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5 Benefits and Side Effects of Pumpkin Seed Oil [Updated Dec/2022]

Pumpkin Seed Oil is cold pressed from unhulled pumpkin seeds (depending on the concentration, the color is dark green or dark red), and has been used in parts of Europe for more than 300 years.

There are two main sources of pumpkin seed oil, both of which are plants of the genus Cucurbitaceae. One is American squash (Cucurbita pepo) and the other is Indian squash (Cucurbita maxima).

Also today, because pumpkin seed oil is rich in carotenoids, fat-soluble vitamins, and trace elements, it has long been believed to help prevent diseases, especially prostate-related symptoms.

 

What Are The Benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil (Cucurbita Pepo)?

  1. Pumpkin Seed Oil Benefits People With Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an age-related male lower urinary tract symptom, which is related to the unregulated proliferation of connective tissue, smooth muscle and glandular epithelium. Among men over 40, the prevalence rate is between 15% and 60%.

Modifiable risk factors include serum dihydrotestosterone (DHT), obesity, glucose homeostasis, diet, exercise, and inflammation.

The main symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia may include: obstructed urination (weak urinary flow, hesitation, tight urination, incomplete urination) or bladder storage problems (frequent urination, urgency, nocturia), etc.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (12 months for 47 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia) pointed out that the use of pumpkin seed oil (cucurbita pepo) and saw palmetto oil is clinically safe and may be used as an effective alternative medicin treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Note 1

Another prospective randomized clinical trial (6-month period, 100 patients with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia) pointed out that whether the use of pumpkin seed oil (cucurbita pepo) or drug (prazosin) can help improve the symptoms and quality of life of benign prostatic hyperplasia (The improvement effect was more significant with drugs, but the prostate specific antigen PSA of both did not improve) . Note 2

The underlying mechanism may be related to the ability of pumpkin seed oil (cucurbita pepo) to inhibit 5-α reductase activity, reduce sex hormone binding globulin, anti-inflammatory effects and alter cholesterol metabolism.

*Conclusion: The use of pumpkin seed oil (cucurbita pepo) may be positively helpful in improving benign prostatic hyperplasia, but more research is needed for further verification

  1. Pumpkin Seed Oil Benefits People With Androgenetic Alopecia (Also Known As Male Pattern Baldness)

Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of pattern hair loss in both men and women. In men, this condition is also know as male pattern baldness. It occasionally appears in women, usually starting in their 20s and affecting nearly 50% of men by around age 50.

Treatment options for androgenetic baldness are limited, mainly including minoxidil, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, and hair transplantation. But due to possible drug side effects such as: excessive hair growth, decreased libido, sexual dysfunction, birth defects, etc., patients seem to prefer alternative treatments with fewer side effects.

A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study (24 weeks in 76 men with androgenetic alopecia) showed that oral administration of pumpkin seed extract (400 mg daily) improved androgenetic alopecia (increase in hair volume up to 40%, compared with a 10% increase in the placebo group) . Note 3

*Conclusion: Oral pumpkin seed oil (cucurbita pepo) has a positive effect on mild to moderate androgenetic alopecia, but more research is still needed for further verification.

  1. Pumpkin Seed Oil Benefits People Suffering From Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder is a condition clinically characterized by urinary urgency, accompanied by frequency (≥8 urination frequency in 24 hours) and nocturia (waking up more than once per night), with or without urinary incontinence. Affects approximately 17% of the U.S. population (approximately 38 million people).

In addition, patients with overactive bladders tend to be in poor health and have limited mobility, associated with increased social isolation, depression, fall-related injuries, sleep disturbances, and reduced quality of life.

An open-label trial (12 weeks in 45 patients with overactive bladder) showed that oral administration of pumpkin seed extract (10 g daily) helped improve overactive bladder symptoms (as measured by the Overactive Bladder Score/OABSS, Including: daytime frequency, nighttime frequency, sense of urgency and urgency incontinence all improved) . Note 4

*Conclusion: Oral pumpkin seeds have a positive effect on the improvement of overactive bladder symptoms, but it is limited by small samples and still needs further verification by large randomized controlled trials.

  1. Pumpkin Seed Oil Benefits Women With Female Menopausal Symptoms

Menopause, or menopausal transition, refers to a defined period from the beginning of an irregular menstrual cycle to the last menstrual cycle, characterized by fluctuations in reproductive hormones.

This period is characterized by irregular, long, heavy periods with amenorrhea, hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, insomnia, vaginal dryness, difficulty concentrating, confusion, stress incontinence, impulsive incontinence, osteoporosis , depression, headache, vasomotor disease, insomnia, etc.

However, some symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from loss of ovarian function, or from aging or social and environmental stress.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (12 weeks in 35 postmenopausal women) found that pumpkin seed oil (cucurbita pepo) was more effective in improving menopausal symptoms (reduction of hot flashes, headaches, joint pain severity), and can significantly increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), lower diastolic blood pressure . Note 5

*Conclusion: Pumpkin seed oil (cucurbita pepo) may have a positive effect on the improvement of female menopausal symptoms, but it is limited by the small number of samples and still needs further verification by large randomized controlled trials.

  1. Pumpkin Seed Oil Reduces Blood Pressure

Pumpkin Seed is good source of many nutrients, such as magnesium, potassium, arginine, and amino acid.

L-Arginine is in abundant amount in pumpkin seed, and the 7 meta-analyses that were included in the umbrella review reported significant positive benefits of L-Arginine for reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive adults by 2.2 to 5.4 mm Hg and 2.7 to 3.1 mm Hg, respectively, reducing diastolic blood pressure in pregnant women with gestational hypertension by 4.9 mm Hg. Note 6

Another meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials showed that Magnesium supplementation resulted in a mean reduction of 4.18 mm Hg in SBP and 2.27 mm Hg in DBP (diastolic blood pressure). So on top of the L-Arginine benefit that pumpkin seeds provide, magnesium can also have an additive effect. Note 7

What Are The Pumpkin Seed Oil Side Effects?

So far, pumpkin seed oil (cucurbita pepo) has not had any noticeable side effects when taken in proper doses, but as with any oily product, excess can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Safety Precautions

  1. Pumpkin seed oil (cucurbita pepo) may have the effect of lowering blood pressure, please be careful when taking any blood pressure lowering drugs
  2. People who are allergic to pumpkin, pumpkin seeds or related melon and fruit foods should avoid using it (may induce allergic reaction)
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