The effect of sea buckthorn on serum/plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, triacylglycerol (TAG), LDL and HDL-cholesterol was evaluated. We systematically searched and identified relevant literatures in China National Knowledge Infrastructure, EMBASE, PubMed, and Wan Fan databases updated to Nov 2016. The intervention effects were calculated as weighted mean differences for net changes in total cholesterol, TAG, LDL and HDL-cholesterol, respectively. Eleven independent RCTs were included. Supplementation with sea buckthorn berries/extracts significantly reduced total cholesterol (−0.63 mmol/L; 95% CI: −1.12, −0.14 mmol/L; I2 = 84.8%), TAG (−0.46 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.70, −0.22 mmol/L; I2 = 40.4%), LDL-cholesterol (−0.62 mmol/L; 95% CI: −0.95, −0.29 mmol/L; I2 = 75.5%) and significantly increased HDL-cholesterol (0.27 mmol/L; 95% CI: 0.21, 0.33 mmol/L; I2 = 26.8%) in subjects with cardiovascular risks, but not in healthy subjects. Cardio-protective effects of sea buckthorn intake may be attributed to its content of phytochemicals, especially flavonoids and β-sitosterol.
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