Why plants (eg. parsley) can keep vitamin C despite all the sun?

Why plants (eg. parsley) can keep vitamin C despite all the sun?

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I have read that vitamin C is highly sensitive to light. So, how could parsley, for instance keep its vitamin C as it's flooded with sunlight?

UV light promotes the photo-oxidation of ascorbic acid (AsA) to dehydroascorbic acid (DHA).

DHA can be reduced to AsA by a specific dehydrogenase using reduced glutathione as reductant. I'm pretty sure that all cells are able to carry out this recycling of ascorbate.

Interestingly, in plants it appears that ascorbate acts as an electron donor to photosystem II (which is equivalent to it being oxidised).

7 food pairings that will increase nutrient absorption

We all have those foods that we love eating together: peanut butter and jelly, watermelon and feta, yogurt and berries. But it turns out there may be a reason to combine certain foods in one sitting beyond simply the taste.

How you combine foods can majorly impact the benefit you get from them: increasing the absorption of important nutrients and boosting the effectiveness of antioxidants. See which surprising food combos nutritionists recommend the most.


To best absorb non-heme iron, aka plant-based iron, you need to give it a little boost by pairing it with a source of vitamin C. The vitamin C helps break the iron down into a form that the body can more easily absorb. It’s not enough to eat a daily diet that contains both nutrients — absorption of the iron will be much greater if the nutrients are paired in a single meal, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Add a squeeze of lemon or orange juice to a spinach salad, or toss diced apples into a lentil dish.


In each red gem of a tomato, you’ll find lycopene, an incredible disease-fighting antioxidant. Lycopene may help prevent prostate cancer, for starters. “Cooking the tomatoes, as well as serving them with a bit of olive oil, has shown to enhance the body’s absorption of the photochemical,” says Joan Salge Blake, EdD, RDN, a clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University. Whip up a tomato sauce with olive oil, or drizzle oil onto baked tomatoes. Or combine the ingredients in a summer grain bowl or a tomato naan pizza.


Spicy stir-fry, anyone? “Turmeric has been used as a flavoring agent for centuries, but it also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Stephanie McKercher, RD, a culinary nutritionist in Denver, Colorado. The spice can help relieve symptoms of arthritis and may also benefit kidney health, according to a review study published in Redox Biology. While there haven't yet been enough human studies to fully understand how it works, preclinical studies show a slew of promising benefits that make it worthwhile to integrate a little turmeric into your diet. “Black pepper makes the beneficial compounds in turmeric more bioavailable, so I like to combine both spices in one dish for maximum benefit,” says McKercher. “They happen to taste delicious together, too — I use both in my recipe for golden milk muffins.”


This vitamin-and-mineral combo will help keep your bones healthy. “Vitamin D helps bring in more calcium from the foods you eat and the supplements you take,” says Ginger Hultin, RD, a Seattle-based spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “The two work together because the active vitamin D form causes a cascade of effects that increases the absorption of dietary calcium in the intestines. To get this pairing right, eat foods offering vitamin D, such as salmon, tuna, egg yolks or fortified foods like milk and non-dairy beverages such as soymilk and orange juice. Eat a variety of calcium-providing foods, including collard greens, broccoli, dried figs, oranges and dairy foods.”

Foods That Prevent Skin Cancer

Colorful Fruits and Veggies

As you strive for the five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables the American Cancer Society recommends, make sure there is plenty of dark green and orange in your mix. Each week, eat at least three servings of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale another four to six of dark green leafy vegetables, like spinach, beet leaves, and collard greens and seven of citrus fruits𠅊ll of which were found by the Italian study to be skin cancer protective when consumed in large amounts. "These foods contain powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols, carotenoids, and other bioactive substances, that may decrease the risk for melanoma," comments study author Cristina Fortes, Ph.D., researcher in the clinical epidemiology unit at the Istituto Dermopatico dell&aposImmacolata in Rome.

Fish Rich in Omega-3s

Thanks to the anti-inflammatory action of omega-3s, found mainly in shellfish and naturally fatty fish, eating at least a weekly serving of those foods may double your melanoma protection, Fortes&apos research found. Fortes adds that such a diet may also protect against nonmelanoma skin cancers, which are less deadly but more common. Australian researchers found that people who ate an average of one serving of omega-3 fatty acid-rich oily fish, like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout, every five days developed 28 percent fewer actinic keratoses—rough, scaly precancerous skin patches or growths that are caused by UV exposure and can turn into an early form of squamous cell carcinoma, according to a study published in 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Adding a dash of herbs to your salad, soup, chicken, fish, or anything else you love to eat not only makes your food more flavorful but also helps fortify your skin. Herbs can pack an antioxidant wallop—one tablespoon can have as much as a piece of fruit𠅊nd may protect against melanoma, according to Fortes&apos research. Fresh sage, rosemary, parsley, and basil offer the greatest benefits. "This doesn&apost mean you have to use four herbs at once," Fortes clarifies. "Just use some type of fresh herb every day."


