Pumpkin – The Antidote To Halloweens Demons?

Are the Demons Outside, or, Do They Come From Within? (FreeImages)

Upon study of Watermelon, numerous studies presented themselves which included the outstanding benefits of Pumpkin, seeds, rind etc.

Having small children, Halloween fills me with dread, as on the one hand I long for them to fit in, to have fun, on the other it is clear that this date is significant and linked to celebrating Demons and negative spirits, rather than the Spiritually uplifting positive spirits. Plus all the sugar sets children’s minds and bodies in a place where those negative Demons potential rises, as the ensuing Hyperglycaemia/Hypoglycaemia after effects kick in during the following days.

It is no coincidence that a food which in most places where these celebrations occur, is ripe to Harvest at the moment in time, the Pumpkin. Nowadays, this obvious teaching is lost, to most all who partake, or, even like myself grudgingly allow their children to partake in this event.

Pumpkin, Science Based Studies :

The potential of pumpkin seed oil as a functional food-A comprehensive review of chemical composition, health benefits, and safety


The growing interest in foods that can be beneficial to human health is bringing into focus some products that have been used locally for centuries but have recently gained worldwide attention. One of these foods is pumpkin seed oil, which has been used in culinary and traditional medicine, but recent data also show its use in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

In addition, some sources refer to it as a potential functional food, mainly because it is obtained from pumpkin seeds, which contain many functional components. However, the production process of the oil may affect the content of these components and consequently the biological activity of the oil.

In this review, we have focused on summarizing scientific data that explore the potential of pumpkin seed oil as a functional food ingredient. We provide a comprehensive overview of pumpkin seed oil chemical composition, phytochemical content, biological activity, and safety, as well as the overview of production processes and contemporary use.

The main phytochemicals in pumpkin seed oil with health-related properties are polyphenols, phytoestrogens, and fatty acids, but carotenoids, squalene, tocopherols, and minerals may also contribute to health benefits. Most studies have been conducted in vitro and support the claim that pumpkin seed oil has antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.

Clinical studies have shown that pumpkin seed oil may be beneficial in the treatment of cardiovascular problems of menopausal women and ailments associated with imbalance of sex hormones.

Pumpkin Seed Extracts Inhibit Proliferation and Induce Autophagy in PC-3 Androgen Insensitive Prostate Cancer Cells


Pumpkin seed is a rich source of polyphenols and other bioactive compounds that may act as chemopreventive agents against cancer. In this study, five different extracts of pumpkin seeds were evaluated for their ability to affect proliferation and autophagy on PC-3 prostate cancer cells.

All extracts (water [W], methanolic, acetone, ethylacetate, and polar lipid [PL]) inhibited cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of cells with the PL extract increased cell distribution in the S phase, whereas PL and W extracts induced autophagy significantly. Moreover, PL extract induced a remarkable increase of glutathione and oxidized glutathione levels, whereas nitrite and hydrogen peroxide levels were not altered.

In conclusion, pumpkin seed extracts affect PC-3 cell viability, oxidative parameters, and autophagic mechanism, thus demonstrating their potential pharmacological use.

Holistic review of polysaccharides isolated from pumpkin: Preparation methods, structures and bioactivities


Pumpkin polysaccharides have arrested researchers’ attention in fields of food supplements for healthy product and traditional Chinese medicine due to their multiple bioactivities with non-toxic and highly biocompatible.

This review emphatically summarized recent progresses in the primary and spatial structural features, various bioactivities, structure-to-function associations, different preparation techniques, and absorption characteristics across intestinal epithelial and in vivo bio-distribution of pumpkin polysaccharides. Additionally, current challenges and future trends in development of pumpkin polysaccharides were pointed out.

We found that pumpkin polysaccharides were primary structure (e.g. glucan, galactoglucan, galactomannan, galactan, homogalacturonan (HG), and rhamnogalacturonan-Ι (RG-Ι)) and special structure diverse (e.g. hollow helix, linear, and sphere-like) and significant functional foods or therapeutic agents (e.g. oral hypoglycemic agents). Moreover, we found that the molecular weight (Mw), uronic acid, linkage types, and modifications all could affect their bioactivities (e.g. anti-oxidant, anti-coagulant, and anti-diabetic activities), and pumpkin polysaccharides may across intestinal epithelial into the blood reaching to target organs.

