJ, Kallio HP. “Effects of dietary supplementation with sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides) seed and pulp oils on atopic dermatitis.” J Nutr Biochem. 1999 Nov; 10(11):622-30.
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Reduction of oxidative stress, improved lipid profile and decreased insulin resistance by natural medicine
—by Yan-Jun Xu and Paramjit S. Tappia, Winnipeg, Canada
Oxidative stress is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes (1). Although epidemiological studies have demonstrated that long term intake of Vitamin C and E are associated with reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease, most of the large scale and double-blinded clinical trials have failed to support the beneficial effects of synthetic vitamin preparations. Thus, strategies involving natural sources of anti-oxidants have now become the focus of many research groups including ourselves (2).
Goji berry, also known as wolfberry, has been used for the treatment of diabetes, fatigue and insomnia for hundreds of years in folk medicine. The anti-aging, anti-oxidant, hypoglycaemic and hypolipidemic effects of goji berry have been reported in the literature. Some vegetables also have been reported to lower plasma levels of LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride, as well as reduce insulin resistance and oxidative stress. Okra is a popular vegetable in India; it is also referred to as “lady fingers” in some parts of the world. From both animal studies and clinical trials, okra has been shown to reduce blood glucose in diabetic subjects and decrease the production of reactive oxygen species. Another vegetable, bitter melon, has also been demonstrated to exert beneficial actions in individuals with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. In experimental studies, bitter melon extracts were found to reduce blood glucose in both type I and type II diabetic rats, improve plasma lipid profile and reduce oxidative stress.
In addition to nutritional strategies to combat disease, acupuncture may also emerge as an effective alternative for the reduction of oxidative stress and high blood cholesterol. Recently, some reports indicate that acupuncture can reduce oxidative stress and improve lipid profile in both animal and human studies. However, the mechanisms underlying this action remain to be clearly defined.
Natural health products as well as non-traditional therapeutic approaches may serve as alternative options in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes. Our group has been interested in determining the beneficial actions of natural products in a variety of cardiovascular diseases. Our recent publications in amino acids and sea buckthorn for diabetic cardiovascular complications (2,3) have also been cited publically (4). Indeed, this is an exciting era for identifying natural health medicines and alternate approaches for disease treatment and prevention.
Adameova A, Xu YJ, Duhamel TA, Tappia PS, Shan L, Dhalla NS. Anti-atherosclerotic molecules targeting oxidative stress and inflammation. Curr. Pharm. Des. 2009; 15: 3094-107.
Xu YJ, Kaur M, Dhillon RS, Tappia PS, Dhalla NS. Health benefits of sea buckthorn for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. J. Function. Food. 2011; 3: 2-12.
Tappia PS, Thliveris J, Xu YJ, Aroutiounova N, Dhalla NS. Effects of amino acid supplementation on myocardial cell damage and cardiac function in diabetes. Exp. Clin. Cardiol. 2011; 16: e17-22.
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Reduction of cholesterol and other cardiovascular disease risk factors by alternative therapies
Paramjit S Tappia, Yan-Jun Xu & Naranjan S Dhalla
Although synthetic chemicals and pharmacological agents are being used for the treatment of cardiovascular disease in the western world, there now appears to be a cultural and philosophical shift toward Eastern Medicine and many patients are increasingly using alternative approaches for prevention and therapeutic purposes. This brief review summarizes the experimental and clinical evidence of some functional foods, herbal products and medicinal plants for improving plasma HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels, as well as reducing oxidative stress. In addition, the potential of acupuncture and Yogic meditation are discussed as emerging approaches for reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors. The available evidence indicates that several functional foods, herbal products and medicinal plants exert lipid-lowering and hypoglycemic actions, as well as exhibit antioxidant properties; however, a great deal of research work and extensive clinical trials are needed to establish their use in medical practice.
June 2013, Vol. 8, No. 3, Pages 345-359 , DOI 10.2217/clp.13.24
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Is the Jury Still Out on the Benefits of Fish, Seal and Flax Oils in Cardiovascular Disease?
Xu YJ1, Gregor T2, Dhalla NS1 and Tappia PS2*
In this perspective article, we present some information on the benefits of fish, seal and flax oils in the primary and secondary prevention of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). This is not meant to be an exhaustive review, but a viewpoint that provides an indication for the recommendation of inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids in the human diet. There is now substantial evidence that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to maintaining human health as well as for the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of health conditions including CVD, mental and visual health, and inflammatory and other chronic disorders [1-5]. Since these fatty acids can not be produced in the human body, it has been recommended to increase dietary intake of omega-3 containing foods, such as fish, flax seed oil and walnuts. The lack of dietary omega-3 fatty acids is believed to be related to many diseases including atherosclerosis, inflammatory diseases, joint pain and mental disease. However, the potential benefits of fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) consumption to reduce CVD risk remains controversial; some investigations have reported a reduced CVD risk while others report no benefit [6-9]. In this regard, these disparities may be due to a greater use of background optimal medical therapy that may have reduced the benefit from omega-3 fatty acids or due to low doses of omega-3 fatty acids or tested omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on top of a relatively high baseline intake of omega-3 fatty acids . This controversy could, in part, be resolved when consideration is given to omega-3 blood levels in relation to CVD risk as well as blood levels achieved in clinical trials of omega-3 supplementation and CVD benefit . With the capability to measure omega-3 fatty acids through blood tests, patients can achieve cardioprotective levels by either taking fish oil supplements or simply eating more oily fish ; current guidelines recommend 2 servings of fatty fish per week for the general population. Interestingly, a unique omega-3 fatty acid formulation has been reported to be effective in improving blood lipid profile in ambulatory cardiovascular subjects; the optimal efficacy was found to be dependent upon dose and purity of the formulation .
