Pumpkin Seed Oil Health Benefits
Please Note: Australian Pumpkin Seed Company products are food not medicine. Australian Pumpkin Seed Company products are not designed or implied to cure any disease or illness but can act as an aid to dietary deficiency where one exists. Always consult your doctor for medical advise.
Benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil
Information can be found by searching the internet and on this website which relates to the positive effects of Pumpkin Seed Oil and or Seeds on:
- Prostate Function
- Cholesterol Lowering
- Cystitus Treatment
- Kidney Function
- Anti Arthritic
- Anti Parasitic
- Increasing mothers milk production
- Skin Care
The pumpkin seed oil nutrient mix focus is predominantly on the reproductive and urinary tract area of the body. Studies are constantly being done in relation to these nutrients having beneficial effects on BPH - Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or enlarged prostate (see our testimonial). The fatty acid and plant sterol content of pumpkin seed oil might account for the improved function of the bladder and urethra, which may account for BPH symptom relief.
The nutrients in pumpkin seed oil affect kidney stone formation by reducing levels of substances that promote stone formation and increasing levels of compounds that inhibit stone formation. Pumpkin seeds in history have commonly been used to treat a variety of kidney problems as well urinary problems, gastritis and the expelling of tapeworms and roundworms.
The lubricating effects of the essential fatty acids and antioxidant content are the likely reason relief is found by arthritis sufferers. These same nutrients are also lower the overall blood cholesterol content by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels. The antioxidants in the forms of Vitamin A and E are also useful in maintaining skin health.
The essential fatty acids, rich antioxidant content and synergistic effects of other minor components is the likely reason some people experience positive affects of eating pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds. Australian Pumpkin Seed Company products are not designed or implied to cure any disease or illness but can act as an aid to dietary deficiency where one exists.
Fats & Oils Generally
Fats & Oils
Collectively known as lipids, the main functions of lipids are to: supply and transport fatty acids and vitamins, protect vital body organs, insulate warmth and regulate body temperature, assist growth and promote healthy blood, nerves, muscles and skin, transport and breakdown cholesterol, prolong digestion and enhance absorption and flavour, be a source and store of energy.
Essential fatty acids
Important to every cell in the body for normal growth, especially of the blood vessels and nerves and to keep the skin and other tissues youthful and supple through their lubricating quality. These nutrients are invaluable for the production and movement of energy throughout the body. They regulate the transportation of oxygen and are vital in maintaining the integrity of cell structure. The essential fatty acids are all polyunsaturated and have the unique ability to lower cholesterol levels of the blood.
Pumpkin Seed Oil Cucurbita Pepo
Native Americans used pumpkin flesh and seeds for food. Their use of the seeds for intestinal infections eventually led the United States Pharmacopoeia to list pumpkin seeds as an official medicine for parasite elimination from 1863 to 1936. Native Americans also commonly used pumpkin seeds to treat a variety of kidney problems. Eclectic physicians at the turn of the century used pumpkin seeds to treat urinary tract problems and gastritis, and to remove tapeworms and roundworms from the intestines.
Pumpkin seed oil has been used in combination with saw palmetto in two double blind human studies to effectively reduce symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Researchers have suggested that the zinc, free fatty acid, or plant sterol content of pumpkin seeds might account for their benefit in men with BPH. Studies have shown that pumpkin seed extracts can improve the function of the bladder and urethra, this might partially account for BPH symptom relief.
Studies have shown that pumpkin seed oil is as potent as the drug indomethacin at relieving chronic rheumatoid arthritis. It is likely that this effect is due to the essential fatty acid profile, rich antioxidant content, and the synergistic effects of other minor components. Pumpkin seeds have been shown to have high levels of vitamin E, including all forms of the tocopherol family i.e. alpha, beta, delta, and gamma tocopherol, along with the tocotrienols.
Cucurbitin is an amino acid that has shown anti-parasitic activity in vitro. Human studies conducted in China have shown pumpkin seeds to be helpful for people with acute schistosomiasis, a severe parasitic disease occurring primarily in Asia and Africa that is transmitted through snails. Preliminary human research conducted in China and Russia has shown pumpkin seeds can assist with resolving tapeworm infestations.