Collectively, the structures diversity and pharmacological values of pumpkin polysaccharides support their therapeutic potentials and sanitarian functions.

Effects of Walnut and Pumpkin on Selective Neurophenotypes of Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Case Study


Special diets or nutritional supplements are regularly given to treat children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The increased consumption of particular foods has been demonstrated in numerous trials to lessen autism-related symptoms and comorbidities.

A case study on a boy with moderate autism who significantly improved after three years of following a healthy diet consisting of pumpkin and walnuts was examined in this review in connection to a few different neurophenotypes of ASD.

We are able to suggest that a diet high in pumpkin and walnuts was useful in improving the clinical presentation of the ASD case evaluated by reducing oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, glutamate excitotoxicity, mitochondrial dysfunction, and altered gut microbiota, all of which are etiological variables. Using illustrated figures, a full description of the ways by which a diet high in pumpkin and nuts could assist the included case is offered.

Anti-diabetic effects of pumpkin and its components, trigonelline and nicotinic acid, on Goto-Kakizaki rats


The effects of a pumpkin paste concentrate and its components on oral glucose tolerance and serum lipid levels were determined in non-obese type 2 diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats.

In the oral glucose tolerance test, the pumpkin paste concentrate-fed group maintained a lower glucose level than the control group between 15 and 60 min. The compounds considered to be effective in improving glucose tolerance and contained in the methanol extract of the pumpkin in relatively abundant amounts were isolated and identified as trigonelline (TRG) and nicotinic acid (NA).

Feeding a diet containing TRG and NA respectively improved and tended to improve glucose tolerance. The insulin level increased after 15 min in the TRG-fed GK rats and then gradually decreased over the next 120 min. In contrast, a gradual increase was seen in the insulin level over 120 min in the control GK rats not fed with TRG, suggesting that TRG could improve the insulin resistance.

The serum and liver triglyceride (TG) levels in the TRG- and NA-fed GK rats were lower than those in the control GK rats. Lower activity of liver fatty acid synthase (FAS), and higher activity of liver carnitine palmitoyl transferase (CPT) and glucokinase (GLK) in the TRG- and NA-fed GK rats than in the control GK rats were observed.

This suggests that the regulation of these enzyme activities by TRG and NA was closely related to the suppression of both TG accumulation and the progression of diabetes.

Supplementation with extract of pumpkin seeds exerts estrogenic effects upon the uterine, serum lipids, mammary glands, and bone density in ovariectomized rats


Pumpkin seeds contain lignan phytoestrogens, which have the potential to retrieve menopausal syndromes caused by estrogen deficiency. This study aims to determine the estrogenic effects of the extract of pumpkin seeds (EPS).

In vitro experiment was performed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay on CHO-K1 cells. In vivo experiments were conducted using 24 of 7-weeks-old female Sprague Dawley rats, divided into four treatment groups (ovariectomized [OVX], ovariectomized for treatment with 2-μM 17β-estradiol, ovariectomized for treatment with 500 mg/kg BW EPS, and ovariectomized for treatment with 1000 mg/kg body weight (BW) EPS) and two baseline groups (OVX and sham). Uterine weight, mammary glands, serum lipid, and bone density were observed after 30 days.

In silico experiment was conducted through molecular docking of secoisolariciresinol and lariciresinol to the estrogen receptors (ERs). EPS exhibited a biphasic effect, inducing cell growth at 10-100 μg/mL and decreasing cell viability at 250-1000 μg/mL. EPS 1000 mg/kg BW improved uterine weight and retrieved mammary glands comparable with 17β-estradiol. Meanwhile, EPS 500 and 1000 mg/kg BW increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL), decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and recovered bone density in correlation with the decreasing osteoclasts and increasing osteoblasts. The docking score of secoisolariciresinol with ERα and ERβ were −91.13 and −95.87, respectively, and lariciresinol were −80.91 and −90.29, respectively.

These results demonstrated that EPS performs estrogenic properties in rats model and potential to overcome symptoms caused by estrogen deficiency.