Swap your daily coffee for a steaming cup of tea, which may help thwart the cascade of cellular damage set off by sun exposure. A lab study found that the polyphenol antioxidants in green and black teas inhibit the proteins necessary for skin cancer to develop. "They may also starve cancer development by limiting blood vessel growth around tumors," says study coauthor Zigang Dong, M.D., executive director and section leader of the cellular and molecular biology lab at the Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota in Austin. In Fortes&apos findings, drinking a daily cup of tea was linked to a lower incidence of melanoma. And Dartmouth Medical School researchers found that people who drank two cups or more daily were significantly less likely to get squamous cell carcinomas than non-tea drinkers.

Red Wine

You&aposve probably been hearing about red wine&aposs role as a potential cancer fighter for years, and some research shows that it could be a valuable addition to the list of foods that prevent skin cancer too. While there&aposs a strong Mediterranean wine culture, Fortes&apos data showed neither a protective nor a harmful effect on melanoma in wine drinkers. In the Australian study, however, people who drank a glass of wine every couple of days on average—red, white, or bubbly—reduced their rate of developing actinic keratoses (those precancerous skin patches or growths) by 27 percent. "Components in wine, such as catechins and resveratrol, may be tumor protective partially because of their antioxidant properties and may also inhibit growth of some human cancer cells," explains study coauthor Adele Green, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director and head of the cancer and population studies laboratory at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

Antioxidant-Rich Foods

"It&aposs not any one antioxidant or fancy supplement that makes a difference in cancer risk," says Collins. "Rather, the compounds seem to function synergistically." So your best bet is to regularly get a variety in your meals and snacks. Here&aposs where to find the powerhouse substances.

Beta-carotene: carrots, squash, mangoes, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes

Lutein: collard greens, spinach, kale

Lycopene: tomatoes, watermelon, guava, apricots

Selenium: Brazil nuts, some meats and breads

Vitamin A: sweet potatoes, milk, egg yolks, mozzarella

Vitamin C: many fruits and berries, cereals, fish

Vitamin E: almonds and other nuts many oils, including safflower and corn

You need protein to build and repair body tissue and fight viral and bacterial infections. It’s rare for anyone in the U.S. to be low on protein, and too much can be bad for your kidneys. Make sure you choose lean sources, such as beans and soy, lean beef, and skinless chicken or turkey.

Chicken soup appears to help fight colds in at least two research studies. It helps clear nasal congestion as well as thin mucus so you can better cough it up. Also, research shows it may have a mild anti-inflammatory effect that can help ease cold symptoms.

Drinking hot tea is another great old home remedy. Hot tea helps to thin mucus and ensure proper hydration of the body. Green and black teas are filled with flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants.


Bruce, D. The Sinus Cure, Ballantine, 2007.

Mayo Clinic: "Cold Remedies: What Works, What Doesn't, What Can't Hurt."

eMedicineHealth: "Colds Treatment: Self-Care at Home."

FDA: "Colds and Flu: Time Only Sure Cure."

American Lung Association: "A Survival Guide for Preventing and Treating Influenza and the Common Cold."

Nutrients: “Dietary Natural Products for Prevention and Treatment of Liver Cancer.”


I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention blueberries and blackberries. Those dark pigments in blueberries and black berries are called anthocyanins. Here’s a few reasons why these dark berries are superfoods:

Both Blackberries and blueberries are super high in antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage and protects the DNA, which helps prevent cancers. These berries also slow tumor growth and stop cancer spread, as well as encouraging the cancer cells to self-destruct.

The plant compounds called anthocyanins have strong antioxidant properties. One of the things these berries do is to help protect and actually reverse aging caused from sun exposure. Being in the sun can generate free radicals which then break down collagen and cause wrinkles.

A diet high in antioxidants from brightly colored fruits and vegetables has been proven to promote better skin quality due to their ability to fight free radicals in the skin and prevent skin cancer as well.

Other studies show that this active ingredient in these dark colored berries increases collagen production. One cup of berries supplies an abundant amount of vitamin C which is important for collagen production as well.

As you age, you want keep your mind sharp! Blueberries and blackberries slow down damage to brain cells as well, which can result in dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, blueberries and blackberries also protect against DNA damage, helping your cells to reproduce more healthy cells. They also fight metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and even cancer. Studies have shown over and over that blueberries increase longevity and slow the aging processes.


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Top 10 Potential L-Theanine Side Effects:

The following is a list of ten possible side effects from using L-Theanine. It’s important to remember that L-Theanine is considered to be a very safe dietary supplement and is regarded by most nutritionists as being free from adverse effects.

