Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) as a potential source of nutraceutics
and its therapeutic possibilities - a review
Jana Krejcarová1, Eva Straková1, Pavel Suchý2, Ivan Herzig1, Kateřina Karásková1
University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology,
1Department of Animal Nutrition, 2Department of Animal Husbandry and Animal Hygiene,
Brno, Czech Republic
Received February 18, 2015
Accepted May 13, 2015
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) is in the focus of interest mainly for its positive
effects on health of both human and animal organisms. The whole plant of sea buckthorn and
especially its berries are a source of a large number of different bioactive compounds. The
greatest attention has been drawn to its high content of vitamins, minerals, natural antioxidants,
n-3 and n-6 fatty acids, and proteins. Sea buckthorn is valued for its antioxidant, cardioprotective,
antiatherogenic, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-carcinogenic, immunomodulatory, antiviral,
antibacterial, anti-inammatory and vasorelaxant effects. Due to these and other positive effects,
the plant is included in both human and animal nutrition, in the latter case to increase the
biological value of animal products. This review summarises the botanical characteristics of sea
buckthorn, lists the bio-active substances contained in individual parts of the plant, their effects
in the prevention of a number of different diseases and their possible utilisation in human and
Bioactive substances, therapeutic effects, functional food, nutrients
For humankind, vegetation is a source of basic nutrients, raw materials for industrial
use as well as many bioactive substances. Plants with exceptional properties and a wide
range of application include, beside others, the sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides
L.). Its Latin name is derived from the words “hippo”, meaning horse, and “phaos”, which
is gloss or are (Michel et al. 2012). Thus the compound may be translated as a shining
horse (Li and Beverid ge 2003), or more freely as a glossy coat (Val íček and Havelk a
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) is included in the Elaeagnaceae family
(Řezníček and Plšek 2008). It is a family of eudicots of the Rosales order. The family
includes around 100 species in three genera mostly found in the moderate geographical
latitudes of the Northern hemisphere. Seaberries are classied in the plant taxonomy into
six species and 12 subspecies (Bal et al. 2011). Sea buckthorn is native to Central Asia
(Řez níček and Plš ek 2008) and North-Western Europe. At present, it is also grown in
Canada and the USA (Yang and Ka llio 2001). Seaberries grown in the Czech Republic
mainly include sea buckthorn and Russian silverberry.
Seaberries are shrubs or small trees mostly no more than 3 to 4 m high (Michel et al.
2012). They are trees with alternate, often silver-gray, simple leaves and blossom without
crown. Seaberry branches are often covered with numerous rigid thorns (Řezníček and
Plšek 2008). Seaberries are dioecious and anemophilous. Male plants have ower buds ×
2–3 bigger than female plants. Flowers do not produce nectar and therefore, pollination by
insects is not possible; the only possibility is wind pollination (Li and Beveridge 2003).
ACTA VET. BRNO 2015, 84: 257–268; doi:10.2754/avb201584030257
Address for correspondence:
MVDr. Kateřina Karásková, Ph.D.
Department of Animal Nutrition
Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology
University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno
Palackého tř. 1/3, 612 42, Brno, Czech Republic
Phone: +420 541 562 673
Sea buckthorn has narrow lanceolate alternate leaves (Řezníček and Plšek 2008;
Michel et al. 2012). The top of the leaf is dark green. The bottom of the leaf is green with
silver-gray tone. The silver-gray colouring is caused by the presence of trichomes that are
only found on the bottom of leaves (Li and Beveridge 2003).
Seaberries naturally grow in higher altitudes at about 2000 to 3600 metres above sea
level. They are highly resistant to temperature extremes, well tolerating temperatures in
the range of –45 to +43 °C. They typically grow on riverbanks and on the sunny side of
steep slopes (Dhyani et al. 2007). Seaberries well tolerate drought, high levels of soil
salinity, and acid soils (Khan et al. 2010). Their root system is well organised. The roots
bear bulbils of dove egg size containing bacteria binding nitrogen in soil (Valíček and
Havelka 2008), as well as other essential components (Li and Beveridge 2003). The
roots are strong and that is why seaberries are often used to protect the soil against erosion
or in recultivation processes (Kumar and Sagar 2007).
Berries as well as other parts of sea buckthorn represent a rich source of biologically
active compounds. For this reason the plant has been in the centre of attention virtually
world-wide. The chemical and nutritional composition of sea buckhorn berries as well as
the content of bioactive compounds depend on many factors. The most important factors
include different subspecies, origin, climate conditions, time of harvesting, and methods of
processing (Bal et al. 2011).
