Pumpkin Seed Oil For Prostate Health
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Do you have problems with your prostate? Or do you know someone who does? Discover how the problems may be helped or prevented.
Whether from benign enlargement or cancer, prostate disorders cause devastation to the majority of aging men. The risk of prostate enlargement increases to 40-50% in men aged 51 to 60 and to over 80% in men older than 80.
As men age, cells in their prostate glands often overgrow, causing an enlargement that obstructs the bladder opening, resulting in slowness in urination and bladder emptying. This nonmalignant growth of the prostate gland causes pressure on the urethra. The result is a weak urinary stream, hesitancy and other uncomfortable urinary symptoms.
In recent research from Hungary where trials were conducted with 30 Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia patients, administering Pumpkin Seed Oil for two months, there was improvement in night urination in 66% of participants and 86% noted improvement in symptoms of difficulty in urination. Pumpkin seed oil also showed a decrease in the size of the prostate in 33% of patients when compared with a medical treatment .
Essential fatty acids in the correct ratios also produce the bodys natural steroids including anti-inflammatories as well as helping to supply oxygen to cells so they do not turn cancerous.
What Causes Prostate Problems
Itâs not clear what causes the prostate to grow as men get older, but hormonal changes as you age could be to blame. Another theory is that too much DHT stimulates prostate cells, causing them multiply.
However, research shows that pumpkin seed oil blocks the actions of 5-alpha reductase, one of the enzymes involved in the conversion of testosterone into DHT. This could help prevent prostate cells multiplying.
Pumpkin Seed Oil Dosage And Timing
Pumpkin seed oil may be both a preventative and useful treatment for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. A 2009 Korean study found statistically significant benefit for a group of men suffering from BPH, given just 320 mg of pumpkin seed oil a day for six months.
In fact, the pumpkin seed oil performed better in the study than saw palmetto oil and better than pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil combined .
Another successful research study, involving patients with andrological disorders, used Peponen , at a dosage of three 300 mg capsules twice a day for the first month , then three 300 mg capsules once a day for the remaining months .
It now seems generally recommended to take at least 1000 mg a day as a good pumpkin seed oil dosage and most pumpkin seed oil capsules come in this dosage. Therapeutic doses for specific conditions may be higher, perhaps taking the same or double the dose several times a day.
Regarding timing, pumpkin seed oil would, like most fatty acid supplements, be best taken with a meal. If you were taking it as a preventative only once a day, it would probably be best with breakfast or the evening meal.
In larger therapeutic doses, a 1000 mg capsule or two could be taken with each main meal of the day. There would generally be more value in splitting doses throughout the day, rather than having it all at once.
It should not, however, be used as an oil for frying or in baking as high temperatures can damage its delicate structure.
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What The Research Says
According to a 2014 study, both pumpkin seed oil and a combination of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil may improve benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms. Researchers concluded that pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil are safe and effective alternative treatments for BPH.
An earlier study found that pumpkin seed oil could block certain types of prostate growth. The study looked at rats induced with testosterone and the alpha-blocker drug Prazosin. Testosterone is thought to play a role in the development of BPH, although its not completely clear why.
One theory is that dihydrotestosterone, a powerful metabolite of testosterone, builds up in the prostate and causes it to grow. The phytochemicals in pumpkin seeds may reduce the effects of dihydrotestosterone on the prostate. They may also block the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone.
Zinc is critical to normal prostate function. In fact, a normal prostate has the highest levels of zinc in the body. Results of a 2011 study showed that malignant prostate tissue and prostate tissue from men with BPH had significantly less zinc than normal prostate tissue. The study also found an increase in urinary zinc excretion.
Improves Prostate And Bladder Health
For males, a common issue with the prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia , can cause urination to be difficult. This is due to the prostate becoming enlarged which makes it hard to urinate. A study of 1,400 men with BHP saw an improvement with urination after consuming pumpkin seeds.
The effect pumpkin seeds can have on BHP helps encourage a healthier bladder and can reduce the risk of an overactive bladder.
How Soon Ill See Results If Taking Pumpkin Seed Oil For Bph
It is important to note that men have to be patient when using pumpkin seed oil for BPH.
While effective, it may take up to 6 months to show a full benefit in men. Generally, pumpkin seed is beneficial in men with mild or moderate urine symptoms.
Men with more severe symptoms or who have a very slow stream, stones in the bladder or bleeding in the urine would benefit from more aggressive treatments.
Few Side Effects Of Pumpkin Seed Oil
Another wonderful thing about pumpkin seed oil is that is has very few side effects. In multiple studies- even with patients observed for up for up to one year, there were few side effects.
In a study of over 2000 patients, 96% of individuals did not complain of any side effects, while in another study absolutely no one had any side effects.
In the few, who complain of side effects, they are generally mild and tend to include:
Considering the many other health benefits of pumpkin seed oil, it seems like a no brainer to try this for yourself.
