Dietary Supplements: Buckthorn

Sea buckthorn is a small shrub that produces berries used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and known since ancient Greek times for its ability to enhance energy, promote weight gain, and heal the skin and make it look younger. In more modern times, studies have found that it may be a good antioxidanl and that it contains palmitoleic acid, a rare fatty acid that is a component of our skin and promotes skin health. Other uses for sea buckthorn include promoting cardiovascular health, healing ulcers, and protecting the skin against damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Sea buckthorn oil is high in vitamin E, carotenoids, sterols, and the fatty acids: palmitic (16:0), oleic (18:ln-9), palmitoleic (16:ln-7), linoleic (18:2n-6), and a-linolenk (18:3n-3; Johansson et al., 2000).

Clinical research has not substantiated the claims for sea buckthorn as an energizer; however, experimental and clinical studies have found that it shows promise for promoting cardiovascular health, antioxidant functions (antiaging, cardiovascular), and as a wound and tissue healer.

Wound Healing and Dermatitis Treatment
A synthetic preparation of sea buckthorn oil (Aekol) was compared in a clinical setting on the treatment of 41 patients with natural sea buckthorn and standard wound-healing remedies. The patients studied exhibited various wound-healing complications, including open injuries on their limbs, pyoderma or necrosis from skeletal trauma, and tissue necrosis after operations. From the study ofvarious clinical and biochemical parameters for wound healing, it was concluded that Aekol exhibited a similar efficacy as natural sea buckthorn extract and far exceeded the traditional remedies (Kostrikova et al., 1990).

Yang et al. (2000) conducted a placebo-control led parallel study to examine the effect of the daily ingestion of 5 g of sea buckthorn seed oil compared with pulp oil or paraffin oil for 4 months. The outcome measure was the fatty acid composition of skin glycerophospholipids in patients with atopic dermatitis before and after treatment. The seed oil ingestion caused only a slight increase in docosapeniaenoic acid (22:5n-3) and a decrease in palmitic acid (16:0). The authors concluded that the composition of glycerophospholipids in the skin is well buffered and not significantly affected by short-term dietaiy changes.

Yang et al. (1999) studied the effect of daily supplementation for 4 months of 5 g of either sea buckthorn seed oil, pulp oil, or paraffin oil on atopic dermatitis. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study, the clinical evaluation of each treatment on atopic dermatitis was evaluated, as well as changes in plasma and skin lipid content. The sea buckthorn seed oil was characterized as high in linolek (34%), a-linolenic (25%), and oleic (19%) fatly acids, whereas the pulp oil was high in palmitic (33%), oleic (26%), and palmitoleic (25%) fatty acids. Significant improvements were observed for dermatitis symptoms in the groups treated with pulp oil and paraffin oil, but no changes in the seed oil group were noted. No changes were detected in levels of triacylglycerols, serum total, or specific immunoglobulin E in either of the groups.

Cardiovascular Health
Johansson et al. (2000) studied the effect of sea buckthorn berry oil (supercriiical carbon dioxide extracted) on risk factors of cardiovascular disease in a pilot clinical study. After a treatment period of 4 weeks, the ingestion of 5 g of sea buckthorn oil was found to have no effect on phospholipid fatty acids, plasma lipids, or glucose. The treatment group, however, did show a marked decrease in the rate of adenosine-5′-diphos-phate-induced platelet aggregation and maximum aggregation.

The effect of supplementation of the total flavone fraction of sea buckthorn was studied on the sympathetic nerve activity in hypertensive patients. Specifically, the authors were investigating whether this fraction was able to exert an inhibitory effect on sympathetic activity after supine isometric exercise. The 88 participants were given the sea buckthorn flavone extract, nifedipine, orverapamil. After 8 weeks of treatment, the sea buckthorn flavone extract was found not to alter the sympathetic activity in the treatment of hypertension, but it did exhibit an inhibitory effect on the sympathetic activity after supine isometric exercise. The authors noted that for this reason, sea buckthorn flavones might provide a clinical benefit (Zhang et al., 2001).

Hccleston et al. (2002) studied the antioxidant profile of sea buckthorn juice and its effect on various biochemical markers in cardiovascular health: plasma lipids, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation, platelet aggregation, and plasma soluble cell adhesion protein concentration. This study was in response to the growing evidence that antioxidanl nutrients were able to affect cell response and gene expression relating to the oxidative processes that contribute to atherogenesis. After 8 weeks of treatment with sea buckthorn juice, there were no significant changes in plasma total cholesterol, LDL-C, platelet aggregation, or plasma.

Because few clinical studies have been performed on sea buckthorn, and because it has a diversity of potential uses, the optimal dosage recommendations are difficult to ascertain. Generally, it is taken orally, about 250-500 mg/day as an energy promoter, and up to 1 g or more as a topical skin protector or wound healer.

Author Bio: Georgiy Kharchenko – best new weight loss, hi tech pharmaceuticals fastin, phentermine d

Category: Wellness, Fitness and Diet
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