The average daily consumption of seal oil by the Inuit people is approximately 8-9 g . High intake of seal oil has been associated
with a reduced risk of CVD [13,14], which may due to an attenuation of oxidative stress and atherosclerotic lesion formation . It has also been reported that a daily consumption of 5 or 10 capsules of seal oil reduces plasma triglyceride levels as well as decreased lymphocyte production of proinflammatory TNF-α in healthy volunteers . However, there is still very little information on the effect of seal oil consumption on CVD risk factors and thus the potential of seal oil as well as the mechanisms of protection need to be further investigated. Diabetes is an established risk factor for CVD [17,18]. Seal oil and fish oil may exert preventive effects on the risk of diabetes. Several investigators have reported that the Inuit people have lower prevalence of diabetes compared with other populations . From clinical studies and epidemiological surveys, negative correlations between diabetes and intake of seal meal, or salmon fish or active physical activity have been revealed. The oil from a seal meal and salmon fish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce triglycerides, VLDL-cholesterol, platelet activity and blood pressure in type 2 diabetic patients; thus lowering the risk of death in diabetic population due to CVD. However, more clinical studies are required in patients with type 1 diabetes .
Comparison studies between fish oil and seal oil have been carried out in the recent years. Fish oil contain high amounts of both Eicosapentanoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaneoic Acid (DHA) and relatively low amounts of Docosapentaenoic Acid (DPA), however, seal oil contains all of these three fatty acids in relatively high amounts. DPA is more potent than EPA in repairing damaged blood vessels and inhibiting inflammatory reactions. Research by Mann et al.  have reported that seal oil is more effective than fish oil in suppressing platelet aggregation, lowering triacylglycerol and increasing HDL-cholesterol levels. These observations were supported by the pre-clinical studies of Dubey et al. , which reported that seal oil is much more efficient than fish oil in the reduction of plasma triglycerides, total cholesterol and chylomicron total cholesterol as well as reducing oxidative stress as evidenced by the lower level of malondialdehyde (MDA), a well known marker of lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress.
It should be noted that some studies report that fish oil supplements increase oxidative stress and risk of cancer. In this regard, Kimura et al  have reported that long term intake of fish increased oxidative DNA damage in Japanese men and women. While there are other reports linking high intakes of omega-3 fatty acids to cancer [23,24], pre-clinical studies by Hardman et al  have revealed that 3% dietary fish oil can increase the efficacy of chemotherapy against MDA-MB 232 breast cancer growth mediated by the increase of oxidative stress in tumor cells; this additive cytotoxic effect of omega-3 fatty acids may be related to the induction of apoptosis of cancer cells . From the aforementioned it is evident that further investigation is required to explore the relationship between omega-3 fatty acid intakes and cancer risk. Another major concern for marine source of omega 3is the mercury contamination [27,28]. Furthermore, concerns about fish taste, smell, allergies and eructation following a fish meal are some of the factors that have limited their dietary use. Flaxseed is an alternative to marine products. It is one of the richest sources of the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). Based on the results of clinical trials, epidemiological investigations and experimental studies, ingestion of ALA has been suggested to have a positive impact on CVD [29,30]. Indeed, recent clinical studies have shown that flax seed consumption, which would be expected to increase plasma levels of ALA, reduces blood pressure as well as decreases the plasma concentrations of oxylipin, a known regulator of vascular tone, in patients with hypertension [31,32]. It is pointed out that ALA can be converted to long-chain omega-3 fatty acids; however, the rate of conversion is low, which is further decreased by the aging process as well as physical and emotional well being. Nevertheless, it appears that ALA itself may exert beneficial effects in the primary and secondary prevention of CVD.
In conclusion, the large body of data provides strong evidence for fish, seal and flax seed oils as important food supplements for maintenance of human health [33,34] including protection against CVD. From the literature, it seems that seal oil is more potent than fish oil and flax seed oil in reducing hardening of blood vessels. In addition, the combined use of a plant source and marine source omega-3 may result in an additive effect [35-37] and thus warrants further investigation. The typical North American diet provides approximately 0.2 g to 0.4 g of EPA and DHA and 1.4 g of ALA per day . Despite the recent negative data about omega-3 fatty acids, the overall evidence still supports the American Heart Association recommendation of 1 g of EPA/DHA per day for patients with coronary heart disease. In addition, current dietary recommendations for adults suggest a daily intake of 2.22 g of ALA per day . Although there is an increased public awareness of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids there is still a need for well designed, randomized, controlled trials of omega-3 fatty acids in different patient populations according to age, sex, and ethnicity as well as with a variety of pathophysiological conditions including CVD and diabetes with higher omega-3 doses.
Hi, I am a 63yr old women. I had two heart events in 2003, they have told me I am showing no damage. I have taken myself off the 40mg Crestor, which I am upset with what I have read about the drug. I have recently been diagnosed with dibetes2 and cataracts. I was taking Crestor for well over 5yrs and another drug Lipitor, I was taking it for many years prior, when it just stopped working, that’s when Dr put me on Crestor. I read that Crestor could have destroyed my stem cells, anti ageing. I am reluctant to trust medical Drs at present and have put myself on sea buckthorn, co q10 Ubiquinol, milk thistle vitamins and minerals, one noten for high blood pressure, one cymbalta, plus dimacron for diabetes 2. plavics, msm and vitamin c powder. About 15 items per day. I have only taken SeaBuckthorn for approx 3weeks and trust it will repair some of the damage. Thank you Christine may need D3 and fish oil.