Monday, 11 November 2013

#Healthy #Foods - Nuts & Seeds - Pumpkin (Cucurbita)Seed

Pumpkin seed
Pumpkin seed or pepita is an edible seed of a pumpkin with flat, dark green color. Pumpkin is the genus Cucurbita and belong the family Cucurbitaceae. The origin of pumpkins is unknown, although many people believe that they have originated in North America.

Nutritional Supplements1. Manganese
2. Magnesium
3. Phosphorus
4. Tryptophan
5. Iron
6. Copper
7. Zinc
8. Vitamin K
9. Protein
10. Potassium
11. Polyunsaturated fatty acids
12. Etc.

Caution: Excessive heat destroys some of their nutritive value.

Health benefits
A. According to the researches
1. Antihypertensive and Cardioprotective
In the investigation of Pumpkin seed oil and it effects on cardiovascular diseases indicated that after Pumpkin seed oil (40 or 100?mg/kg), amlodipine (0.9?mg/kg), or vehicle (control) was given once daily orally for 6 weeks, l-NAME administration resulted in a significant increase in BP starting from the second week. Pumpkin seed oil or amlodipine treatment significantly reduced the elevation in BP by l-NAME(nitro-l-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride) and normalized the l-NAME-induced ECG(electrocardiogram ) changes?namely, prolongation of the RR interval, increased P wave duration, and ST elevation. Both treatments significantly decreased the elevated levels of MDA(plasma malondialdehyde) and reversed the decreased levels of NO(serum nitric oxide) metabolites to near normal values compared with the l-NAME-treated group according to the study of "Antihypertensive and Cardioprotective Effects of Pumpkin Seed Oil" by El-Mosallamy AE, Sleem AA, Abdel-Salam OM, Shaffie N, Kenawy SA.(a)

2. Diabetes
In the evaluation of Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture and their hypoglycemic and antioxidant effects on the kidney of alloxan-induced diabetic rats found that that Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture supplemented in diet of diabetic rats may be helpful to prevent diabetes and its complications, according to the study of "Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture ameliorates diabetic nephropathy in rats" by Makni M, Sefi M, Fetoui H, Garoui el M, Gargouri NK, Boudawara T, Zeghal N.(b)

3. Hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective effects
In the examination of of Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture and their anti-atherogenic and hepatoprotective activities found that flax and pumpkin seed mixture had anti-atherogenic and hepatoprotective effects which were probably mediated by unsaturated fatty acids present in seed mixture, according to the study of "Hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective effects of flax and pumpkin seed mixture rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hypercholesterolemic rats" by Makni M, Fetoui H, Gargouri NK, Garoui el M, Jaber H, Makni J, Boudawara T, Zeghal N.(c)

4. Liver cancer
In the research of extracted cucurmosin (CUS) from the sarcocarp of Cucrubita moschata (pumpkin) and it anti-proliferative effects found that CUS has potential anticancer activity for human hepatoma, which can be attributed in part to its inhibition of proliferation and apoptosis, induced by decreasing the bcl-2:bax ratio and caspase-3 activation, according to the study of "Anti-proliferative effects of cucurmosin on human hepatoma HepG2 cells" by Xie J, Que W, Liu H, Liu M, Yang A, Chen M.(d).

5. Benign prostatic hyperplasia
In the abservation of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil and its benign prostatic hyperplasia.effect found that suggested that administrations of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil are clinically safe and may be effective as complementary and alternative medicine treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia, according to the study of "Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia" by Hong H, Kim CS, Maeng S.(e)

6. Prostate cancer
In the study of ProstaCaid (PC) which contain many herbs, including pumpkin seeds and it anti prostate cancer effects found that PC treatment resulted in the inhibition of cell proliferation of the highly invasive human hormone refractory (independent) PC-3 prostate cancer cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner with IC50 56.0, 45.6 and 39.0 µg/ml for 24, 48 and 72 h, respectively. DNA-microarray analysis demonstrated that PC inhibits proliferation through the modulation of expression of CCND1, CDK4, CDKN1A, E2F1, MAPK6 and PCNA genes, according to the study of "Suppression of growth and invasive behavior of human prostate cancer cells by ProstaCaid™: mechanism of activity" by Jiang J, Eliaz I, Sliva D.(f)

