phytochemicals Phytochemicals

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Benefits of sea buckthorn on heart health.

Most studies indicate that a high consumption of flavonoids is linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Because of its high flavonoid content, Finish researchers investigated the protective effect of sea buckthorn. Although the sea buckthorn flavonoids were rapidly adsorbed no effect was observed on the oxidation of LDL, levels of C-reactive protein and homocysteine, on the plasma antioxidant potential or on the activity of paraoxonase (enzymes that prevent the formation of atherogenic oxidised-LDL) [1].

Another study by University of Reading (UK) was not able to demonstrate a significant effect of the consumption of sea buckthorn juice on clinical indicators associated with atherogenesis. The researchers tested the effect of the intake of sea buckthorn juice on 20 healthy male volunteers during a period of 8 weeks. They found no effect on the levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, platelet aggregation or plasma intercellular cell adhesion molecule 1. However, they observed a non-significant increase in plasma levels of HDL-cholesterol and triacylglycerol. The susceptibility of LDL to oxidation was also slightly decreased [2].

Sea buckthorn oil has also been tested for its benefits on heart health. One small-scale preliminary study , involving only twelve healthy volunteers, found that sea buckthorn oil may have beneficial effect on blood clotting. They tested the intake of 5 g sea buckthorn oil on risk factors of cardiovascular disease. The researchers found no influence on risk factors of cardiovascular disease, except for decrease in the rate and amount of platelet aggregation [3].

[1] Suomela JP, Ahotupa M, Yang B, Vasankari T, Kallio H. "Absorption of flavonols derived from sea buckthorn (HippophaŽ rhamnoides L.) and their effect on emerging risk factors for cardiovascular disease in humans." J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Sep 20;54(19):7364-9. [2] Eccleston C, Baoru Y, Tahvonen R, Kallio H, Rimbach GH, Minihane AM. "Effects of an antioxidant-rich juice (sea buckthorn) on risk factors for coronary heart disease in humans." J Nutr Biochem. 2002 Jun;13(6):346-354. [3] Johansson AK, Korte H, Yang B, Stanley JC, Kallio HP. " Sea buckthorn berry oil inhibits platelet aggregation." J Nutr Biochem. 2000 Oct;11(10):491-5.

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