Berries and seed of sea buckthorn
The numerous fruits are dark yellow, orange or red when ripe, oval shaped and 6–9 mm
long. The fruit consists of a seed wrapped in soft, juicy and eshy tissue – the pulp. The
seed is 2.8 to 4.2 mm long, dark brown, ellipse-shaped and glossy on the surface (Michel
et al. 2012).
The chemical composition of berries depends on the variety, climate conditions, fruit
size, ripeness and the processing method (Leskinen et al. 2010). Sea buckthorn and
especially its berries provide a rich source of many minerals, including, but not limited to
Ca, P, Fe, and K. Sea buckthorn has a large content of vitamin C, several-fold compared
to other fruits (Christaki 2012). The vitamin C content in sea buckthorn ranges between
360 and 2500 mg/100 g (Bal et al. 2011). The plant is a valuable source of the vitamin B
group, mainly B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboavin) (Christaki 2012). Other vitamins rich
in sea buckthorn include, for example, vitamin E (Michel et al. 2012), vitamins A and K
(Bekker and Glushenkova 2001; Fatima et al. 2012). The berries provide a good source
of carotenoids, mainly ß-caroten, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxantin (Michel et al. 2012). The
saccharide content is also high. The most common carbohydrates are glucose, fructose,
and xylose. All parts of the plant contain many different proteins, mainly albumins and
globulins (Li and Beveridge 2003). Sea buckthorn is a source of organic acids, mainly
malic acid, quinic acid, oxalic acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid. Sea buckthorn is a good
source of avonoids too, mainly quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, and isorhamnetin, and
an important source of tocopherols (Fatima et al. 2012).
The pulp of sea buckthorn contains mainly α-, ß- and γ-carotens, glycopene, and zeaxantin.
Vitamin B group is mainly represented by B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboavin), B6 (pyridoxine),
vitamin PP (nicotinamine, niacin, vitamin B3), and folic acid necessary for nucleic acid
synthesis. The vitamin C content depends on the variety and natural conditions. Plants
growing in Central Asia contain 150–200 mg/100 g, and Alpine plants contain around
800 mg/100 g. The berries do not contain ascorbinase for ascorbic acidolysis, thus vitamin
C is well preserved in dry fruit and in products (Valíček and Havelka 2008). The peel of
the stem and fruits contains 5-hydroxytryptamine, which is found rarely in plants (Kumar
et al. 2011). This substance (5-hydroxytryptamine) is used for treatment of post-shock
Sea buckthorn leaves
The leaves contain a remarkable quantity of nutrients and bioactive substances, mainly
phenolic. They contain on average 3.8% of saccharides, 0.2% of protopectin, 1% of
organic acids, 170 mg/100 g of catechin, polyphenols, carotenoid lycopene, bioavonoids,
and coumarins. The leaves also contain a signicant concentration of vitamin C (up to
370 mg/100 g) and tannins (8%) (Valíček and Havelka 2008).
Sea buckthorn oils
Two oil types may be extracted from the sea buckthorn, either from the pulp or from the
seeds. The pulp contains 4–13% of oil, and dry pulp contains about 20–25% of oil (Zeb
2006; Valíček and Havelka 2008). Sea buckthorn is a good source of mainly unsaturated
fatty acids (Christaki 2012). The pulp oil contains 180–240 mg of carotenoids in 100 g,
of them 40–100 mg in form of caroten, 110–330 mg of vitamin E and unsaturated fatty
acids, mainly linoleic and linolenic acids. Specic types of acids include ursolic acid and
oleanolic acid, with anti-inammatory, wound healing, toning and blood pressure reducing
effects (Valíček and Havelka 2008). The pulp oil contains the highest concentration of
palmitoleic acid (16:1, n-7), up to 43% (Fatima et al. 2012).
Sea buckthorn seeds contain 8–20% oil (Kumar et al. 2011). The oil content is mainly
affected by the harvest time, size, and colour of berries (Yang and Kallio 2002). Seed
oil mainly includes unsaturated fatty acids – 90% (linoleic 47 mg, linolenic 18 mg, oleic
16 mg) and saturated palmitic acid (Valíček and Havelka 2008). Seed oil is the only oil
with the linoleic acid to linolenic acid ratio of 1:1 (Yang and Kallio 2002; Cenkowski
et al. 2006; Kumar et al. 2011).
