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Sea buckthorn, a promising plant for reducing cardiovascular disease risk

Dr. Yan Jun Xu (L), a research scientist, recently joined Dr. Todd Duhamel’s group at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre in Winnipeg. He is developing a sweet species of the sea buckthorn plant (L) on his hobby farm near Lockport, Manitoba.

Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a hardy plant that needs a little care and can survive in extreme cold. It has been widely grown in China, India and Russia. The beneficial effects of sea buckthorn are rapidly emerging in North America as a promising plant for reducing cardiovascular disease risk. Sea buckthorn is natural source of vitamins and anti-oxidants. The vitamin C amount in the sea buckthorn berry is about 40 times high than in oranges. It also contains a high amount of carotenoids, trace elements, essential amino acids, flavonoids and omega-3 fatty acids. This plant has been used in folk medicine for ulcer, burns and digestive problems. New lines of evidence suggest that this plant may reduce blood cholesterol and glucose levels. It exhibits anti-oxidant properties, can inhibit platelet aggregation and may be cardioprotective against ischemia-reperfusion-induced damage. A recent review article published by Xu et al in Dr. Dhalla’s group suggests that daily consumption of 28 g of berry or 5 g of oil daily may be potentially beneficial in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis, hypertension and heart attack. However, since most of these studies were carried out in animals, the authors point out that large and blind clinical trials are needed to verify the results of the preclinical studies as well as for testing the efficiency and safety of sea buckthorn for use in humans. The sea buckthorn products include tea from leaves, juice from berry and oil from seeds. Sea buckthorn wine and vinegar are also available in the Asian market. The juice is very acidic and unpleasant, and consumer use is low. Accordingly, a sweet and better tasting species of sea buckthorn plant is currently being developed on Dr. Xu’s sea buckthorn farm. Daily consumption of sea buckthorn products may be helpful for reducing the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases.

1. “Health benefits οf sea buckthorn fοr thе prevention οf cardiovascular diseases” by Y. J. Xu, M. Kaur, R. S. Dhillon, P. S. Tappia, N. S. Dhalla. Journal οf Functional Foods 3:2-12,2011
2. “Review backs sea buckthorn’s heart health benefits” by Nathan Gray, 18-Feb-2011 http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/

Back to Vol 10 No 2 Index

World-renowned Research Centre renamed

St-Boniface Hospital honoured Winnipeg visionary and philanthropist Paul Albrechtsen by renaming its Research Centre the St-Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre. The Centre is the global headquarters of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences where our Dr. Naranjan Dhalla was the founder of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences.

He was interviewed recently by the American Physiological Society's for their "Living History Program.

Click here to enjoy


3rd Harold Buchwald Lecture by Dr. Sharon Mulvagh, Mayo Clinic, Rochester


Click for An Important Conversation About Heart Health between Dr. Mulvagh and Marlo Thomas

If you missed the MANSHIELD CONSTRUCTION HEART HEALTH LUNCHEON featuring the 5th Harold Buchwald Lecture on October 3, 2013, please Click here for Dr Yusuf's extraordinary talk

Dr. Robert Roberts made a very special talk as the first Yetta and Jack Levit Distinguished Lecture. Click here to enjoy Dr. Roberts ' talk. On Nov. 2/15, Dr. John Cairns second Distinguished Lecture was extraordinary Click here for the lecture.

2nd Harold Buchwald Heart Health Lecture Sept. 29, 2009 ... an incredible talk by Dr. Jay Cohn which inspired Ivan Berkowitz to pursue a number of options which led to Dr. Duhamel's HAPPY Hearts Project. Click here to watch video

Read the latest bulletin from St. Boniface - excellent reports on IACS Fellows Drs. Menkis, Pierce and Kirshenbaum - great heart health advice!