Nevertheless, some people do still experience some L-Theanine side effects, mostly due to the factors we outlined above.

Appetite Loss

Despite the fairly large amount of information on the internet about Theanine and appetite, there are actually no scientific articles available to date confirming that L-Theanine can affect your appetite.

However, there is a fair amount of anecdotal evidence that this supplement may reduce your appetite, as seen on the L-Theanine Erowid and Theanine Reddit post forums.

Lower blood pressure

There is a solid amount of research indicating that L-Theanine may have the potential to temporarily reduce your blood pressure.

For many people, this would be considered as an L-Theanine benefit. However, if you suffer from low blood pressure, you may want to consider using a lower-than-normal Theanine dosage.[7]

Difficulty concentrating

Again, this is a controversial L-Theanine side effect. Many studies have indicated that Theanine is a great supplement to improve cognitive performance, especially when combined with caffeine.[8] However, some people do report feeling a Theanine ‘brain-fog’, especially when using higher doses. This is written about by some people on Theanine Reddit posts.

This side effect would be considered as being a direct result of individual variation in people’s metabolism and bodies. Most people don’t experience this, but a few do. To avoid this effect, we’d recommend using an L-Theanine caffeine combination.


This is another anecdotal side effect. No studies to date have confirmed that diarrhea is a potential L-Theanine side effect. In fact, at least one study has shown that Theanine may have the potential to improve gastrointestinal discomfort when suffering from opioid withdrawal.[9]

There is a Theanine Reddit post about this side effect felt by some. However, people who experience this side effect tend to be combining L-Theanine and caffeine. Caffeine is known to act as a laxative and can cause diarrhea.[10] So, it’s difficult to tell whether this is really a potential L-Theanine side effect or if it is caused by caffeine.


Dizziness appears to be one of the most commonly reported adverse effects for Theanine. There are no studies to-date solidly confirming that L-Theanine alone can cause dizziness. One study, on eHealthMe, reported that 1 out of 35 persons experienced dizziness when using an L-Theanine supplement.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Some people report feeling slight gastrointestinal discomfort when using L-Theanine supplements. This is quite a rare side effect and is almost always mild in nature. Using a lower dose should resolve this issue.

Also, if you experience gastrointestinal discomfort when taking L-Theanine on an empty stomach, try using L-Theanine an hour or two after eating instead. This may help to reduce the L-Theanine negative side effects.


One of the top reported L-Theanine negative side effects is the experience of headaches. There is a fair amount of clinical research confirming that this may be one of the few genuine Theanine side effects.

For example, a 2008 study found that people taking L-Theanine supplements had increased ‘headache’ ratings compared to placebo. However, the combination of L-Theanine and caffeine reduced the headaches.[11]

To help prevent experiencing headaches when taking an L-Theanine supplement, we recommend using the minimum active dose (the lowest dose at which you still feel effects). If you really need to use a higher L-Theanine dosage, we recommend taking Theanine with caffeine.


As with most potential L-Theanine side effects, it is difficult to find any solid research to back up the claims of nausea as a negative effect. Most people who experience nausea from using Theanine tend to be combining it with another substance like alcohol or caffeine.

If you feel nauseous when you take L-Theanine, try using a lower dosage. You might also want to try taking the supplement at a different time of day and perhaps not on an empty stomach (if you took it on one and experienced nausea). Also, make sure you are not taking any L-Theanine combination with other substances.

Potential Interactions

L-Theanine has the potential to interact with a number of medications as well as with some supplements.

The most important interaction to watch for is that between L-Theanine and blood-pressure lowering medications. L-Theanine may have the potential to lower your blood pressure. Combining this with blood-pressure-lowering medication may have adverse effects.[12]

Other potential L-Theanine interactions are with stimulants. However, multiple studies have confirmed that the L-Theanine caffeine combination is beneficial for cognitive performance.[13] It seems that L-Theanine has the potential to eliminate some of the negative effects of caffeine use including headaches, anxiousness, and jitteriness.

L-Theanine is a relaxing supplement and it indirectly interacts with GABA receptors in your brain. For this reason, you may want to avoid using a Theanine GABA combination.

Over-relaxation / L-Theanine high

The so-called ‘Theanine high’ is something that many people are talking about online. This usually occurs with people taking an L-Theanine ‘megadose’ – much higher than the recommended dosage. Studies have not confirmed the long-term effects of using very high doses of L-Theanine, so we definitely don’t recommend exceed this dosage.

However, from L-Theanine Reddit posts available online, it seems that very high doses of L-Theanine may result in a fairly strong sedative effect. This can be considered as being ‘overly-relaxed’. Some people complain that, at very high doses, L-Theanine has a negative effect on their ability to focus properly.


Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides Linnaeus) is a flowering plant (Angiosperm) of the order Rosales and Elaeagnaceae family. Sea buckthorn (SB) is morphologically described from a bush to a small tree, with different growing thorns all around the plant, and it naturally grows in locations near to the sea, specific traits which build up its name. It is stated that its latin name Hippophae rhamnoides comes from ancient Greece, from the words ‘hippo’ – horse – and ‘phaos’ – shine –, for the horses fed with leaves from this plant developed a shining coat and weighed more (Kalia et al. 2011 Li and Hu 2015).

The plant naturally grows in cold and dry regions around the globe. Himalaya is the region with the highest density of this plant (Kalia et al. 2011). It also grows on cold desert areas of China, Russia, North America, India, and Europe among others (Li and Hu 2015 Rousi 1971). Its highly adaptable characteristics allow the plant to grow in very different environmental situations, being able to grow at temperatures ranging from -40 to +40 °C (Kalia et al. 2011) and high altitudes (Ma et al. 2016). It could endure dry, alkaline or high salinity soils, and inundations (Kalia et al. 2011). The plant normally flowers around March and gives fruits around September. The fruit is a small (geometric average diameter measurements of nine varieties grown in Estonia ranged from 8.64 to 12.57 mm (Lougas et al. 2006)), orange-to-yellow berry weighing 375 mg as average (Beveridge et al. 1999).

Research on SB has grown considerably in the last two decades and several subspecies have been confirmed by means of new phylogenetic techniques. The division of H. rhamnoides L. into 8 subspecies – confirmed by Bartish et al. (2002) – seems to be the most currently used and accepted classification (Sun et al. 2002 Ma et al. 2016).

As SB gains more importance, more contributions are being made on the topic, especially on the composition of the berry (Zielińska and Nowak 2017 Kaur et al. 2017) and its health effects (Olas 2018). Similarly, the number of research articles investigating the application of SB ingredients on current food products is increasing as well. However, there is no such a review on the application of SB ingredients in food or feed products. Therefore, the aim of the present review is to give an overview of all the investigated applications of SB on current food products and to discuss the potential of future research and applications in the field. Articles related to the use of SB for the development of food supplements do not suit the aim of the present review and have therefore been excluded after initial screening.

Sea buckthorn products

SB can be easily processed into valuable products. Once harvested, the first clear division is the leaf and the fruit. The leaf itself can be easily processed to obtain tea (Ma et al. 2019) or aqueous extracts, shown to have antioxidant, cytoprotective, and antibacterial effects (Upadhyay et al. 2010). However, its application to food production is difficult since it has not been recognized as a food product in specific areas of the world (i.e. Europe). In contrast, the berry is the most consumed part of the plant worldwide, and therefore, the present review will focus on SB berry rather than on leaf-derived products.

SB berry is the most consumed part of the plant worldwide. It could be conveniently processed into various products as well. The fruit consists of a hard peel, the pulp, and a seed. By using a worm-driver, the aqueous part of the fruit (i.e. the juice) can be separated from the seed, the peel, and some residues of the pulp (Cenkowski et al. 2006). Both products resulting from this extrusion can be further processed. On the one hand, the juice can be clarified by centrifugation. The clarification by centrifugation gives out three different products, namely the clarified juice (main layer), the oily part of the pulp (supernatant), and the residue left at the bottom, which is usually constituted by seeds and peel. On the other hand, the seed and peel can be separated firstly by drying, and later by using a mechanical sieve. SB products could then be classified by their fatty nature (i.e. oil from seeds, pulp, and peel) or aqueous nature (i.e. clarified juice). The yield percentage for juice extraction is about 70% (Cenkowski et al. 2006). The yield percentage for seed oil extraction is approximately 12% whereas the peel and the pulp give out an approximate yield percentage value of 6% (Dulf 2012).

Most important components of sea buckthorn

Aqueous fraction

The juice coming from SB berry processing is a complex product but can be easily further processed to obtain a clarified juice. The clarified juice is the only source of hydrophilic compounds.

The most stand-out trait of SB is high content of vitamin C. Beveridge et al. (1999) reviewed vitamin C values from 360 to as high as 1676 mg/100 g of berry, whereas Tiitinen et al. (2006b) reported values from 128 to 1300 mg/100 ml of berry juice, which is clearly higher than the concentration naturally found in naturally vitamin C rich fruits, such as lemons, oranges (Christaki 2012) or even kiwis (Dumbravă et al. 2016). The highest concentrations are only comparable with exotic fruits like acerola (Cefali et al. 2018). Thus, SB emerges as a great source of vitamin C after considering that one of the lowest values found in literature is 80.58 mg of vitamin C/100 g of fresh berries (Teleszko et al. 2015).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the recommended vitamin C intake (RNI) for an adult is about 45 mg/ day, and for a lactating woman the requirement increases to 70 mg/ day (World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2004). If we consider the lowest value found in literature, by only eating 50 g of fresh SB berries, one adult person would meet the recommended dietary intake.