Pumpkin seed oil has been concurrently used with cholesterol lowering drugs and would appear to potentiate the overall lipid lowering effects. The positive effects on lowering LDL levels and increasing HDL levels are most likely due to the antioxidant and essential fatty acid content of pumpkin seed oil. Side effects of the cholesterol drug were also reduced when pumpkin seed oil was administered. Similar positive results have been found in concomitant use of pumpkin seed oil with anti-hypertensive medication. The hypotensive action is due to the EFAs and antioxidant capability of PSO.
Two studies in Thailand have demonstrated that eating pumpkin seeds as a snack can help prevent the most common type of kidney stone. Pumpkin seeds appear to both reduce levels of substances that promote stone formation in the urine and increase levels of compounds that inhibit stone formation. Some research has demonstrated that PSO could remarkably reduce bladder pressure, increase bladder compliance, and reduce urethral pressure. Dosage One to three teaspoons daily. Best taken with food. Potential applications Rheumatoid arthritis, elevated blood lipids and cholesterol, parasitic infestation, BPH, kidney/bladder disorders. Useful in maintaining skin health. The high tryptophan content of the seeds may make the oil useful in cases of insomnia. A nutritious culinary oil.
Known contraindications:None known.
Interactions:No known drug interactions.
Use in conjunction with:
- Arthritis - glucosamine, grape seed/pycnogenol, trace minerals, quercetin, vitamin B5
- Elevated cholesterol - chromium, grape seed extract, fibre complex
- BPH - Saw Palmetto, balanced zinc complex, trace mineral complex, red food blend
Pumpkin seeds are rich sources of fatty acids. The four dominant fatty acids are Palmitic, Stearic, Oleic, and linoleic acid. HPLC analysis of the powerful pigments found in pumpkin seed oil reveal a number of CAROTENOIDS - the main components being BETA CAROTENE and LUTEIN. In addition other carotenoids present include - violaxanthin, luteoxanthin, auroxanthin, flavoxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, alpha-cryptoxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene.
Herb & Supplement Encyclopedia: Pumpkin Seed Oil
Scientific Names:Cucurbita pepo L. [Fam. Cucurbitaceae]
Cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil from dried, lightly toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Urinary System Conditions
- Lowering LDL Cholesterol
- Benign Prostate Hyperplasia
- Vascular Disease
- Prostate Disorders
- Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) Deficiency
- Bed-wetting (in children)
Overview & Active Ingredients:
Pumpkin seeds contain 30-50% oil composed mainly of fatty acids including palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids (these four fatty acids make up 98% of the total amount of fatty acids); tocopherols including beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherol; and carotenoids including lutein and beta-carotene. Pumpkin seed oil also contains chlorophyll. Pumpkin seed oil contains: Lipids: Fatty acids, total saturated, 19.9%; 16:0=12.8%; 18:0=6.4%; Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 32.4%; 16:1=0.23%; oleic acid or 18:1=32.2%; Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated=47.7%; linoleic acid or 18:2=47.3%g; linolenic acid or 18:3=0.46%; Phytosterols (in free and bound forms) approximately 2g/100g; Cholesterol 0g/100g. The gamma-tocopherol content, which is about 5-10 times as much as that of alpha-tocopherol, varies over a broad range (41-620 mg/kg dry pumpkin seeds). For analysis, tocopherols and tocotrienols are extracted with hexane and analyzed by NP-HPLC/FLD with hexane/dioxan (96/4) as eluent, with fluorescence detection at 292/335 nm. Pumpkin seed oil used locally in Eritrea was found to be rich in oil (approximately 35%), protein (38%), alpha-tocoferols (3mg/100 g) and carbohydrate content (approximately 37%). The four dominant fatty acids found were: palmitic C16:0 (13.3%), stearic C18:0 (8.0%), oleic C18:1 (29.0%) and linoleic C18:2 (47.0%). The oil contains an appreciable amount of unsaturated fatty acids (78.0%) and was found to be a rich source of linoleic acid (47.0%). Variation in nutrient content exists between different cultivars and varieties of pumpkin.
Unless otherwise prescribed: Pumpkin seed oil can be used as a healthy culinary oil or can be taken as a source of essential fatty acids with a dosage of 1-2 tablespoons per day. In the multicenter clinical trial noted above, patients received 1-2 capsules of a pumpkin seed extract per day for 12 weeks.
