Sea buckthorn oil

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This article is about the oil produced from the pulp or seeds. For the shrub, see Sea-buckthorn.
The fruit of the sea-buckthorn

Sea buckthorn oil is derived from plants in a group of species of the genus Hippophae, the most commonly used of which is Hippophae rhamnoides. As species belonging to this genus accumulate lipids in the mesocarp (the fleshy part of the fruit),[1] oil can be extracted from either the seeds or the pulp of the fruit.

Chemical constituents[edit]

Oil content in seeds of sea buckthorn is on average 7-11 % while oil content of pulp is around 1.5-3 % (per fresh weight).[1] Seed oil is characterized with high contents of polyunsaturated fatty acids[1] while pulp oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids[1] and carotenoids.[2] Both oils also contain dense amounts of tocopherols, tocotrienols [3] and plant sterols.[4]

Fatty acids[edit]

Oils from sea buckthorn seeds and pulp differ considerably in fatty acid composition. While linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid are the major fatty acids in seed oil, sea buckthorn pulp oil contains approximately 65% combined of the monounsaturated fatty acid, palmitoleic acid, and the saturated fatty acid, palmitic acid.[1] Few other vegetable oils contain a similar quantity of these fatty acids.

Tocopherols and tocotrienols[edit]

α-Tocopherol is the major vitamin E compound in sea buckthorn. Seed oil also contains considerable amounts of gamma-tocopherol. The total amount of tocopherols and tocotrienols in seed oil is roughly 100–300 mg/100 g and in pulp oil 100–200 mg/100 g of oil.[3]


As carotenoids are the pigments that give sea buckthorn berry its distinctive colour, these compounds are present in high amounts in pulp oil. However, the total content of carotenoids varies (300–2000 mg/100 g) greatly between different growth locations and subspecies.[5] In general, the main carotenoids present in pulp oil are beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lycopene.[2]

Plant sterols[edit]

Both seed and pulp oil also contain considerable amounts of plant sterols (12-23 g/kg and 10-29 g/kg of oil, respectively). Beta-sitosterol is the major sterol compound throughout the berry which constitutes 57-83% of total sterols.[4]

Health benefits[edit]

Skin and mucous membrane[edit]

In clinical trials, oral sea buckthorn oil supplementation has been shown to alleviate symptoms of dry eyes[6] and atopic dermatitis.[7] Intake of sea buckthorn oil also had beneficial effect on vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women.[8] However, it has not yet been demonstrated which compounds in sea buckthorn oil mediate these effects, although it has been suggested that polyunsaturated fatty acids present in seed oil could have anti-inflammatory effects.[9]

Cardiovascular health[edit]

A few studies have investigated the beneficial impact of sea buckthorn oil on cardiovascular health. Sea buckthorn oil significantly decreased platelet aggregation in one small-scale preliminary study,[10] while pulp oil significantly increased plasma HDL levels in another.[7] Additionally, sea buckthorn oil improved postprandial metabolic profiles[11] and decreased serum cholesterol[11] and VCAM-1[12] levels in overweight women.

Liver protection[edit]

Seed oil of sea buckthorn has been shown in animal models to possess hepatoprotective activity. This effect was concluded to be antioxidative as seed oil protected liver cells from oxidative stress induced by hepatotoxic compounds.[13][14]


Due to its unique botanical and nutritional properties, and there being no reported evidence of sea-buckthorn oil causing adverse reactions or negative side effects, the oil is also used as a natural agent that may benefit diseases of mucous membranes[15] including aphthous ulcers, esophagitis, acid reflux, and peptic ulcers, as well as dermatological diseases and skin conditions.[16][dubious ][unreliable medical source?] However, more evidence is required to support these claims.[17]

In Mongolia, Russia, and China, pulp oil may also be used topically to treat skin burns from radiation.[18] Sea buckthorn oil has also been marketed by cosmetic and health companies in anti-aging preparations [19] and oral care products.[20]


