Review of Using Pumpkin Seed Oil for Prostate Health
Is there any health benefits from using pumpkin seed oil and prostate health?
Pumpkin seed oils were traditionally used as gourmet food oils in Eastern European cuisine.
The oils are a natural source of fatty acids, antioxidants, magnesium and zinc.
The prostate gland is one of the few human organs that contains the highest levels of zinc, so it became easy to make the assumption that zinc is important for prostate health and function.
A study published in the 2011 Indian Journal of Urology showed that prostate tissue from men with benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) had significantly less zinc than normal prostate tissue. The study also found an increase in urinary zinc excretion.
A large number of nutritional supplements are marketed and sold to protect the prostate and promote its healthy function.
With this in mind, we will take a closer look at pumpkin seed oil and its use in promoting and enhancing prostate and bladder health.
What is Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)?
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy is a fairly common condition for men. Symptoms may begin with men over 45 years of age and experts say that BPH can occur in up to 90% of all men over 64 years old.
Common symptoms of BPH may include:
- Urine stream weakens when urinating.
- Having trouble starting urination.
- A feeling of ‘fullness’ after urinating.
- Frequent urination at night.
The increased prostate swelling may put a man at risk for urinary tract infections and even prostate cancer.
Treatment for benign prostatic hypertrophy may involve the use of medications called alpha blockers, such as Tamsulosin and Alfuzosin.
These drugs work by relaxing the muscles in the prostate to help make it easier for you to urinate. While these medications may be effective for some patients, their side effects may include dizziness, headache and fatigue.
Unfortunately, some experts claim that prescription drugs aren’t 100% effective and that having surgery to remove the prostate may be the only effective treatment.
Pumpkin Seed Oil Shown to Improve Prostate Health in Men
The following research studies looked at the effects pumpkin seed oil and prostate health:
1. 300 mg of Pumpkin Seed Oil may Help Improve Bladder Function in Men
A older study published in International Urology and Nephrology looked at the effects of Peponen, a prostate health supplement that contain 300 mg. of pumpkin seed oil extract, on 60 men with Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH).
Patients took the pumpkin seed oil supplement for the following duration:
- 26 patients took the drug for 10 months.
- 22 for at least 7 months.
- 12 for at least 4 months.
Each patient took a daily dose of 3 capsules, twice a day for the first month, then 3 capsules, once a day for the remainder of the study.
At the end of the study period, researchers found that:
- More than 80% of the patients experienced improvement in bladder function.
- Urinary flow was stronger and there was a reduction in the frequency of night time urination.
- There was also a reduction in painful and difficult discharge.
2. Pumpkin Seed Oil an Effective Complementary Treatment for Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)
Korean researchers published a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in Nutrition Research and Practice on the effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with BPH.
Forty-seven (47) men at an average age of 53.3 years with elevated prostate symptoms received daily doses of either 320 mg. of pumpkin seed oil, 320 mg. of saw palmetto oil, a combination of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil or a placebo.
After 12 months of treatment, researchers found:
- pumpkin seed oil improved overall prostate scores within 3 months
- pumpkin seed oil improved urinary flow improved significantly after 6 months
3. Pumpkin Seed Oil May Inhibit Hormone Responsible for Causing an Enlarged Prostate
An animal study published in 2006 Journal of Medicinal Food looked at the effects of pumpkin seed oil on testosterone-induced swelling of the prostate in rats.
In this study, researchers encouraged prostate growth by injecting rats with testosterone for 20 days. Following the injections, the rats were given either pumpkin seed oil or corn oil for 20 days.
Their weight was recorded weekly and assessed to see if there was any weight change caused by the testosterone injections and pumpkin seed oil.
Researchers found that pumpkin seed oil caused a reduction in prostate size and concluded that pumpkin seed oil can inhibit growth of the prostate due to testosterone.
While this article only reviewed a small sample of studies, the research on pumpkin seed oil and prostate health is encouraging.
There are still many unknown factors as to what were the actual ingredients in pumpkin seed oils that caused the effect. More research is also needed to determine any suggested or recommended dosages for humans.
However, there were no adverse side effects experienced from using pumpkin seed oils for prostate health.
Based on the current research, pumpkin seed oils may offer the following benefits:
- May strengthen the bladder.
- Could work as a diuretic.
- May relieve cramps and reduce inflammation.
- Possible help with maintaining normal bladder functioning.
- May help prevent disorders and discomfort when emptying the bladder.
- Could have a curative effect on enlarged prostate.
As discussed in our guide to choosing the Best Pumpkin Seed Oils, we highlighted the importance of using only cold-pressed seed oils. Traditional pumpkin seed oils made from Styrian pumpkin seeds were reported to contain high levels of essential fatty acids, zinc, plant sterols and antioxidants.
You can also look at using prostate health supplements. Many of these products may include natural ingredients that could enhance prostate health, such as saw palmetto, lycopene, zinc and Vitamin E.