Nevertheless, vitamin C is rapidly degraded under certain processing conditions. Light, temperature, pH, enzymes, metallic catalyzers, and oxygen are parameters that can severely accelerate vitamin C degradation (Gutzeit et al. 2008 Santos and Silva 2008). The starting concentration of vitamin C in the raw product is a major factor affecting the final concentration of this vitamin after processing. The high concentration values reported for SB allows obtaining high vitamin C products even after processing. This is of great importance since a lot of products have difficulties in conserving adequate vitamin C levels after processing.

Along with vitamin C, polyphenols confer SB fruit its high antioxidant activity (Kim et al. 2011). The polyphenolic fraction of SB could be one of the factors contributing to the bactericidal potential of SB extracts. Total polyphenolic concentration is most of the time quantified through mg of gallic acid equivalent, one of the simplest polyphenols – although other polyphenols can be used depending on the major phenolic present in the sample (Singh et al. 2016). Cioroi et al. (2017) have recently reported values from 78 to 95 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/ g dry weight, depending on the origin of the berry. These values are relatively high compared to a polyphenol-rich product like coffee. Hečimović et al. (2011) studied different coffee varieties and roasting temperatures and found the highest value of medium roasted coffee beans was 43 mg GAE/ g. According to Zadernowski et al. (2005), the main phenolic acid present in the non-flavonol glycoside fraction of SB was salicylic acid, reaching values as high as 1500 mg GAE/ kg of dry matter of berries, closely followed by gallic acid (Arimboor et al. 2008). Reported values of flavonol glycosides in fresh berries range from 23 to 250 mg/ 100 g (Ma et al. 2016), making it the most important phenolic fraction of the fruit (Arimboor et al. 2008).

Oil fraction

The fruit contains two different oil fractions one obtained from the seed and one retained within the pulp. Unsaturated fatty acids and tocopherols are the major compounds of both oily fractions. Nevertheless, they differ significantly in their concentration. The seed oil contains greater concentrations of tocopherols (Kallio et al. 2002) and alpha-linoleic acid whereas the pulp oil has greater concentrations of palmitoleic acid.

Tocopherols are unequally distributed in SB seed, peel and pulp oil. For instance, α-tocopherol is found at higher concentrations in seed than in the full fruit whereas δ-tocopherol is found at greater concentrations in peel rather than pulp or seed oil (Burčová et al. 2017). Levels of total tocopherols can reach values of more than 160 mg/100 g of seed oil (Beveridge et al. 1999). These values are close to other oils valued for their high concentrations of tocopherols, such as soybean oil (100–200 mg/100 g soybean oil (Carrera and Seguin 2016)) or sunflower oil (50–150 mg/100 g sunflower oil (González Belo et al. 2017)), and much higher than other high-quality oils, such as olive oil, containing 21.24 mg/ 100 g of oil (Gimeno et al. 2002). Conversely, peel oil has been found to contain greater concentrations of δ-tocopherol rather than α-tocopherol (Burčová et al. 2017). β-tocopherol has been identified as the least present in either seed and pulp and peels oil (Burčová et al. 2017 Kallio et al. 2002).

Similarly, saturated fatty acids in SB are unevenly distributed in seed and the rest of the fruit. The seed contains a residual amount of saturated fatty acids (Yang and Kallio 2001) whereas the peel and pulp oil contain as much as 40% (Fig. 1 Dulf 2012). Almost all the fraction of the saturated fatty acids present in pulp oil is built by palmitic and stearic acids, common fatty acids within the plant kingdom (Dulf 2012).

Graphical representation of total fatty acids presents in sea buckthorn oils, adapted from Dulf (2012). MUFA mono-unsaturated fatty acids, Saturated FA saturated fatty acids, and PUFA poly-unsaturated fatty acids

The fraction of unsaturated fatty acids is also very different between pulp and peel when compared to seed oil. Pulp and peel oil contain greater amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids whereas seed oil contains a large fraction of polyunsaturated fatty acids (68%, Fig. 1). The main fatty acids present in seed oil are linoleic (C18:2 ω-6), α-linolenic (C18:3 ω-3) and oleic acids (C18:1 ω-9), accounting for approximately 40, 30 and 16% of the total fatty acids in seed oil, respectively (Fig. 2, (Dulf 2012 Teleszko et al. 2015)), whereas palmitoleic fatty acid (C16:1 ω-7) is found in negligible amounts in seed oil (about 0.5% of total fatty acids). Although oleic fatty acid is found at relatively acceptable concentrations in SB seed oil (13–20% of total fatty acids (Dulf 2012)), other vegetable oils such as olive oil contain much higher concentrations (70% of total fatty acids (USDA Food Composition Database 2018)). Contrarily, pulp and peel oil contain greater amounts of palmitoleic and oleic acids (Fig. 2).

