Aromtech is an expert in harnessing the diverse plant life that exists in the Arctic Circle of Finnish Lapland for use in a wide range of health and well-being products. Research and development manager Dr Petra Larmo discusses the company's new research into the many uses of sea buckthorn oil.
Dr Petra Larmo: Sea buckthorn oil comes from berries that are mostly harvested in the Himalayan areas, northern Russia and Finland. Aromtech's sea buckthorn seed and berry oils are produced by supercritical CO2 extraction, which is a gentle and sustainable method. Tradtionally, sea buckthorn oil has been used for treating wounds and mucous membranes. Clinical studies with Aromtech's SBA24 sea buckthorn oil indicate its beneficial effects for dry eye, vaginal mucous membranes and skin.
Our study on the effects of sea buckthorn oil on dry eye was a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled study. A total of 100 women and men experiencing symptoms of dry eye were included. The participants in the sea buckthorn oil group took 2g of SBA24 sea buckthorn oil daily for three months. Half of the participants were randomised to a placebo group. A significant beneficial effect on tear-film osmolarity, the 'gold standard' clinical marker of dry eye, was observed with intake of sea buckthorn oil. In addition, the symptoms of redness and burning of eyes were less severe in the sea buckthorn oil group than the placebo group.
In the new SBA24-Eye sea buckthorn oil capsule, sea buckhorn oil is complemented with lutein, a carotenoid that is absorbed from the diet to the macula of the eye. Lutein is an efficient antioxidant, and a sufficient intake of it has been associated with higher macular-pigment optical density and a lower risk of age-related macular changes.
The study concerning the effects of sea buckthorn oil on vaginal mucous membranes had a similar design, with 116 post-menopausal women participants experiencing dryness-related symptoms of vaginal mucosa. The intervention lasted for three months, and during this time, the participants consumed 3g of sea buckthorn oil or placebo oil daily. Compared with the placebo group, a significant beneficial effect on the integrity of the vaginal epithelium was observed in the sea buckthorn oil group. A beneficial trend in vaginal health index was seen as well.
SBA24 sea buckthorn oil has beneficial effects on mucous membranes due to the combination of several bioactive compounds. Essential N-3 and N-6 fatty acids have a role as structural components and as precursors for longer-chain fatty acids that can be converted to eicosanoids, which regulate inflammation. Sea buckthorn oil contains high levels of beta-carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A - necessary for normal mucous membranes. Also, the high content of vitamin E compounds contributes to the effect.
I think the strongest clinical evidence is its effect on mucous membranes, including dry eyes. Sea buckthorn oil is also used in several cosmetic products, and the effects on skin are supported by clinical studies too. There are also clinical studies indicating effects on markers associated with metabolic syndrome and inflammation.
The SBA24 Intimate Care Cream is unique in combining the effect of sea buckthorn oil, sodium hyaluronate and low pH for the hydration and well-being of mucous membranes of the vaginal area. Beneficial effects of the cream were observed in our product-specific clinical study.