Statistical optimization and characterization of fucose-rich polysaccharides extracted from pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) along with antioxidant and antiviral activities


Biologically active phytochemicals from pumpkin reveal versatile medical applications, though little is known about their antiviral activity. The fucose-rich polysaccharide extraction conditions were optimized through Box-Behnken design and purified by column chromatography. The purified fucose-rich polysaccharide was characterized through SEM, FT-IR, 1H NMR, XRD, TGA, and GS-MS.

The analysis results revealed an irregular and porous surface of the purified polysaccharide with high fucose, rhamnose, galactose, and glucose contents. The tested fucose-rich polysaccharides revealed significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity at very low concentrations. The purified fucose-rich polysaccharides exerted a broad-spectrum antiviral activity against both DNA and RNA viruses, accompanied by high safety toward normal cells, where the maximum safe doses (EC100) were estimated to be about 3-3.9 mg/mL for both Vero and PBMC cell lines.

Treatment of HCV, ADV7, HSV1, and HIV viruses with the purified polysaccharides showed a potent dose-dependent inhibitory activity with IC50 values of 95.475, 20.96, 5.213, and 461.75 μg/mL, respectively. This activity was hypothesized to be through inhibiting the viral entry in HCV infection and inhibiting the reverse transcriptase activity in HIV. The current study firstly reported the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral activities of Cucurbita maxima fucose-rich polysaccharide against several viral infections.

Pumpkin seed extract: Cell growth inhibition of hyperplastic and cancer cells, independent of steroid hormone receptors


Pumpkin seeds have been known in folk medicine as remedy for kidney, bladder and prostate disorders since centuries. Nevertheless, pumpkin research provides insufficient data to back up traditional beliefs of ethnomedical practice.

The bioactivity of a hydro-ethanolic extract of pumpkin seeds from the Styrian pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo L. subsp. pepo var. styriaca, was investigated. As pumpkin seed extracts are standardized to cucurbitin, this compound was also tested. Transactivational activity was evaluated for human androgen receptor, estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor with in vitro yeast assays. Cell viability tests with prostate cancer cells, breast cancer cells, colorectal adenocarcinoma cells and a hyperplastic cell line from benign prostate hyperplasia tissue were performed.

As model for non-hyperplastic cells, effects on cell viability were tested with a human dermal fibroblast cell line (HDF-5). No transactivational activity was found for human androgen receptor, estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor, for both, extract and cucurbitin. A cell growth inhibition of ~40-50% was observed for all cell lines, with the exception of HDF-5, which showed with ~20% much lower cell growth inhibition. Given the receptor status of some cell lines, a steroid-hormone receptor independent growth inhibiting effect can be assumed. The cell growth inhibition for fast growing cells together with the cell growth inhibition of prostate-, breast- and colon cancer cells corroborates the ethnomedical use of pumpkin seeds for a treatment of benign prostate hyperplasia.

Moreover, due to the lack of androgenic activity, pumpkin seed applications can be regarded as safe for the prostate.

An Appraisal of Pumpkin Seed Extract in 1, 2-Dimethylhydrazine Induced Colon Cancer in Wistar Rats


Background: Cancer is one of the most important public health burdens in developed and developing countries. Colon cancer (CC) is the sixth most common cause of death in India and third most important cause in developed countries. For treating cancer, several synthetic agents are available but they cause side effects. Therefore, there is a need to investigate plant derived anticancer agents with lesser side effects. In this direction, we have made an attempt to unravel the potential of pumpkin seed extract for treating colon cancer.

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate pumpkin seed extract as prophylactic and treatment for 1, 2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) induced colon cancer in Wistar rats.

Materials and methods: Male Wistar rats were divided into seven groups, namely, control, DMH (disease control), 5-Flurouracil (standard), treatment groups (100mg/kg and 200 mg/kg), and pretreatment groups (100mg/kg and 200 mg/kg) with pumpkin seed extract. The animals were euthanised at the end of study and colons were examined.

Results: A significant difference in the aberrant crypt foci (ACF) number in all treatment groups compared to control and DMH groups were noted. Pretreatment group at a dose of 200 mg/kg showed a significant decrease in the colon length/weight ratio. Pretreatment groups showed a significant change in the colonic glutathione (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels when compared to control and DMH control. The nitrite content was decreased in treatment group 200 mg/kg at 5.203±0.852 when compared to DMH control at 8.506±3.866. All treatment groups demonstrated decreased hyperplasia and ACF in histology.