Graphical representation of specific saturated and unsaturated fatty acids presents in sea buckthorn oils, adapted from Dulf (2012)

The role of ω-6 and ω-3 unsaturated fatty acids in human health have been extensively investigated over the years. Different reviews have been published on that field, showing the great implication of unsaturated fatty acids on human health and their importance in any diet (for instance Innes and Calder 2018 Russo 2009 Zárate et al. 2017).

Palmitoleic acid is the only ω-7 fatty acid, and its presence within the plant kingdom is very rare. SB, together with macadamia nuts contain great amounts of palmitoleic fatty acid when compared to other vegetable oils (11 to 27% of the total fatty acids in peel and pulp oil (Dulf 2012), and 24 to 36% of total fatty acids (Aquino-Bolaños et al. 2017), respectively). Palmitoleic acid intake has been associated with improvements in insulin sensitivity, cholesterol metabolism (Marsiñach and Cuenca 2019), or acceleration of wound healing due to its potential anti-inflammatory effect on skin (Weimann et al. (2018)).

Besides tocopherols and fatty acids, SB contains considerable amounts of different carotenoids. Carotenoids are present in pulp oil, conferring the fruit its characteristic orange-bright color. Carotenoids in SB can reach approximate concentration values of 12 mg/ 100 g of fresh weight (Teleszko et al. 2015). Although these concentration values are much lower than those found in oils known for being good sources of carotenoids, such as crude palm oil (54 mg/100 g (Manorama and Rukmini 1992)), these concentrations are higher than those found in other berries, such as black currant, blueberry or strawberry (Marinova and Ribarova 2007).

Health benefits of sea buckthorn: recent advances

Consumer trend towards healthier food choices is unquestionable. As more evidence is added to the field, consumers can take a more informed and healthy decision upon many different food products. Food industries are constantly adapting to fulfill the rapidly changing consumer wishes. In turn, food ingredients are being designed to give an added value to the food product and possibly trigger its choice. As naturalness is more related to values of nutrition and health, food components or ingredients coming from a natural source are becoming an important tool for the development of food products. Sea buckthorn builds up a clear example of what would be easily incorporated as a food ingredient. Having a clear natural origin and the nutritional quality herein reported, sea buckthorn is gaining importance as a promising plant source of several ingredients (either coming from the pulp or the seed).

Research on the association between sea buckthorn consumption and health has been ongoing for several years. The interest of late research has been on the polyphenolic fraction as well as the effects of its oil (either from the pulp or from the seed) on indicators of several diseases. The beneficial effects of isolated compounds that may be found in great proportion and are essential to human life (such as vitamin C or tocopherols) are well known. Therefore, research on SB focused on newly produced extracts (for instance a polyphenolic-rich fraction from the pomace after the extraction of the juice).

The phenolic fraction can be sourced from several SB products and has recently been a matter of study due to its possible attributed health effects. According to Ma et al. (2016), one of the major aglycones from sea buckthorn is isorhamnetin. Isorhamnetin, primarily found in the aqueous fraction of the fruit, had been shown to present a high antioxidant activity, even more than that exerted by ascorbic acid, at least in various chemical assays (FRAP, DPPH), as reported by Pengfei et al. (2009). Nowadays, many food companies thrive to achieve clean-label products, and the phenolic fraction of sea buckthorn emerges as a possible natural antioxidant substitute. Besides, the phenolic fraction of SB fruit had been shown to significantly decrease the peroxidation of plasma induced by hydrogen peroxide and increase the clotting time in a test-tube study, therefore showing an interesting anticoagulant activity (Olas et al. 2018).

In addition, isorhamnetin has been studied for its possible role as immunosuppressive therapy. Shi et al. (2018) conclusively proved that isorhamnetin could effectively suppress dendritic cell’s maturation and trafficking. Dendritic cells are major targets of immunosuppressive therapies, and therefore, isorhamnetin could be used in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, including cases of transplantation rejection. Subsequently important, isorhamnetin had also been found to be more biologically active after digestion when compared to its pure form, at least on the regard of its antioxidant and antiproliferative activity (Guo et al. 2017b). Indeed, several authors have studied the bioavailability and transformation of polyphenols from sea buckthorn juice in the gastrointestinal tract. As Attri et al. (2018) conclusively showed, sea buckthorn juice experienced an increase in total polyphenols after gastric and small intestine digestion, doubling the original value in the latter. The original polyphenolic compounds may probably be digested and transformed by beneficial bacteria, resulting in a final increase in caffeic and chlorogenic acids, rutin, and quercetin. However, results were different from those previously found by other authors (Guo et al. 2017b). The polyphenolic fraction of sea buckthorn juice promoted the growth of beneficial bacteria groups Bacteroides, Prevotella, and Bifidobacteria in a significant manner (Attri et al. 2018).

