Posts tagged: pumpkin

Scientists Find Pumpkin Seed Oil Causes 40% Hair Increase In Men With Alopecia!

Scientists Find Pumpkin Seed Oil Causes 40 Percent Hair Increase In Men With AlopeciaPhoto – © 2014 Young Hye Cho et al., lic. under CC. Infographic © Pumpkin seed photo © Igor Dutina – (under license)

An astonishing scientific study from the Republic of Korea [1] has found that supplementation with pumpkin seed oil caused significant hair growth in men with Androgenetic Alopecia (male pattern baldness).

In the study, which used placebo-controlled double-blind methods, 76 men consumed either a placebo or 400mg of pumpkin seed oil per day (4 doses of 100mg daily) for 24 weeks.

Average hair count increases of an amazing 40% were observed in the men treated with pumpkin seed oil at 24 weeks. No negative effects were attributed to the pumpkin seed oil.

A fascinating possible mechanism of action here: Pumpkin seeds are naturally high in zinc, which is (according to Dr. Berg here) a natural inhibitor of 5a-reductase, an enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which has been implicated in male pattern baldness.

In fact, medications that inhibit 5a-reductase are prescribed for male pattern baldness, prostate hypertrophy and erectile dysfunction! FDA-approved medicines for the treatment of male pattern baldness include topical minoxidil and oral finasteride; however these have been found to have negative side effects, including loss of libido (finasteride) and scalp itching (minoxidil). Finasteride was originally announced in Pharmacotherapy in 1993. [2]

The study concluded that pumpkin seed oil is potentially a safe, effective agent to address male pattern baldness. Note of course that one scientific study is not regarded as medical “proof” and the positive result would need to be replicated by several other studies. But this is a very promising piece of news for men worldwide.

One of the reasons why I find this study particularly interesting is that for the past 15+ years, I have consumed at least a handful of organic pumpkin seeds per day. I mow through those things! I don’t know anyone else who has eaten pumpkin seeds as steadily and regularly as myself. Now there is of course no way that I can prove the reasons why; but at 50 years old I have a 100% full head of hair, without the least signs of receding hairline or thinning at the crown. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

Pumpkin seeds are an incredible nutritional source. Previous studies have indicated that they may be beneficial for prostate health, arthritis, diabetes, restful sleep and more. In addition to being rich in zinc – which is also associated with healthy male sexual function – other scientific research has indicated that they may be valuable as part of a supportive regimen for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate). [3] Pumpkin has also been found by scientists to have anti-cancer qualities.

Check out our full, detailed report on the Amazing Health Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds.

How to best consume them? This part is easy – just sprinkle them on top of savory foods of all kinds! Salads, mashed potato, soup, cheese on toast, scrambled eggs.. you name it. I put pumpkin seeds on all of it.

One last note: Be sure to get the organic ones. They have the highest nutritional content. You will probably find these darker in color than the non-organic ones. If you’re curious as to why, read our in-depth report on new findings regarding the nutritional superiority of organic foods; which explains the science behind why organic food is now regarded as much better for health.

References (links to the scientific papers):

[1] Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial (2014)

[2] Finasteride: the first 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor. Pharmacotherapy (1993)

[3] Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (2009)

Amazing Health Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds

Amazing Health Benefits Of Pumpkin SeedsPhoto – © Igor Dutina –

Pumpkin seeds are packed full of nutritional benefits and make a delicious snack either on their own or added to a wide variety of recipes! Sprinkle them on anything including toast, soups, mashed potato, roasted dinners.. the list goes on! For best results use raw, organic pumpkin seeds. The organic ones are generally darker in color, indicating a higher mineral content. Check our list of astounding benefits of pumpkin seeds. We’ve referenced the scientific studies for those interested in further research / verifying the claims. Enjoy! 🙂

1. Rich In Zinc And Other Beneficial Minerals

1 oz of pumpkin seeds (28.3 grams) contains over 2mg of zinc – which is important for many things in the body including the immune system, cell growth, sleep, mood, sense of taste and smell, eyes, skin, insulin regulation, and healthy male sexual function. [1]

2. Improvement In HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol In Postmenopausal Women

The natural phytoestrogens in pumpkin seeds are regarded as contributing to increases in “good” HDL cholesterol, which may be of tremendous benefit to menopausal / postmenopausal women. [2] In a 2011 randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled study, women receiving supplementation of 2g per day of pumpkin seed oil over 12 weeks were found to have a decrease in severity of hot flushes, less headaches, less depression and less joint pains.