Oil pressed from sea buckthorn seeds is mainly rich in essential fatty acids such as
linoleic acid (18:2, n-6), making up to 42% of the total fatty acid, and α-linolenic acid
(18:3, n-3), up to nearly 39% of the total fatty acid content. Sea buckthorn is also a good
source of oleic acid (18:1) (Christaki 2012). In addition to the above, the oil also contains
other n-3 and n-6 as well as n-7 and n-9 fatty acids, which are present in lower quantities
(Solcan et al. 2013).
Selected major effects on health of organisms
The sea buckthorn berries have been used for centuries by inhabitants of Europe, Central
and South-Eastern Asia in traditional medicine for treatment of different diseases as well as
for disease prevention (Li and Beveridge 2003; Michel et al. 2012). In China sea berries
have been used in traditional medicine for centuries (Li and Beveridge 2003).
At present, sea buckthorn has become popular especially for its positive effects on
the human organism. Sea buckthorn is valued for its antioxidant, cardioprotective,
antiatherogenic, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, anti-carcinogenic, immunomodulating,
antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inammatory and vasodilating effects (Table 1). It also reduces
occurrence of stomach ulcers, supports wound healing, accelerates treatment of skin
disorders and reduces pain (Suryakumar and Gupta 2011; Christaki 2012; Michel et
al. 2012). Other important properties of sea buckthorn include its cytoprotective effects.
Sea buckthorn acts positively against asthma and pulmonary diseases (Upadhyay et al.
2010), against increased sebum secretion and affects platelet aggregation (Khan et al.
2010). Its antistress and adaptogenic activities have been conrmed (Michel et al. 2012).
Sea buckthorn also positively affects metabolic diseases (Bal et al. 2011), with the
ability to slow down ageing and protect against radiation-induced damage, accelerate the
healing of burns and frostbites, and reduce hair loss. Sea buckthorn also positively affects
mental functions, in particular reducing memory loss in elderly people. Its positive effects
have been utilised for acceleration of wound healing, especially in people after ear, nose
and throat operations where seaberry oil has been part of the treatment. The oil has also
been used for protection against solar radiation (Li and Beveridge 2003). Sea berry
products may be used in various drug forms from liquids via powder, patches, pastes, lms,
ointments and aerosols to suppositories (Li and Beveridge 2003).
Antioxidant effects and immunomodulating properties
Sea buckthorn contains many natural antioxidants in all of its parts. Its leaves, stems,
tubers, roots as well as blossom contain a high content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and
also carotenoids, polyphenols, avonoids, tocopherols, alkaloids, chlorophyll derivates,
amino acids and amines (Bal et al. 2011; Christaki 2012). Other natural antioxidants
Table 1. Major components of sea buckthorn and their principal therapeutic effects (Mic hel et al. 2012)
Component Therapeutic effect
Tocopherols Minimisation of lipid oxidisation
Carotenoids Contribution to collagen synthesis
Contribution to epithelium growth
Vitamin K Wound healing support
Positive effect against ulceration
Vitamin C Antioxidant activity
Maintenance of membrane cell integrity
Vitamin B complex Cellular renewal stimulation
Nerve tissue regeneration
Improvement of micro-circulation in the skin
Phytosterols Antiatherogenic effect
Prevention of ulceration
Regulation of inammatory processes
Polyphenolic components Cytoprotective effect
Cardio protective effect
Wound healing support
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) Neuroprotective effect
Reduction of risk of myocardial infarction and stroke
Organic acids Wound healing support
Reduction of risk of arthritis
Coumarins and triterpens Support for appetite, sleep, memory and learning
Blood circulation increase
Zinc Enzyme cofactor function
Increased utilisation of vitamin A
present in sea buckthorn include sterols, tannins, vitamins, and minerals (Kumar et al.
Natural antioxidants inhibit or delay the oxidation of other molecules by inhibiting the
initiation or propagation of oxidizing chain reactions (Bal et al. 2011). Free radicals,
a product of cellular metabolism, can cause a number of diseases by exogenous chemical
or stress effects (cancer, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular and nerve system disorders)
(Upadhyay et al. 2010; Kumar et al. 2013). Kim et al. (2011) evaluated the antioxidant and
alpha-glycosidase inhibitory effects from the extract, fractions, and isolated compounds of
sea buckthorn leaves The butanol fraction, which contained the highest amount of phenolic
compounds, showed higher radical-scavenging activity and also the most powerful alpha-
glycosidase inhibitory effect.
