by Nils Osmar. Updated May 13, 2022
First, a caveat: Sea Buckthorn is not the same as Buckthorn! They’re completely different plants which have similar names.
Buckthorn can be toxic; sea buckthorn, when used thoughtfully, shows evidence of being highly beneficial, particularly for people interested in healthy life extension.
I’ve been taking sea buckthorn powder for about year. I take it because:
- It’s anti-cancer
- It promotes autophagy
- It promotes stem cell differentiation
- Compounds in it suppress mTOR (the growth pathway) and activate AMPK (the longevity pathway). (To be clear, I’m a fan of both mTOR and AMPK; they’re both important; but I want AMPK, not mTOR, activated about 75% of the time.)
- I took sea buckthorn oil originally, but then found a source of organic sea buckthorn powder which I like much better, partly because oils can become oxidized.
When to take Sea Buckthorn
In my opinion, it’s good to take sea buckthorn during periods when we’re trying to activate AMPK (not mTOR).
What I’ve been doing lately is starting most mornings with a fasting mimicking smoothie which includes a teaspoon of the powder.
The smoothie is made essentially from avocado, tomato and water (along with a little sea buckthorn and lecithin). It’s high in oleic acid (a sirtuin activator) and has almost no carbs or protein. I drink it along with my NMN and SIRT6 Activator, in the mornings before I work out.
Since it’s a fasting-mimicking smoothie with almost zero protein, I don’t consider it breaking my fast. (Feel free to disagree if you want t0.) I then go work out “fasted”, then after my fast, have a high protein meal to activate mTOR for a few hours.
Note: I do not take resveratrol on workout mornings anymore because of evidence that it can dampen the benefits of working out. I do, though, take NMN and SIRT6 Activator. On workout days, I’ll drink a fasting mimicking smoothie in the morning; work out; then have a high protein meal to switch on mTOR; then in the afternoon, when I want to reactivate AMPK (and the mTOR activation is wearing off/winding down anyway), I’ll take some resveratrol along with some berberine or metformin.
“Free Stem Cell Therapy”
When we fast or do fasting mimicking diets of three days or more, the body cannibalizes senescent cells for fuel. At the end of the fast, our bone marrow creates a flood of new stem cells which travel around the body replacing the cannibalized cells. (Dr. Valter Longo verified this a few years ago in his studies at Stanford University.) Some view this as “free stem cell therapy.”
Sea buckthorn berry oil both supports the mobilization of some types of stem cells, and increases the number of circulating stem cells. This occurs whether or not we’re fasting.
Sea buckthorn berry oil contains several types of fatty acids, including small amounts of palmitoleic acid, vaccenic acid, oleic acid, omega-3, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, stearic acid and palmitic acid.Note: One side effect is that it thins the blood, so caution should be taken if you’re on blood thinners. Again, in my own case, I’ve stopped taking the oil and am taking a powder.
From one (human) study:
“By documenting the ability of SBB-PE to support stem cell mobilization and to increase the number of circulating stem cells, we have uncovered a new mechanism of action behind many of the health benefits that have been historically associated with SBB, as a part of its use in Tibetan, Mongolian, and Chinese traditional medicine.”
“Once mobilized, bone marrow stem cells can participate in the process of tissue repair and modulate local inflammation, supporting the use of SBB-PE in overall health maintenance.””
Conclusion: Consumption of SBB-PE resulted in selective mobilization of stem cell types involved in regenerative and reparative functions.”
- Study: The Anti-Cancer Activity of Sea Buckthorn
- Study:Rapid and selective mobilization of specific stem cell types after consumption of a polyphenol-rich extract from sea buckthorn berries (Hippophae) in healthy human subjects
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