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Be Happy, Eat Sea-Buckthorn, Russian Scientists Say

Published: June 3, 2014 (Issue # 1813)



  • Scientists have developed a method for extracting high concentrations of the "happiness hormone" serotonin from the sea-buckthorn plant.
    Photo: Greyerbaby / Pixabay

Russian chemists have developed a method for extracting high concentrations of the "happiness hormone" serotonin from the sea-buckthorn plant, the branches of which are usually discarded as debris during its harvest, a research scientist said.

"The bark of sea-buckthorn contains lots of serotonin — a thousand times more than bananas or chocolate — but the problem is that sea-buckthorn bark is not as much fun to chew as a banana or chocolate," said Oleg Lomovsky, the deputy research director at the Institute of Solid State and Mechanical Chemistry in Novosibirsk, Interfax reported.

While serotonin is popularly known as a "happiness hormone," it can also be used as a natural preservative to keep flowers or leafy vegetables fresh for up to three to five times longer, Lomovsky said.

Artificially produced serotonin is too expensive to be used to keep salad greens fresh, but its natural counterpart derived from sea-buckthorn would be cheaper and safer for human health, Lomovsky said.

The berries of sea-buckthorn — a shrub that grows widely in Russia's Altai region and is cultivated in other parts of the country, as well as in some areas in Europe and Asia — are notoriously had to gather, as they cluster around the plants' thorny branches.

Industrial methods of harvesting often involve cutting off branches, which are then cleared of berries and discarded as debris. Lomovsky's institute has developed a method for extracting serotonin from the bark, the research scientist told Interfax.

"We are lucky because sea-buckthorn is our brand," Lomovsky was quoted as saying. "Everybody was working only on processing the berries, while we have shown that its bark is also a very interesting product."





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, July 31


Develop your leadership abilities during a lecture by famous Russian author and coach Radislav Gandapas. The event starts at 9 a.m. at 5 Lodeinopolskaya Ulitsa. The price for entry is 20,500 rubles ($570).


Relax and enjoy a Parisian atmosphere with some romantic and laidback jazz tunes during the Night of French Music at Lenny Jam Cafe, 63 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 250 rubles ($7).


The Women’s Business Club is hosting a Beauty Brunch where participants are invited to discuss the latest news in the beauty industry and listen to lectures by professional stylists in the business.



Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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