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Sea Buckthorn

Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a plant whose leaves are sometimes supplemented (or the berries consumed as juice) for general antiinflammatory and antioxidative purposes. Though healthy, it does not appear to have any unique literature on it to support supplementation.

Our evidence-based analysis on sea buckthorn features 62 unique references to scientific papers.

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Summary of Sea Buckthorn

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Sea buckthorn refers to the plant hippophae rhamnoides, and its usage as a supplement can refer to either the leaves of the plant or the berries that it bears; additionally, the berries can be supplemented as either a dry powder or as an oil derived from the berries. All parts of the plant appear to be bioactive.

This plant appears to be a good source of flavonoids, mostly those structurally related to quercetin and kaempferol. It also has procyanidin (chains of catechin molecules) content like some other plants, with some epigallocatechin and gallocatechin as well (half of the green tea catechins). While Hippophae rhamnoides doesn't have any well researched unique properties (The hippophin molecules are not very well researched by themselves), it appears to be a good collective source of common flavonoid compounds.

Historical usage of this plant has been for cardiovascular and blood health, and it does appear to protect the heart itself in rats and confers anti-platelet effects following higher recommended doses of the supplement in otherwise healthy persons. Some other benefits of this plant, while not completely unique to the plant, include accelerated wound healing and improved skin quality following oral ingestion and some basic neuroprotective properties.

Hippophae rhamnoides is effective at helping with many common health goals that other flavonoids are effective at, and while it seems to have a large base in traditional medicine no highly unique properties or molecules have been detected with this plant yet. Currently, sea buckthorn can be said to be healthy but there is no one reason to supplement with this plant over others that are more effective.

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How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Sea buckthorn is supplemented as either a dry plant extract (of which both the berries and the leaves are viable options) or as an oil made from the berries.

When supplementing dry extracts, the range of 500-2,000mg is used for both the berry extracts and the leaf extracts. For the oil, slightly higher dosage ranges (2,000-5,000mg) are used daily.

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Human Effect Matrix

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The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Sea Buckthorn has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in glucose has been noted with sea buckthorn, but it was from one study which had the control group (coconut oil) also raise blood glucose; this may just be due to added calories.
grade-c Minor - See study
2g of the oil daily is able to reduce symptoms of dry eyes, particularly reddening and the actual perceived dryness
grade-c Minor - See study
5g of the oil daily is able to reduce platelet aggregation in otherwise healthy persons.
grade-c - - See study
2,000mg of the sea buckthorn supplement has failed to significantly influence C-reactive protein concentrations in serum
grade-c - - See study
DNA damage as measured in lymphocytes does not appear to be significantly affected by supplementation of sea buckthorn
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on circulating HDL-C levels
grade-c - - See study
Supplementation of sea buckthorn in persons on hemodialysis has failed to significantly influence any inflammatory biomarker measured at the standard supplemental dosage.
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on LDL-C levels in otherwise healthy men
grade-c - - See study
Total cholesterol does not appear to be affected with supplementation of sea buckthorn in otherwise healthy persons.
grade-c - - See study
Although it may attenuate postprandial lipidemia (spikes in triglycerides following a meal), supplementation does not appear to significantly affect fasting triglyceride concentrations.
grade-d Minor - See study
Carbohydrate absorption appears to be attenuated with oral ingestion of sea buckthorn berries alongside a meal, which is thought to be due to the fiber component.
grade-d Minor - See study
Secondary to reducing the absorption of carbohydrates from a test meal, insulin secretion is attenuated

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Things to Note

Is a Form Of

Also Known As

Hippophae rhamnoides

  • The leaves and berries of the plant can both be encapsulated in powder form for supplementation, as can an oil derived from the berries; all parts are active in the body following oral ingestion

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Click here to see all 62 references.