Flavonoids of sea buckthorn also provide antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effects. They
protect cells against oxidative damage, subsequent genetic mutations, and cancer (Gao et
al. 2000; Zeb 2006; Suryakumar and Gupta 2011). A potential chemopreventive effect
of sea buckthorn berries in mice was observed by Suryakumar and Gupta (2011). In
high-fat diet-induced obese mice sea buckthorn leaf tea proved their antioxidant effect and
effect of visceral obesity reduction (Lee et al. 2011).
Flavonoids contained in sea buckthorn as well as the unsaturated fatty acids contained
in sea berry oil are able to improve the function of the cardiovascular system (Zeb
2006; Suryakumar and Gupta 2011) and to prevent heart diseases (Christaki 2012).
Flavonoids show a favourable effect on the strength of heart muscle contraction and the
cardiac rhythm (Li and Beveridge 2003; Kumar et al. 2013). The effect of sea buckthorn
on cardiovascular functions and coronary microvessels in spontaneously hypertensive
stroke-prone rats was studied by Koyama et al. (2009). Experimental rats were fed
a feed enriched with sea buckthorn powder at the amount of 0.7 g/kg of feed for 60 days.
The effects included a signicant decrease of the mean arterial blood pressure, heart rate,
total plasma cholesterol, triglycerides and glycated haemoglobin in the rats. The arteriolar
capillary portions of microvessels expressing alkaline phosphatase decreased, but there was
a trend for an increase in the total capillary density. It was concluded that sea buckthorn
fruits improved the metabolic processes and reduced hypertensive stress on the ventricular
Another study focusing on the antihypertensive effect of total avonoids from sea
buckthorn seeds and mechanism of their action in long-term sucrose-fed rats by evaluating
its ability to regulate insulin and angiotensin II concentrations was done by Pang et al.
(2008). Feeding a high sucrose diet (HS: 77% kJ from carbohydrates, 16% from proteins,
6% from lipids) for 6 weeks resulted in a signicant increase of the systolic blood pressure
by 25.6%, plasmatic insulin concentrations by 114.24%, triglyceride contents by 82.14%,
and activated angiotensin II contents in the heart and the kidneys. Administration of a diet
enriched with sea buckthorn avonoids signicantly reduced the increased hypertension,
hyperinsulinaemia and dyslipidaemia. In addition, this diet (mainly at 150 mg/kg/day)
increased the blood concentration of circulating angiotensin II. The results showed that
the antihypertensive effect of the sea buckthorn enriched diet at least in part improved
insulin sensitivity and blocked the angiotensin II signal path. The study proved that a diet
with total avonoids extracted from sea buckthorn seed residues may be used for treatment
of hyperinsulinaemia in the non-diabetic state with cardiovascular diseases (Pang et al.
The most important avonoids are quercetin and isorhamnetin (Suryakumar and
Gupta 2011). The abovementioned effects are probably achieved by reduced blood glucose
concentrations, absorption of free radicals (Suomela et al. 2006), reduced susceptibility of
low-density lipoproteins to oxidation (Eccleston et al. 2002) and anti-hypertensive effect
(Wang et al. 2011).
Sea buckthorn food supplementation has been proved to be able to reduce total cholesterol,
triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol, and increase HDL-cholesterol levels in comparison to
sea buckthorn-free diet (Yang and Kallio 2002; Suryakumar and Gupta 2011). Seed
oil is the most effective in this area (Christaki 2012). Basu et al. (2007) found that seed
oil of seaberries showed signicant antiatherogenic and cardioprotective effects in rabbits.
Antibacterial and antiviral effects
Antibiotic treatment of bacterial diseases is in many cases less effective and leaves
residues in animal products (e.g., bee products, etc.). It is therefore necessary to nd an
alternative, especially using natural ingredients (Kuzyšinová et al. 2014). The phenolic
compounds of sea buckthorn represent the main group of phytochemicals which exhibit
antibacterial and also antiviral effects. These compounds both suppress gram-negative
bacteria (Khan et al. 2010) and reduce gram-positive bacteria (Kumar and Sagar 2007).
A recent study involves a new phytochemical substance called hipporamin. It is a phenolic
compound from a nature source (Michel et al. 2012). Hipporamin positively suppresses
a wide spectrum of bacterial as well as viral diseases (Suryakumar and Gupta 2011).