After its oil extraction, sea buckthorn seed residue could be used as a source of polyphenols, since the oil extraction usually does not include the extraction of polar compounds. Wang et al. (2014) demonstrated that a procyanidin extract from SB seed powder showed a powerful inhibitory effect against fatty acid synthase (FAS), therefore inducing cell apoptosis in the human cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, which shows specially overexpressed FAS activity. Recently, Wang et al. (2016) tested the efficacy of orally administered procyanidin extract from SB seed powder against visible light-induced retinal degeneration in rabbits. The intake of the studied extract effectively maintained the retinal structure and reduced the effect of inflammatory cytokines, induced by light exposure.

Polyphenols constitute a great fraction of SB, and extracts from different sources (berry juice, pomace, or seed residues) show a different polyphenolic profile. Extracts with different polyphenolic profiles have been tested depending on the main polyphenol found in it, and most of the studies show interesting results, as herein presented. SB emerges as a good source of natural antioxidants as the concentration of polyphenols in the raw matrix is already high, and benefits from the putative antioxidant effects of vitamin C. Also, SB may also be the source of purified extracts constituted primarily of polyphenols. These extracts may prove to be useful to the formulation of food supplements, which benefit from the addition of functional compounds. However, clear epidemiological evidence on the effects of polyphenols extracted from SB is still missing and further research should address to fill that gap.

In addition to polar components such as polyphenols, SB is the source of many other different non-polar compounds, primarily found in SB oil, either coming from the seed or the pulp and peel. Several studies have explored the consuption of SB oil to understand the health implications or, in some cases, of its external application. Pulp and peel oil – also known as fruit oil – is rich in palmitoleic fatty acid, as reported in the previous section, a rare fatty acid in the plant kingdom. Research has shown that palmitoleic acid may have a role in glucose homeostasis as well as in the metabolism of fatty acids. Gao et al. (2017) investigated the effect of sea buckthorn fruit oil in vitro and in vivo and found that SB oil intake could significantly improve glucose homeostasis, insulin sensitivity, and liver injury in HepG2 cells and SD male rats. The oil is partly present in SB juice and therefore SB juice may have also an effect on improving insulin sensitivity and postprandial glycaemia. However, Mortensen et al. (2018) did not found a significant effect on postprandial glucose nor insulin concentration by using a sea buckthorn smoothie before a meal in overweight and obese male subjects. The smoothie, however, consisted of 35 g of added sucrose and protein, which may not be ideal to see an improvement in glucose homeostasis.

Oral administration of pulp oil has recently been reported to effectively reduce tear secretion by 80 and 93% in stress-induced dry eye rats and mice, respectively, compared to tear secretion before oil intake (Nakamura et al. 2017). These results would possibly explain the hydration and protective capacity of SB fruit oil. Also, Hou et al. (2017) proved that treatment with SB oil could suppress the development of atopic dermatitis-like lesions in mice, possibly proving the regenerating capacity of SB fruit oil.

Smida et al. (2019) have interestingly proved the efficacy of SB pulp oil as a mouthwash product. They found that a preparation containing SB pulp oil could have a bactericidal and anti-biofilm activities against oral bacteria species, although antifungal activities were not proved.

Seed oil, on the other hand, has been recently used to investigate the association between its intake and cardiovascular risk factors (Vashishtha et al. 2017). The authors performed an animal and a human study. They found that SB seed oil, administered at dosages of 0.75 ml significantly reduced total cholesterol levels, oxidized low-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides in plasma in hypercholesterolemic human subjects. Besides, Hao et al. (2019) have lately proved that supplementation with SB seed oil could positively modulate the relative abundance of beneficial gut bacteria groups, and together with an improvement in intestinal cholesterol excretion. It would be effective in reducing the blood cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic hamsters. These studies add up to a very interesting outcome that sea buckthorn could be used as a potential therapy against cardiovascular events possibly by inhibiting cholesterol deposition in the arteries (Olas 2016). The seed oil has also been tested on humans suffering from dry eye symptomatology. Larmo et al. (2019) have recently found that a four-times-a-day dosage of a sprayable solution containing 0.4% of SB seed oil could significantly decrease the symptomatology related to dry eye when compared to a control solution without SB seed oil. The potential in skin hydration and regeneration from SB either attributed by seed or pulp oil has been proven more than once, probably due to the high content of unsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols, and carotenoids (depending on the oil source).