Drug Interactions:None known.
Side Effects:None known.
al-Zuhair H, Abd el-Fattah AA, Abd el Latif HA. 1997. Efficacy of simvastatin and pumpkin seed oil in the management of dietary-induced hypercholesterolemia. Pharmacol Res. 1997 May; 35(5): 403-8. Fahim AT, Abd-el Fattah AA, Agha AM, Gad MZ. 1995. Effect of pumpkin seed oil on the level of free radical scavengers induced during adjuvant-arthritis in rats. Pharmacol Res. 1995 Jan; 31(1): 73-9. Friederich M, Theurer C, Schiebel-Schlosser G. 2000. [Prosta Fink Forte capsules in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Multicentric surveillance study in 2245 patients]. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2000 Aug; 7(4): 200-4. German. Zhang X, Ouyang JZ, Zhang YS, Tayalla B, Zhou XC, Zhou SW. 1994. Effect of the extracts of pumpkin seeds on the urodynamics of rabbits: an experimental study. J Tongji Med Univ. 1994; 14(4): 235-8. Zuhair HA, Abd El-Fattah AA, El-Sayed MI. 2000. Pumpkin-seed oil modulates the effect of felodipine and captopril in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Pharmacol Res. 2000 May; 41(5): 555-63.
Pumpkin Seed Oil For Skin Care by Ally McNeal
Growing up, I always looked forward to watching the Peanuts special: The Great Pumpkin. Little did I know that once I grew up, I'd learn just how great pumpkins really are- especially for skin care. I've seen a big interest in pumpkin seed oil as a skin care product, and wanted to find out more about its skin boosting benefits. This article will share with you what I've learned about pumpkin and why it works so well in a modern skin care regimen.
It appears that the biggest skin benefits of pumpkin seed oil are that it possesses very high levels of the natural antioxidants and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Pumpkin seed oil is especially high in the gamma-tocopherol form of Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Antioxidants protect cell structure and health by neutralizing "free radicals", which are unstable molecules generated from sources like radiation, air pollution, and peroxides. Left unchecked, free radicals can attack the skin's structure, leaving it vulnerable to wrinkling, infection, and other damage.
Vitamin E works by stabilizing the free radical- Vitamin E gives up one of its electrons to complete the unstable molecule. This, in essence, renders the free radical harmless, and helps the skin retain its normal structure.
Vitamin E has been shown to have a wide range of skin benefits. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the amount of scarring from wounds, and has been shown to diminish the appearance of stretch marks on the skin. Also, it has been shown to decrease the effects of psoriasis, and to diminish the redness associated with erythema, which is one symptom of rosacea.
Aside from the high levels of Vitamin E found in pumpkin, there is also a high level of oil content (as high as 50%). The four fatty acids which comprise 98% of pumpkin seed oil are palmitic, stearic, linoleic, and oleic acids.
Palmitic acid works to promote natural oil regeneration. Oil is an important component for the skin to retain its protective barrier. With too little oil, the skin will crack and bleed; opening it to a greater risk of infection and disease.
Stearic acid acts primarily as a lubricant. It allows the skin to retain the proper moisture balance vital for good health (and good looks).
Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid, which means our bodies don't manufacture it, and so we must ingest it in our diets. Linoleic acid is one step for the manufacture of prostaglandins, which decrease inflammation in the body. Linoleic acid helps maintain smooth skin, and will help repair flaky, itchy, or rough skin.
Oleic acid is the final fatty acid found in pumpkin seed oil. It works to replenish and maintain skin's moisture and lubrication. It is an Omega 9 acid and has similar health benefits (both general and to the skin) as the more well-known Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids.
Benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil
Taken together, it's clear that pumpkin seed oil has significant benefits for skin health and skin care. With powerful antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, it appears that adding pumpkin seed oil to your skin care regimen will help you retain moisture, maintain normal cell structure, and keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.
About the Author
Ally McNeal is the owner of SkinCareSmarts.com and a self described "skin-a-holic"; someone who enjoys learning and teaching about skin care. To learn more about healthy skin nutrition, please visit: http://healthyhabits.skincaresmarts.com/vitamin-e-for-healthy-skin>