Sea-Buckthorn Berry Juice: Health Benefits & Nutritional Value
Sea buckthorn juice is made by pressing the wild, edible orange berries of the Hippophae rhamnoides plant, a deciduous shrub that grows wild on sea cliffs and dunes in Europe and Asia. Sea buckthorn berries (also known as seaberries) and the juice extracted from them have high nutritional value, and both have been used by folk healers and herbalists to treat a wide range of health problems, from cough and digestive problems to impaired blood circulation and chronic pain. In recent years, the purported health benefits of sea buckthorn berries have undergone increasingly rigorous scientific evaluation, and the results have been promising.
In this article, we take a look at recent scientific studies that have examined the health-boosting properties and nutritional value of this superberry and the juice extracted from it.
Sea Buckthorn Juice Inhibits the Growth of Certain Cancer Cells, Study Shows
A Canadian study published in the journal Anticancer Research found that sea buckthorn juice, along with a number of other fruit and berry juices, effectively inhibited the growth of various cancer cell lines, including those of stomach, prostate, intestinal and breast cancer. This anti-cancer activity was attributed to the ability of the fruit and berry juices to induce cell-cycle arrest, rather than to induce apoptosis. In essence, this means that sea buckthorn juice was capable of halting the series of events that cause cancerous cells to divide and replicate.
Another study, published in the journal Experimental Oncology in 2004, found that sea buckthorn juice protected mice from side effects of Cisplatin. Cisplatin is a common chemotherapy drug used to treat various types of cancers and tumors, including lung cancer, ovarian cancer, lymphomas, and germ cell tumors.
Sea Buckthorn Juice – A Powerhouse of Vitamin C
Oranges and orange juice are commonly considered one of the best natural sources of vitamin C, but in comparison with sea-buckthorn berries and their juice, the amount of vitamin C in oranges seems quite modest. A 100-gram serving of sea-buckthorn berries (about 3.5 ounces) has been reported to contain 360 to 2500 milligrams of vitamin C, while a similar portion of fresh oranges provides just above 50 milligrams of this vital nutrient. You may already know that vitamin C containing foods such as sea-buckthorn berries are good for your skin, bones, and gums, but this versatile nutrient can also help prevent iron deficiency and anemia by improving the body's ability to absorb dietary iron.
Sea Buckthorn Berries Are Packed with Carotenoids
Sea-buckthorn berries have also been reported to contain significant amounts of carotenoids which are pre-cursors to vitamin A. Carotenoids and vitamin A have various roles in human health, but their best-known health benefits relate to their ability to prevent diseases involving the eye, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, impaired night vision, and retinitis pigmentosa. Carotenoids also help improve skin tone as well as reduce the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.
Blood Sugar Control
If you're still not impressed by the nutritional value and potential health benefits of sea buckthorn berries, here's some more food for thought: A Finnish study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010 suggests that this superberry may also help keep blood sugar levels in check and protect against type 2 diabetes. This small-scale clinical study involving ten healthy, normal-weight male volunteers found that adding sea buckthorn berries to the men's meals helped prevent post-meal spikes in blood sugar levels.
Positive Effects on Cardiovascular Health
One cross-over trial, carried out to evaluate the effects of sea buckthorn berry oil on certain risk factors of cardiovascular disease, discovered that sea buckthorn oil had beneficial effects on blood clotting in the study participants. Another study found that rodents with high cholesterol levels reaped a whole host of benefits when sea buckthorn flavonoids were added to their high-fat diets. The animals experienced, for example, a drop in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels, significant weight loss, lowered triglyceride concentrations in the liver, and improved glucose tolerance. Although these and other studies suggest that sea buckthorn may have significant beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, it is worth noting that there have also been studies that have found no or only limited cardioprotective benefits.
Sea-buckthorn Has Beneficial Effects on the Liver in ChickenA study published in the April 2013 issue of the journal Poultry Science reported that sea-buckthorn oil was capable of preventing liver damage in chickens by reducing the concentration of aflatoxins in the liver and by reducing their adverse effects. Aflatoxins are toxic substances that are frequently found in peanuts, grains, and legumes contaminated by fungi that produce these toxic substances. Regular ingestion of foods that have been contaminated with aflatoxins has been associated with a number of serious diseases, including cirrhosis, acute hepatic necrosis, and liver cancer.
Where to Buy Sea-Buckthorn Juice in the UK and US
When you're trying to find sea buckthorn berry juice in the UK or US, keep in mind that this superberry goes by several names, including seaberry, Hippophae rhamnoides, Hippophae tibetana (or Tibetan sea buckthorn), sandthorn, and sallowthorn. If you still can't find sea buckthorn products in the stores in your area, head to Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk which supply a whole range of sea buckthorn products. If you make your Amazon purchases through the following affiliate links, you will also be supporting HealWithFood.org (without any extra cost on your part):
Order it here if you live in the US Order it here if you live in the UK
Order it here if you live in the US Order it here if you live in the UK
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2. A. Nersesyan and R. Muradyan (2004). Experimental Oncology, 26(2), 153-155.
3. Li, T. S. C. and Schroeder, W. R. (1996). Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.): A multipurpose plant. HortTech, 6, 370-380.
4. A. Zeb and S. Mehmood (2004). Carotenoids Contents from Various Sources and Their Potential Health Applications. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 3(3), 199-204.
5. H. M. Lehtonen et al (2010). Postprandial hyperglycemia and insulin response are affected by sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides ssp. turkestanica) berry and its ethanol-soluble metabolites. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 64(12), 1465-71.
6. A. K. Johansson et al (2000). Sea buckthorn berry oil inhibits platelet aggregation. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 11(10), 491-495.
7. J. Wang et al (2011). Hypolipidaemic and hypoglycaemic effects of total flavonoids from seed residues of Hippophae rhamnoides L. in mice fed a high-fat diet. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 91(8), 1446-1451.
8. P. Larmo et al (2007). Effects of sea buckthorn berries on infections and inflammation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 62(9), 1123-1130.
9. C. Solcan et al (2013). The hepatoprotective effect of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) berries on induced aflatoxin B1 poisoning in chickens. Poultry Science, 92(4), 966-974.