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Sea Buckthorn Shows Promise for Improving Heart Health

Sea buckthorn has been linked to a number of health benefits believed to derive from its high level of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids. Now a new study by researchers at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences in Manitoba, Canada has found that sea buckthorn may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The results of the study were published in the February 2011 edition of the Journal of Functional Foods.

The researchers conducted a mini review of research conducted on sea buckthorn’s link to cardiovascular disease to date. They found that daily consumption of sea buckthorn in quantities of at least 28 grams in berry form or 5 grams in oil form lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The flavonoids in sea buckthorn appear to provide cardio-protective benefits, such as increasing circulating lipid markers, improving cardiac cell health and preventing cardiac cell death resulting from oxidative stress and injury.

The researchers stressed that large scale, double blind clinical trials will need to be conducted in order to confirm the health benefits of sea buckthorn as well as to uncover the mechanism behind the plant’s health benefits.

Sea buckthorn is a shrub that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. It is purported to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbiological properties, and has been used for the treatment of skin diseases and digestive tract issues.

Previous studies have suggested that sea buckthorn may be effective in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, regulating blood sugar and reducing the risk of diabetes and possibly even some cancers.

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