3. Antihelminthic (Kill Intestinal Parasites)

Pumpkin seeds have long been thought to be antihelminthic (parasite killing) – active against intestinal parasites such as tapeworms. There has been support from scientific studies. [3][4][5]

4. Reduce Inflammation From Arthritis

Pumpkin seed oil has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects. [1] This is reported by Mercola but I have not been able to locate the original scientific papers.

5. Anti-Diabetic

Studies have found that a mixture of pumpkin and flax seeds may be helpful to prevent diabetes and its complications. [6]

6. Beneficial For Prostate Health

Research has indicated that pumpkin seeds, due to their high zinc, are beneficial to prostate health. Studies have indicated that they may be of benefit in treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). [7] Pumpkin seeds are sometimes combined with Saw Palmetto for prostate support. [8]

7. Promotes Good Sleep

Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, which is a serotonin precursor. So this nutrient helps your body regulate levels of serotonin and melatonin – essential to a restful and regular sleep cycle. Other rich tryptophan sources include turkey (responsible for the sleepy feeling after turkey dinner!) and grapefruit juice.

8. Rich Omega-3 Source

Pumpkin seeds (like other raw nuts and seeds) are a rich source of omega-3s – healthy fats which are greatly beneficial to the body. It is often suggested to mix these seeds with flax, sunflower and hemp seeds / seed oils to obtain a broad spectrum of the beneficial oils.

9. High Levels Of Magnesium

A quarter cup of pumpkin seeds contains almost 50% of the RDA of magnesium – an essential mineral in the human body. Magnesium participates in a wide range of vital functions including the creation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), DNA and RNA synthesis, and proper heart, bone, blood, tooth and bowel functions. [1]

10. Hair Restoration

This one amazed me: A new (2014) placebo-controlled, double-blind study has found that pumpkin seed oil supplementation at 400mg per day for 24 weeks caused 40% increases in hair count in men with androgenetic alopecia – with no adverse effects reported! The study even includes photographs and the increases in hair thickness are clearly visible. Top results from this study! [9]

11. Cardioprotective

A 2012 study found that pumpkin seed oil exhibits significant antihypertensive (reducing blood pressure) and cardioprotective effects. The fascinating in vivo study reported various effects of pumpkin seed oil in normalizing heart function. [10]

12. Alkaline Forming

It is repeated all over the web that pumpkin seeds are alkalinizing, but I am not able to locate the science behind it (can anyone else help here?) I have heard a counter argument claiming that the whole alkalinizing thing is suspect – because blood pH is regulated tightly and stays constant.

Scientists Discover Amazing Anti-Cancer Effects Of Pumpkin!

Scientists Discover Anti-Cancer Effects Of PumpkinPhoto – © Garry L. – (under license)

Amazing reports to share from the world of science today: Scientists in China have recently discovered that cucurmosin, a substance extracted from the sarcocarp (fleshy part) of pumpkin, had a strong inhibitory effect on hepatoma “HepG2” (a type of liver cancer) cells in both cell culture and animal studies. [1]
Over 90% of the cancer cells were killed within 96 hours. Also, mice fed cucurmosin had 78.4% less tumors than mice that had not been treated. There have been several studies indicating that cucurmosin induces apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells, however this study went further and identified the mechanism of action. [2]
What this tech-talk means to you, dear reader, is that there is a very strong possibility (as yet unproven) that pumpkin will have a similar effect in humans!
Note that I have not yet been able to ascertain whether the cucurmosin molecule is undamaged by cooking: However I think I can safely say that you can smile an extra big smile as you help yourself to some delicious pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup! 😉
It’s fascinating to note that cucurmosin is the agent that the pumpkin plant uses to defend against viral, fungal and bacterial agents. [3] Nature has done the “heavy lifting” for us – wouldn’t you agree? I’m all for following in her footsteps…
I dug up some of the other studies showing anti-cancer effects of pumpkin: Here’s a brand new one! – Anti-Cancer effects of cucurmosin (extracted from pumpkin flesh) against human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro (glassware) and in vivo (animals): In a new 2013 study, the same team from Fujian Medical University has determined that Cucurmosin kills human pancreatic cancer SW-1990 cells in vitro and in vivo – decreasing the cancer cells’ proliferation and inducing apoptosis. [4]
Here’s another one: A 2011 study found that cucurmosin induced cell death in human chronic myeloid leukemia cells. [5]
Special thanks to The Eden Prescription (amazing Facebook page, check it out!!) for letting us know about this, and to the dedicated scientists for all their diligent work in attempting to find cures for cancer.
Happy holidays to all and enjoy your pumpkin pie!! 😀