B. Health benefits according to the concentration
1. Manganese
It is one of important trace in preventing osteoporosis, according to the study of "[Study of estrogen deficiency impact on manganese levels in teeth and mandible of rats after ovariectomy]. [Article in Polish]" by Rahnama M, Błoniarz J, Zareba S, Swiatkowski W.(1)and regulating blood sugar level, according to the study of "[An inadequate intake of manganese may favour insulin resistance in girls]. [Article in Spanish]" by Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Bermejo LM, López-Sobaler AM, Ortega RM.(2)

2. Magnesium
Magnesium not only important for bone health, according to the study of "Magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium levels in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Can magnesium play a key role in osteoporosis?" by Odabasi E, Turan M, Aydin A, Akay C, Kutlu M(3) but also play and important role in protecting against Alzheimer's disease, according to the study of "Altered ionized magnesium levels in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease" by Barbagallo M, Belvedere M, Di Bella G, Dominguez LJ.(4)

3. Phosphorus
Phosphorus forms an important part of the process related to growth and maintenance of bones and teeth, according to the study of "Alterations in phosphorus, calcium and PTHrP contribute to defects in dental and dental alveolar bone formation in calcium-sensing receptor-deficient mice" by Sun W, Sun W, Liu J, Zhou X, Xiao Y, Karaplis A, Pollak MR, Brown E, Goltzman D, Miao D.(5)

4. Etc.

C. Other health benefits
1. Zinc
Pumpkin seed contains high amount of zinc that is best known for treating enlarged prostate and benefiting people with prostate cancer and enhancing the prostate gland in secreting semen for aiding the sperm production, according to the study of "Prostate-specific antigen levels in relation to cadmium exposure and zinc intake: results from the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey' by van Wijngaarden E, Singer EA, Palapattu GS.(6)

2. Tryptophan
Tryptophan is one of the 10 essential amino acids which the body uses to synthesize the proteins for brain cells need, thus enhancing the nerve cells in information transmitting between themselves and cells in the parts of the body that reduces the risk of anxiety and depression, according to the study of "The effects of tryptophan depletion on neural responses to emotional words in remitted depression" by Roiser JP, Levy J, Fromm SJ, Nugent AC, Talagala SL, Hasler G, Henn FA, Sahakian BJ, Drevets WC.(7)

3. Antioxidant
Manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), an enzyme located in mitochondria, is the key enzyme that protects the energy-generating mitochondria from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, according to the study of `The role of manganese superoxide dismutase in inflammation defense`by Li C, Zhou HM.(8)

4. Metabolic syndrome
Magnesium enhances the digestive system in absorbing calcium, thus increasing the bone density, according to the study of "Magnesium deficiency and metabolic syndrome: stress and inflammation may reflect calcium activation" by Rayssiguier Y, Libako P, Nowacki W, Rock E.(9)

5. Copper
Beside it is best known for its function in enhancing the production of red blood cells for treaatemtyn of anemia, according to the study of " Update on anemia and neutropenia in copper deficiency" by Lazarchick J.(10), copper is alo an important trace mineral for the protection of bone density, according to the study of "The relationship of nutritional copper to the development of postmenopausal osteoporosis in rats" by Yee CD, Kubena KS, Walker M, Champney TH, Sampson HW.(11)

6. Etc.

Side Effects
1. Oxalates
Pumpkin seed contain as measure amount of oxalates that can cause problem for people with untreated kidney and gallbladder diseases.
2. Purines
Purines in pumpkin seed can cause the forming of uric acid if accumulated in excessive amount
3. No other side effects are known

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