Pumpkin seed oil for enlarged prostate
If you have an enlarged prostate, studies recommend between 360 mg twice daily up to 1000 mg three times a day.
Remember it may take up to six months to see benefits, so be patient.
Pumpkin seed oil dose for bladder health
If you have bladder over activity, you should take up to 10 grams of pumpkin seed oil each day.
People tend to notice an improvement in symptoms more quickly.
Remember, you can also easily add pumpkin seeds to your diet.
The next time you buy a pumpkin or squash, dont throw away the seeds. You can soak or sprout them to remove the phytic acid associated with many seeds, grains and legumes. Phytic acid decrease your ability to absorb the nutrients and is removed when seeds are processed to make oil. You can also roast them in the oven and add a little seasoning. Use them to top your salad, blend them into soups or eat them alone as a hearty snack!
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Dosage: How Much Pumpkin Seed Oil Should I Take
Always speak with a healthcare provider before taking a supplement to ensure that the ingredients and dosage are appropriate for your individual needs.
In research, study participants took the following dosages of pumpkin seed oil:
- 1,000 mg for cholesterol and blood pressure
- 400 mg for hair loss
- 2,000 mg for menopausal symptoms
Pumpkin Seed Benefits In Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
In studies, when patients consumed the seeds in high amounts, they were pretty effective in bringing about the following positive changes:
- Alleviation of symptoms
- Reductions in the levels of protein binding prostate that plays a crucial role in the enlargement of the prostate.
- Improved histological appearance of the testis
A 2018 study concluded that pumpkin seeds could reduce symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. The reduction of obstructive urinary symptom scores in BPH patients with pumpkin seed oil was equivalent to saw palmetto usage. Pumpkin seed extracts took the lead when compared with BPH medicines.
In a study of one hundred participants, pumpkin seed oil came out on top. This is because the pumpkin seed oil led to a greater reduction in the International Prostatic Symptom Score and improved the quality of life far better than prazosin.
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What Are The Dangers Of Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil is a folkloric remedy for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal parasites and high cholesterol. The oil is also used as a carrier for massage and aromatherapy. According to the Ask Dr. Sears website, pumpkin seed oil is one of the most healthful oils because its contains 90 percent unsaturated fats as well as several fatty acids. Nonetheless, the oil has several dangers that warrant medical advice before incorporating it for specific conditions.
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How To Make Pumpkin Seeds At Home
Roasted pumpkin seeds are a nutritious and tasty treat. Theyre also incredibly easy to make at home. This recipe uses pumpkin seeds from a pumpkin, though it can be adapted for store-bought pumpkin seeds as well.
You wont regret it making homemade pumpkin seeds. Youll save money, minimize food waste and get a delicious snack out of the deal.
There are a few steps involved for perfectly roasted pumpkin seeds.
Heres a list of what you need to gather to get started:
- a bunch of seeds from a pumpkin
- avocado or melted coconut oil
- any seasonings you wish, like Zaatar, cinnamon, cumin, curry
But first, some helpful information about pumpkin seed nutrition.
Prostate And Bladder Health
Pumpkin seeds are good for the prostate and bladder . A study conducted in 2009 showed that the extract helps reduce the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia . BPH is a non-cancerous condition in which the prostate swells, restricting the flow of urine. Its common in men over 50, and although its not life threatening, it can be miserable. The abundant magnesium and zinc in the extract reduce inflammation in the prostate, allowing more comfortable urination and less urinary retention.
Further research suggests that taking seeds or their products as supplements can help treat symptoms of an overactive bladder and even reduce its prevalence . The extract also helps the body produce nitric oxide, which relaxes muscles and arteries and is necessary for control of the voluntary muscles, which must be relaxed during urination. Without enough nitric oxide, the bladder doesnt empty because its muscles stay rigid. By boosting nitric oxide, the extract helps reduce urinary retention .
Why Pumpkin Seed Oil Is Good For You
Pumpkin seed oil is derived- as the name suggests- from the seeds of pumpkins. Pumpkin seed is a well known traditional herbal remedy that has been used for centuries for its many health properties. It is traditionally grown in Asia and Africa, but is found throughout the Americas and Europe and has a wide range of uses.
There are at least 12 varieties of pumpkin, including squash and gourd, that produce the herbal pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds come from several species including Cucurbita pepo, maxima, moschata and mixta. The seeds from different species have a slight variation in their nutrients, but overall tend to have similar healthful properties.
Generally, they pack a wide range of nutrients in a tiny seed. Pumpkin seeds contain:
- A significant amount of vitamins, such as vitamin E and K,
- polyunsaturated fats
- They are also a great source of potassium, zinc, iron and other minerals.
Pumpkin seeds and their oils have triple A properties. They are:
Studies show, that consuming these nutritional powerhouses help to prevent metabolic diseases like fatty liver disease and heart disease, which are major killers in our modern society. Other studies show a benefit in reducing diabetes and improving our ability toheal wounds.