Antimicrobial activities have also been reported for sea buckthorn berries (Puupponen-
Pimia et al. 2001), seeds (Chauhan et al. 2007) and leaves (Upadhyay et al. 2010).
Mic hel et al. (2012) report that the active agents contained in sea buckthorn manly inhibit
Bacillus cereus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Yersinia enterocolitica
and Enterococus faecalis bacteria. These effects are mainly shown by extracts from sea
buckthorn leaves. Oil obtained by pressing is a very effective inhibitor of bacterial growth,
especially of Escherichia coli (Christaki 2012). Also Kaushal and Sharma (2011)
conrmed that sea buckthorn seed oil showed good antimicrobial properties (growth
inhibition zone diam. 4.0 mm) against Escherichia coli.
Sea buckthorn has also shown unique biological properties against viral diseases, anti-
viral activity against the inuenza virus and herpes virus. The suppressing effect on the
inuenza virus is provided by inhibition of viral neuraminidase present in the virus. Sea
buckthorn also positively inhibits HIV infections in cellular cultures (Shipu lina et al.
2005; Michel et al. 2012). J ain et al. (2008) suggest that the sea buckthorn leaf extract
has a signicant anti-Dengue activity and has a potential for the treatment of Dengue fever.
In traditional medicine sea buckthorn has been used for treatment of stomach ulcers for its
effect on anti-inammatory mediators (Xing 2002). Oil and leaves support regeneration of
skin wounds and support treatment of skin disorders (Upadh yay et al. 2009). Palmitoleic
acid contained in sea buckthorn is a component of skin fat and thus represents a valuable
component of topical treatment of cellular tissue and wounds (Bal et al. 2011; Kumar et
al. 2011). Sea buckthorn leaves are able to protect irradiated mice against inammation
(Tiwari and Bala 2011). Li and Bever idge (2003) report that Russian cosmonauts used
sea buckthorn berries in their diet and oils in creams for protection against solar radiation.
Other positives of sea buckthorn include mitigation of the symptoms of diabetes mellitus.
This effect is caused by achieving reduced blood glucose concentrations by dietary
supplementation with sea buckthorn (Chr istak i 2012).
In diabetes, sea buckthorn not only affected the lowering of blood sugar including fasting
blood glucose and two h postprandial blood glucose, but also the treating of complications.
Sea buckthorn has been shown to be effective in cell cultures, animal studies, and clinical
practice. Although sea buckthorn has been shown to have positive effects in relieving
symptoms such as fatigue, dry mouth, and dry eye in non-diabetic diseases, it is still
unclear whether it has a therapeutic effect on the symptoms of diabetes. Studies have to be
conducted to test and verify the effect of sea buckthorn on symptoms in diabetic patients.
On the whole, sea buckthorn is a candidate for complementary therapy of diabetes (Wang
et al. 2011).
Favourable effects of sea buckthorn also include the anticarcinogenic activity (Mi chel
et al. 2012). Anticarcinogenic effects have mainly been reported for substances extracted
from sea buckthorn berries (Ch ristak i 2012). One of the main components contributing
to this effect is quercetin that induces apoptosis in cancer cells. The best effect has been
reported in relation to the treatment of patients with colon cancer, leukaemia, and prostatic
carcinoma (Pate l et al. 2012). Other studies suggest that sea buckthorn oil alleviates
haematological damage caused by chemotherapy, such as part of treatment of leukaemia
(Yan g and Kall io 2002). Therapeutic effects are ascribed to substances such as catechin,
gallocatechin, and epigallocatechin (Kha n et al. 2010). Sea buckthorn has also been
reported to favourably affect the inhibition of certain factors causing stomach cancer in
humans (Li and Bev eridge 2003).
Yasukawa et al. (2009) isolated and identied three phenolic compounds, (+)-catechin,
(+)-gallocatechin, and (-)-epigallocatechin and a tritepenoid, ursolic acid from the active
fraction of the 70% ethanol extract of sea buckthorn which exhibited a remarkable anti-
Induction of the apoptotic activity and apoptotic morphological changes of the nucleus
including chromatin condensation were also observed in the HL-60 cells treated with some
of the avonols isolated from sea buckthorn such as quercetin, kaempherol, and myricetin
(Hibasami et al. 2005).