Reviews of SB and health have lately increased in number. Most of the published reviews aimed at summarizing the high number of publications related to a specific sea buckthorn health benefit. For instance, Olas et al. (2018) published a review focusing on the health benefits derived from oil consumption, highlighting its cardioprotective and hepatoprotective properties, anticarcinogenic potential, antioxidant capacity, and dermatological benefits. More interestingly, Guo et al. (2017a) published a meta-analysis of 11 independent randomized controlled trials. The review aimed at elucidating the relationship between the consumption of sea buckthorn and changes in blood lipid profiles.

Recent health advances show the most interesting paths to keep making research on the effects of SB components. The role that the polyphenolic fractions of SB have on human health, either from fruit pomace or from seed residue, varies depending on the phenolic profile of the extract. Several extracts have been reported to exert positive benefits on human health. However, most of them are performed using a highly pure extract, which does not match the real concentration in SB raw materials. Most of the health outcomes herein depicted from this fraction could interestingly be used by pharmaceutical or nutraceutical industries, in which the product developed relies exclusively on its potential health attributes. The fact that the residues could be processed further may also benefit the sustainability and cost of the production process. Nonetheless, SB oil, either from the fruit or from the seed, has been recently used to demonstrate possible health implications derived from its consumption. The oil consumed as such is already proven worthwhile for its use, making the extraction process quicker and simpler compared to other extracts from SB. Even though SB oil may not be included in food products to see a positive health benefit after its consumption. SB oil still possesses great antioxidant activities due to the high presence of bioactive compounds such as tocopherols and carotenoids, as already discussed. Likewise, instead of adding polyphenol extracts to food products, the juice itself could be used to tackle the costly production process of the extract.

7. Consume Magnesium & B Vitamin Rich Foods:

Magnesium and B vitamins help improve the alkali content of the body and reduce free oxalate and uric acid production. If you are on a low-oxalate diet be sure to consume lots of bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, grass-fed butter and cheese and flax seeds which are low oxalate and high in magnesium and B vitamins.

You should also consider supplementing with a high quality magnesium and B complex supplement. Look for one with pre-activated forms of B vitamins such as methyl-folate, methyl-cobalamin (B12), Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate form of B6, and Riboflavin-5-phosphate form of vitamin B2. The methyl groups are in the active form and will be better utilized by the body.

Even Mild Vitamin C Deficiency May Have Negative Effect On Vascular Function

TORONTO, June 4 &ndash Every six minutes, a woman dies of a pregnancy complication called preeclampsia &ndash nine women an hour, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation. The disorder, which is linked to hypertension and affects 3 million women a year worldwide, can be equally devastating for infants.

Now, research being presented at the 13th World Congress of the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy by scientists from the Magee-Womens Research Institute and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine suggests even a mild deficiency in vitamin C appears to negatively affect vascular elasticity and function &ndash a key symptom of preeclampsia.

&ldquoResearch is closing in on this menace,&rdquo said James M. Roberts, M.D., professor and chairman of research in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, director of the Magee-Womens Research Institute and president of the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy. &ldquoBut there is still much to do.&rdquo

Carl A. Hubel, Ph.D., assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and his colleagues studied arterial pressure and elasticity in pregnant and non-pregnant rats that, like humans, are unable to synthesize vitamin C.

Dr. Hubel&rsquos group found that blood vessel stiffness increased in pregnant rats when vitamin C concentrations were restricted. Non-pregnant animals were not similarly affected by vitamin C restriction, however.

These results were observed despite a natural physiologic change initiated by pregnancy that typically increases blood vessel elasticity, which in turn affects blood pressure. While researchers have long known that vitamin C concentrations are decreased in women with preeclampsia, the specific effect on vascular function remains unclear, according to Dr. Hubel, who is also an investigator with the Magee-Womens Research Institute.

Women who have previously experienced preeclampsia, also known as toxemia and characterized by high blood pressure, swollen ankles and the presence of protein in the urine, have an even greater chance of developing the disorder in subsequent pregnancies. Other risk factors include maternal age of less than 25 or more than 35 years and preexisting hypertension, diabetes or kidney disease.

&ldquoPreeclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal, fetal and neonatal disability and death,&rdquo said Dr. Roberts.

Magee-Womens Research Institute, the country&rsquos first institute devoted to women and infants, was formed in 1992 by Magee-Womens Hospital of the UPMC Health System. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine&rsquos department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences is one of the top three funded departments by the National Institutes of Health.

Members of the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy meet formally every two years to exchange ideas and foster collaboration. Membership includes physicians and researchers in the fields of obstetrics, gynecology, epidemiology and other public health specialties.

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Materials provided by University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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