  1. ^ a b c d e Yang, Baoru; Kallio, Heikki P. (April 2001). "Fatty acid composition of lipids in sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides L.) berries of different origins". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49 (4): 1939–1947. doi:10.1021/jf001059s. ISSN 0021-8561. Retrieved 2015-06-10. 
  2. ^ a b Andersson, Staffan C.; Olsson, Marie E.; Johansson, Eva; Rumpunen, Kimmo (2009). "Carotenoids in sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) berries during ripening and use of pheophytin a as a maturity marker". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 57 (1): 250–258. doi:10.1021/jf802599f. ISSN 0021-8561. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  3. ^ a b Kallio, Heikki; Yang, Baoru; Peippo, Pekka; Tahvonen, Raija; Pan, Ruilin (April 2002). "Triacylglycerols, glycerophospholipids, tocopherols, and tocotrienols in berries and seeds of two subspecies (ssp. sinensis and mongolica) of sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides)". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 50 (10): 3004–3009. doi:10.1021/jf011556o. ISSN 0021-8561. Retrieved 2015-06-10. 
  4. ^ a b Yang, Baoru; Karlsson, Riina M.; Oksman, Pentti H.; Kallio, Heikki P. (March 2001). "Phytosterols in sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides L.) berries:  identification and effects of different origins and harvesting times". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49 (11): 5620–5629. doi:10.1021/jf010813m. ISSN 0021-8561. Retrieved 2015-06-10. 
  5. ^ Bal, Lalit M.; Meda, Venkatesh; Naik, S. N.; Satya, Santosh (2011). "Sea buckthorn berries: a potential source of valuable nutrients for nutraceuticals and cosmoceuticals". Food Research International. Exotic Fruits: their Composition, Nutraceutical and Agroindustrial Potential 44 (7): 1718–1727. doi:10.1016/j.foodres.2011.03.002. ISSN 0963-9969. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  6. ^ Larmo, Petra S.; Järvinen, Riikka L.; Setälä, Niko L.; Yang, Baoru; Viitanen, Matti H.; Engblom, Janne R. K.; Tahvonen, Raija L.; Kallio, Heikki P. (August 2010). "Oral sea buckthorn oil attenuates tear film osmolarity and symptoms in individuals with dry eye". The Journal of Nutrition 140 (8): 1462–1468. doi:10.3945/jn.109.118901. ISSN 1541-6100. PMID 20554904. 
  7. ^ a b Yang, B.; Kalimo, K. O.; Mattila, L. M.; Kallio, S. E.; Katajisto, J. K.; Peltola, O. J.; Kallio, H. P. (November 1999). "Effects of dietary supplementation with sea buckthorn (Hippophaë rhamnoides) seed and pulp oils on atopic dermatitis". The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 10 (11): 622–630. ISSN 0955-2863. PMID 15539258. 
  8. ^ Larmo, Petra S.; Yang, Baoru; Hyssälä, Juha; Kallio, Heikki P.; Erkkola, Risto (March 2014). "Effects of sea buckthorn oil intake on vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study". Maturitas 79 (3): 316–321. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.07.010. ISSN 0378-5122. Retrieved 2015-06-09. 
  9. ^ Järvinen, Riikka L.; Larmo, Petra S.; Setälä, Niko L.; Yang, Baoru; Engblom, Janne Rk; Viitanen, Matti H.; Kallio, Heikki P. (September 2011). "Effects of oral sea buckthorn oil on tear film fatty acids in individuals with dry eye". Cornea 30 (9): 1013–1019. doi:10.1097/ICO.0b013e3182035ad9. ISSN 1536-4798. PMID 21832964. 
  10. ^ Johansson, A. K.; Korte, H.; Yang, B.; Stanley, J. C.; Kallio, H. P. (October 2000). "Sea buckthorn berry oil inhibits platelet aggregation". The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 11 (10): 491–495. ISSN 0955-2863. PMID 11120446. 
  11. ^ a b Larmo, Petra S.; Kangas, Antti J.; Soininen, Pasi; Lehtonen, Henna-Maria; Suomela, Jukka-Pekka; Yang, Baoru; Viikari, Jorma; Ala-Korpela, Mika; Kallio, Heikki P. (October 2013). "Effects of sea buckthorn and bilberry on serum metabolites differ according to baseline metabolic profiles in overweight women: a randomized crossover trial". The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 98 (4): 941–951. doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.060590. ISSN 1938-3207. PMID 23945716. 
  12. ^ Lehtonen, H.-M.; Suomela, J.-P.; Tahvonen, R.; Yang, B.; Venojärvi, M.; Viikari, J.; Kallio, H. (March 2011). "Different berries and berry fractions have various but slightly positive effects on the associated variables of metabolic diseases on overweight and obese women". European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 65 (3): 394–401. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.268. ISSN 1476-5640. PMID 21224867. 
  13. ^ Hsu, Yu-Wen; Tsai, Chia-Fang; Chen, Wen-Kang; Lu, Fung-Jou (September 2009). "Protective effects of seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) seed oil against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in mice". Food and Chemical Toxicology: An International Journal Published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association 47 (9): 2281–2288. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2009.06.015. ISSN 1873-6351. PMID 19524009. 
  14. ^ Solcan, Carmen; Gogu, Mihaela; Floristean, Viorel; Oprisan, Bogdan; Solcan, Gheorghe (April 2013). "The hepatoprotective effect of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) berries on induced aflatoxin B1 poisoning in chickens". Poultry Science 92 (4): 966–974. doi:10.3382/ps.2012-02572. ISSN 0032-5791. PMID 23472020. 
  15. ^ Xu Mingyu, Sun Xiaoxuan, Cui Jinhua Yang. "The medicinal research and development of seabuckthorn" (PDF). Xiyuan Hospital of the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine of China. 
  16. ^ Thompson, Caroline (27 July 2010). "The Side Effects of Sea Buckthorn Oil". LiveStrong. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "Sea Buckthorn". WebMD. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  18. ^ Wang ZY, Luo XL, He CP (January 2006). "Management of burn wounds with Hippophae rhamnoides oil" (PDF). Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao (in Chinese) 26 (1): 124–5. PMID 16495193. 
  19. ^ "Anti-aging sea buckthorn day cream with antioxidants and berry seed oil". Ecouna AB. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "Natural Oral Care: Sea Buckthorn Oil for Healthy Teeth". OilyOily. Retrieved 3 November 2013.