The liver is often affected by a multitude of environmental pollutants and drugs, all
of which place a burden on this vital organ which can damage and weaken the liver and
eventually lead to hepatitis or cirrhosis (Zimmerman and Ishak 1994). Sea buckthorn has
shown numerous positive effects on liver protection and treatment of liver diseases (Barkat
et al. 2010). Hepatotoxins such as ethanol, carbon tetrachloride, and acetaminophen cause
various degrees of hepatocyte damage, degeneration, and subsequent death of hepatic cells
(Ramesbabu et al. 2011; Michel et al. 2012; Solcan et al. 2013). Substances contained
in sea buckthorn such as unsaturated fatty acids, α-tocopherol or ß-caroten protect hepatic
cells against damage by hepatotoxins (Ramesbabu et al. 2011). Flavonoids are mainly
responsible for protection against liver fattening (Li and Beveridge 2003). Sea buckthorn
might also contribute to prevention of liver brosis in the future (Suryakumar and Gupta
A trial focused on the effect of sea buckthorn on the toxicity of oxidized cholesterol
proved that sea buckthorn administered in the diet reduced plasma concentrations of alanine
transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), and alkalic phosphatase (ALP), which
indicates that the plant may have a protective effect against hepatotoxicity induced by
oxidized cholesterol (Yeh et al. 2012).
The hepatoprotective activity of sea buckthorn leaves and seed oil was evaluated using
carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced hepatic damage in animals (Geetha et al. 2008; Hsu
et al. 2009). The results showed that sea buckthorn leaf alcoholic extract as well as seed oil
ameliorated CCl4-induced liver injury as evidenced by both histological and biochemical
In a study by Maheshwari et al. (2011), some of the phenolic constituents of sea
buckthorn leaves, such as gallic acid, myricetin, quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin
were identied in the phenol rich fraction by reverse-phase high-performance liquid
chromatography (RP-HPLC). Oral administration of the phenol rich fraction at dose of
25–75 mg/kg body weight signicantly protected from CCl4 induced elevation in aspartate
aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase and bilirubin in
serum, enhancing hepatic antioxidants. These observations suggest that the phenol rich
fraction has a potent antioxidant activity and prevents against CCl4 induced oxidative
damage in the liver.
Sea buckthorn strengthens and accelerates the immune response of the organism (Mic hel
et al. 2012). It accelerates regeneration of mucous membranes in the gastrointestinal tract,
such as in the stomach, the large intestine, the urinary tract, and the oral cavity (Chr istaki
2012). The sea buckthorn components most contributing to the immunomodulating effect
include avonoids such as leucocyanidin and catechin in the rst place and then also
isorhamnetin, quercetin, and quassin. These substances strengthen the immune system of
the organism and increase resistance to illnesses (Li and Be verid g e 2003).
The immunoprotective effect of sea buckthorn fruit against immunodepression caused by
T-2 toxin was tested in broiler chicks (Ram asamy et al. 2010). The immunoprotective effect
of sea buckthorn and glucomanane was evaluated with the help of humoral immune reaction
against NCD (Newcastle disease virus), LaSota strain vaccine (haemoagglutination test),
immunoglobulin concentrations, phagocyte index and DTH (delayed-type hypersensitivity)
reaction against 2, 4-dinitrourobenzene (DNFB) between days 25 and 28 of the trial.
A signicant decrease of non-specic immunity was observed in the group receiving T-2
toxin, shown by the phagocyte index, DTH reaction, haemagglutination inhibition (HI)
titre and total serum Ig, in comparison with the healthy control group. The group fed sea
buckthorn and glucomanane showed a signicant increase of the HI titre and total serum
Ig. These birds also showed a signicant increase of the DTH reaction and non-specic
immune response. Sea buckthorn itself protected against the immunosuppressive effect
of T-2 toxin, but sea buckthorn in combination with glucomanane showed an additional
protective effect against T-2 toxicity.
According to Lav inia et al. (2009) essential oils extracted from sea buckthorn berries
improve the immune response in broilers. The skin of broiler chicks fed sea buckthorn
showed a higher degree of lymph-follicular reaction (Lonar e et al. 2009). Sea buckthorn
oil supports tissue regeneration, with consequent positive effects on mucous membranes
such as in the stomach (Erkko la and Yang 2003), the duodenum (La vinia et al. 2009),
the urogenital tract, and the oral cavity (Erk kola and Yang 2003).
