Sea buckthorn or Seaberry, known as “holy fruit” in Tibet, is found in centuries-old medicinal texts in Tibet and China. It was used there to treat coughing, digestive problems, skin issues, wounds and burns, and even depression in some cases.
Recently, science has come to discover its dense nutritional content of omega 3, 6, 7, 9, vitamins, and antioxidants. is a fruit-bearing shrub that is known for its potential health benefits. Some studies suggest that sea buckthorn may help lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are two types of lipids (fats) that can contribute to heart disease when present in high levels.
Mechanism In Lowering Cholesterol
Sea buckthorn is known to be rich in various bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, carotenoids, and omega-3 fatty acids, which may potentially contribute to its reported effects on LDL cholesterol levels. The potential mechanisms by which sea buckthorn may lower LDL cholesterol levels could include:
1. Inhibition of cholesterol synthesis
Some compounds found in sea buckthorn, such as flavonoids (Quercetin, Kaempferol, Myricetin, etc…), have been shown to inhibit the enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis in the liver, which could potentially lower the production of LDL cholesterol.
2. Increased LDL receptor activity
Sea buckthorn may increase the expression and activity of LDL receptors in the liver, which are responsible for removing LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream and reducing its levels.
3. Antioxidant effects
Sea buckthorn is known to be rich in antioxidants like (omega 3, 6, and 9), such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which may protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation. Oxidized LDL cholesterol is more likely to contribute to the formation of plaque in arteries, leading to atherosclerosis and increased cardiovascular risk.
4. Anti-inflammatory effects
Omega-7 fatty acids, also known as palmitoleic acid, are a type of monounsaturated fat that is found in sea buckthorn oil. Some studies suggest that omega-7 fatty acids may have potential benefits for cardiovascular health, including a possible role in lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, which is commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol. Omega-7 has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and chronic inflammation has been linked to increased LDL cholesterol levels. By reducing inflammation, sea buckthorn may indirectly help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Clinical Study On Sea Buckthorn On Cholesterol
A clinical study was conducted in 2016 India, aimed to evaluate the effects of seabuckthorn seed oil on blood pressure, lipid profile (including LDL cholesterol and triglycerides), and other cardiovascular risk factors over a period of three months. The study included 88 hypertensive subjects who were divided into two groups – a treatment group that received seabuckthorn seed oil supplementation and a control group that did not receive any intervention.
The results of the study showed that seabuckthorn seed oil supplementation led to a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels in the treatment group compared to the control group. Additionally, the treatment group exhibited significant improvements in their lipid profile, with reductions in LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as an increase in HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, which is often referred to as “good” cholesterol.
It’s important to note that the mechanisms by which sea buckthorn may affect LDL cholesterol levels are still not fully understood and may vary depending on the specific bioactive compounds and their interactions within the body.
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