Conclusion: Pumpkin seed may prevent the risk of CC when consumed in dietary proportions.

Effects of phytoestrogen extracts isolated from pumpkin seeds on estradiol production and ER/PR expression in breast cancer and trophoblast tumor cells


Phytoestrogens have a controversial effect on hormone-dependent tumours. Herein, we investigated the effect of the pumpkin seed extract (PSE) on estradiol production and estrogen receptor (ER)-α/ER-β/progesterone receptor (PR) status on MCF7, Jeg3, and BeWo cells. The PSE was prepared and analyzed by mass spectrometry. MCF7, Jeg3, and BeWo cells were incubated with various concentrations of PSE. Untreated cells served as controls.

Supernatants were tested for estradiol production with an ELISA method. Furthermore, the effect of the PSE on ER-α/ER-β/PR expression was assessed by immunocytochemistry. The PSE was found to contain both lignans and flavones. Estradiol production was elevated in MCF7, BeWo, and Jeg3 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. In MCF7 cells, a significant ER-α downregulation and a significant PR upregulation were observed.

The above results after properly designed animal studies could highlight a potential role of pumpkin seed’s lignans in breast cancer prevention and/or treatment.

Pumpkin polysaccharide modifies the gut microbiota during alleviation of type 2 diabetes in rats


Pumpkin polysaccharide is able to alleviate diabetes, but understanding of the underlining mechanism is still limited. In this study, we hypothesized that the alleviating effects of pumpkin polysaccharide is modulated via changes in the gut microbiota and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production in type 2 diabetic rats.

After the type 2 diabetic model successfully was established, three groups of high-fat diet induced diabetic rats were intragastrically administered pumpkin polysaccharide, metformin, or saline solution respectively. We utilized 16S rRNA gene sequencing and multivariate statistics to analyze the structural and key species of gut microbiota in the type 2 diabetic rats.

The results revealed that pumpkin polysaccharide alleviated the type 2 diabetes by improving the insulin tolerance and decreasing the levels of serum glucose (GLU), total cholesterol (TC), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C), while increasing the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C). Simultaneously, pumpkin polysaccharide changed the structure of gut microbiota and had selective enrichment in key species of Bacteroidetes, Prevotella, Deltaproteobacteria, Oscillospira, Veillonellaceae, Phascolarctobacterium, Sutterella, and Bilophila. The correlations between the key species and SCFA production indicated the underlining mechanisms of pumpkin polysaccharide on type 2 diabetes.

Inhibition of testosterone-induced hyperplasia of the prostate of sprague-dawley rats by pumpkin seed oil


The oil from the pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) seed is claimed to be useful in the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. This investigation seeks to examine the effect of pumpkin seed oil on testosterone-induced hyperplasia of the prostate of rats.

Hyperplasia was induced by subcutaneous administration of testosterone (0.3 mg/100 g of body weight) for 20 days. Simultaneous oral administration of either pumpkin seed oil (2.0 and 4.0 mg/100 g of body weight) or corn oil (vehicle) was also given for 20 days. The weights of the rats were recorded weekly, and the influence of testosterone and pumpkin seed oil on the weight gain of the rats was examined.

On day 21, rats were sacrificed, and the prostate was removed, cleaned, and weighed. The prostate size ratio (prostate weight/rat body weight) was then calculated. Neither testosterone nor pumpkin seed oil had any significant influence on the weight gain of the rats.

Testosterone significantly increased prostate size ratio (P < .05), and this induced increase was inhibited in rats fed with pumpkin seed oil at 2.0 mg/100 g of body weight. The protective effect of pumpkin seed oil was significant at the higher pumpkin seed oil dose (P < .02).

We conclude pumpkin seed oil can inhibit testosterone-induced hyperplasia of the prostate and therefore may be beneficial in the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia.


Thousands of studies = Here.

ChooseLife : All links to studies in the headers. Maybe, the Pumpkin placed to ward off evil spirits, is truly a symbol and message to take inwards, to ward off the Demons of our own making???

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