Effects suppressing the occurrence of gastric and duodenal ulcers
Hexane extract from sea buckthorn acts positively against indomethacin, stress, and
ethanol which contribute to the development of gastric ulcers (Khan et al. 2010). The
extract also shows positive effects in the treatment of duodenal ulcers (Li and Beve ridge
Huff et al. (2012) studied the efcacy of a commercial product containing the berries
and pulp of sea buckthorn in the therapy and prevention of gastric ulcers in horses. The
mean score of non-glandular gastric ulcers signicantly (P < 0.05) increased in all the
horses after an intermittent feed deprivation. The number of glandular ulcers and their
severity were signicantly lower in horses fed sea buckthorn enriched feed compared to the
control group. Sea buckthorn was not effective in the therapy/prevention of natural equine
non-glandular ulcers, however, the glandular ulcer score was signicantly lower in the sea
buckthorn fed group after feed deprivation. Sea buckthorn may therefore be used in the
prevention of glandular ulcers in horses in case of intermittent feeding.
Substances contained in sea buckthorn prevent dermatological diseases such as atopic
eczema (Khan et al. 2010). Creams containing sea buckthorn extracts support treatment of
skin disorders such as melanosis, chloasma, xeroderma, and recurrent dermatitis (Li and
Bev eridg e 2003; Barka t et al. 2010).
Burnt sheep were administered sea buckthorn seed oil and in 6, 14 and 21 days after
the injury, the wound blood ow and epithelization were determined. After 14 days the
percentage of epithelization in the areas treated with sea buckthorn was higher than in the
untreated areas. The epithelization time was signicantly shorter compared to the untreated
areas (Ito et al. 2014).
Positive effects on platelets are mainly shown by avonoids and fatty acids. Their main
function is suppression of platelet aggregation induced by collagen, probably by inhibition
of the thyrosine kinase activity (Patel et al. 2012). Another substance signicantly
contributing to platelet aggregation is sitosterol (Joh ansso n et al. 2000).
Thanks to the abovementioned favourable effects on the health of organisms, in the
future sea buckthorn and its products may be expected to be widely used in therapy and
prevention both in humans and animals.
Role of sea buckthorn in human and animal nutrition
Interest in utilisation of sea buckthorn products has been increasing recently in the area
of human as well as animal nutrition. Thanks to the functional properties and unique taste
of the berries they can be used for production of juice, bonbons, jelly, jam, alcoholic and
non-alcoholic beverages or dairy product avours (Gao et al. 2000; Bal et al. 2011). Oils
from the seeds and pulp may be used as ingredients in food supplements such as jelly, plant
capsules, or oral uids (Yan g and Kalil o 2002). They are also used in cosmetic products
such as shampoo (B a l et al. 2011). Leaves are used for production of extracts, teas or
cosmetics (Gua n et al. 2005).
Sto bdan et al. (2013) report that sea buckthorn is a rich source of nutrients and bioactive
substances. Juice made from the berries is rich in sugar, organic acids, amino acids,
essential fatty acids, phytosterol, avonoids, vitamins, and minerals. The juice contains
24 minerals and 18 different amino acids. Total phytosterol content is × 4–20 higher than
in soybean oil. Seeds represent a valuable source of oil with high level of oleic acid and the
1 : 1 ratio of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. The oil absorbs ultraviolet light and promotes healthy
skin. The leaves contain many nutrients and bioactive substances such as carotenoids, free
and esteried sterols, triterpenols, and isoprenols.
Sea buckthorn has long been used in animal nutrition as an additive to feed mixtures
for its favourable effects on animal health. A positive effect on the quality of farm animal
products has been observed. Ancient Greeks used leaves and twigs of sea buckthorn for
feeding animals, with a positive effect on the weight gain and shinning coat, especially in
horses (Sur yakum ar and Gupt a 2011).
Kau shal and Sharm a (2011) report that seed cakes and sea buckthorn leaves
are rich in proteins and minerals and represent a benecial animal feed. Similarly
Bis was et al. (2010) consider sea buckthorn leaves, seed and berry residues a suitable
feed for farm animals and poultry, mainly in dry and cold regions. In poultry, sea
buckthorn positively affected the egg production and body weight of laying hens
Although information about potential applications of sea buckthorn and its products in
animal nutrition and its potential positive impact on animal product quality is available,
further research studies and knowledge in this area may signicantly contribute to the
extension of the sea buckthorn application area.
The study was supported by the Internal Grant Agency of the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical
Sciences in Brno IGA 1/2014/FVHE.
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