The nutrients in pumpkin seeds change how our bodies metabolize cholesterol. Cholesterol is a precursor to many of our naturally occurring hormones and regulates a host of human functions.
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What Are Pumpkin Seeds
Pepitas, more commonly known as pumpkin seeds, are edible seeds of the fruit pumpkin.
There are plenty of ways you can consume them, including:
- Pumpkin seed oil
- Pumpkin seed powder
- Pumpkin seed flour
These seeds are part of certain cuisines and can also be enjoyed individually as healthy snacks. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with nutrition and health benefits, making them a natural snacking choice worldwide. Researchers have found various health-improving components inside pumpkin and pumpkin seeds.
The most evident constituents of pumpkin seed are:
Pumpkin Seed Protein Levels
Pumpkin seeds have one of the highest protein content of any nut or seed with more than 5 g of protein per ounce and 12 g per cup. That makes them almost 20% protein and a great vegetarian source of essential amino acids for muscle building and repair.
The seeds of pumpkins are also particularly high in the amino acid tryptophan which is converted to the neurotransmitter serotonin in your body.
A good dietary intake of tryptophan can be beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety, enhancing mood and improving sleep. Conversely, low levels of tryptophan are associated with difficulty coping with stress, problems getting to sleep and even serious depression.
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Diagnosing An Enlarged Prostate
As with all incontinence conditions, a thorough diagnosis must be developed before action can be taken. You may have heard of some of these exams. And if you havent, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with them. Not only is knowledge power, but it also eliminates surprises.
Because those with BPH can experience symptoms from mild to severe, the treatment options featured here are organized from least invasive to more intense.
What Are The Side Effects Of Pumpkin Seed Oil
Your healthcare provider may recommend taking pumpkin seed oil for health conditions like BPH, menopausal symptoms, or hair loss. However, consuming a supplement like pumpkin seed oil may have potential side effects. Research on pumpkin seed oil is limited but indicates that it does not usually produce side effects when taken as directed.
However, some people with food allergies or sensitivities may experience gastrointestinal symptoms or a rash.
Verywell / Anastasia Tretiak
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Medications For Enlarged Prostate
There are two main classes of pharmaceuticals that work to alleviate enlarged prostate symptoms: alpha blockers and alpha reductase inhibitors
Alpha Blockers. Alpha blockers relax the smooth muscle around the bladder neck and within the urethra.
Inhibitors. Inhibitors stop the conversion of the male hormone testosterone to DHT to reduce the prostateâs size, eliminating blockage.
Dont be surprised if your physician prescribes a combination of the two medications, as they have been shown to work more effectively together than alone. The downside is that combination therapy may increase the likelihood of experiencing side effects from the medications. Be sure to work with your doctor to assess the benefits and costs before starting on combination therapy.
Dear Pharmacist, My husband is a glutton this time of year. Heovereats. He drinks too much eggnog and eats too much pumpkin pie.He says that itâs okay because there are health benefits. Arethere? â E.S., Buffalo
A: Heâs a funny guy! I assure you that thereare no health benefits to overeating. As for eggnog, hey, itâsbetter than beer! But the pumpkin pie does have some powerfulhealth benefits, especially for men. I could easily justify twoslices of pie because pumpkin is nutritious. Itâs a great source offiber, vitamin C and E, as well as minerals.
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Raw Pumpkin Seeds As A Healthy Snack
With their high levels of protein, beneficial fats, fiber content, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients theres no doubt that pumpkin seeds are good for you. Try swapping high carbohydrate snacks made from grains for a handful of pumpkin seeds and see the difference it can make to both you health and your waistline.
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Where To Find And How To Use
If youre curious where to buy pumpkin seed oil, you can find it at health stores, grocery stores or online. Look for a brand that is unrefined, virgin and cold-pressed. Pumpkin seed oil, extracted from roasted pumpkin seeds, should not be cooked, as heat destroys many of its best health properties and produces a bitter taste. The most common intake of pumpkin seed oil for health is through the use of pumpkin seed oil capsules or in liquid form as a supplement to a health-conscious lifestyle.
Wondering how to use pumpkin seed oil? One delicious way to use pumpkin seed oil in food, prevalent in Eastern Europe, is as a salad dressing, either by itself or in combination with other healthy oils.
Storage is key to keeping pumpkin seed oil fresh. Warmth and light easily oxidize the polyunsaturated fats in pumpkin seed oil, causing it to go rancid. Therefore, it should be bottled, sealed and stored in a cool, dark place. Its important to remember that the fresh, nutty taste of the oil will dissipate after its first opened, though it remains good for 12 months, sometimes longer.
Is pumpkin seed oil bad? You can tell when this oil has gone bad by smelling it since oxidation of the oil produces a pretty nasty scent. Its also smart to wipe any stray drops from the outside of the bottle or cap before storing it away after all, its not appetizing to smell rancid oil when youre preparing for a delicious meal!