Did you know that pumpkin seed oil is good for men’s health? And did you know that in supporting and maintaining a healthy condition of the urinary tract and the prostate in particular, pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil can simply be the right product to add to your daily diet?
Maybe men need to be more familiar with the details of how the prostate particularly functions and why it is important to keep it in good shape. Since impaired health of both the prostate and the urinary tract can affect a normal urinary pattern, it can certainly also lead to decreased pleasure in sexual life. So first of all, of course, men should have awareness of how proper natural nutrition can support a healthy prostate, but this knowledge should also be of value to women.
The prostate: what is it and what does it do?
The prostate is an accessory gland of the male reproductive system, it converts testosterone into its more potent form – dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – and helps the body to produce and expel semen. This process is key to reproductive health. The prostate has the shape and size of a chestnut and it encloses the urethra right at the entrance of the bladder. It produces a milky liquid, that forms part of semen, which is slightly alkaline. The alkalinity of the sperm helps neutralize the acidity of the vaginal tract, prolonging the lifespan of sperm.
The function of the prostate is affected by hormones produced in other organs. This occurs largely in the testicles and to a small extent in the adrenal glands. These hormones regulate the growth of the prostate and the formation of prostatic fluid.
As a natural part of ageing, the prostate can enlarge (which isn’t linked to prostate cancer!), causing the ureter to close slightly. It is a given that about 50% of men over 50 years of age are affected by this Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and may develop uncomfortable urinary problems, such as blocked flow of urine from the bladder which can lead to more frequent urination (including at night), unstable urine flow, delayed urination and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. In addition, the growth of the prostate can affect male sexual health and potency. Some other prostate conditions can be inflammation, infection or cancer. Proper nutrition is the best way to maintain a healthy prostate.
It’s relatively unclear what causes a growing prostate, but hormonal changes due to ageing are likely to play a role. Another theory suggests that too much DHT stimulates prostate cells, causing them to multiply. Research shows that the action of a specific enzyme (5-alpha reductase, which is involved in converting testosterone into DHT) can be blocked by the nutrients contained in pumpkin seed oil, helping to prevent prostate cells from multiplying.
How can Pumpkin Seed Oil help?
Pumpkin seeds have a beneficial effect on the physical condition of men and contribute to achieving psycho-emotional control. Neurological disorders develop quite easily under conditions of constant stress, depression and irritating factors. The plant material in pumpkin seeds helps to improve mood and normalize the nervous system. Plus, pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, carotenoids and phytosterols – important compounds to support prostate health.
Nutritional value of Pumpkin seed oil
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with valuable nutritions and are proved to support prostate health. The oil content in pumpkin seeds is approximately 45% and its protein content almost 30%. Besides, pumpkin seeds contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals and trace elements such as iron, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium, magnesium and vitamin E. By cold pressing pumpkin seeds, they provide a high-quality oil with a unique taste. As pumpkin seed oil is suitable for cold use only, it can make a wonderful addition to salads.
Pumpkin seed oil and Healthy Fats
Ingesting proper – unsaturated – fats is crucial as they play an important role in all kinds of processes in the body. It is advised to avoid animal fats since these are risk factors to good health and, just as coffee and spicy foods, they can irritate the bladder. Fats may either reduce or worsen inflammatory reactions. The fats in pumpkin seed oil are mainly unsaturated fats, which is important for good health of the heart and blood vessels. Needless to say that healthy blood vessels are also important for an enjoyable sex life.
Pumpkin seed oil and Antioxidants
Antioxidants is a collective term for certain vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, iron, zinc and selenium. A fair amount of these antioxidants can be found in pumpkin seed oil. Antioxidants protect our cells, tissues and organs against free radicals that can cause damage in our body. Maintaining a good balance between antioxidants and free radicals is key to slowing down the ageing process, among other things.
What can these Antioxidants do for the Prostate?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, high amounts of which are contained in pumpkin see oil. Vitamin E participates in the production of red blood cells, it assists in maintaining healthy muscles and other tissues, and is important for an over all healthy physical resistance.
Moreover, vitamin E is an antioxidant and as such it tends to build up in the cell membranes in the body, protecting the cells – including cells of the prostate – and slows down the ageing process of the body. Vitamin E protects testosterone against premature decay, increases resistance and stabilizes hormones. As a result, sperm cell activity and the chance of fertilization improves.
Carotenoids are yellow, orange and red organic pigments produced by plants, algae, several bacteria and fungi. Carotenoids cause the characteristic colour of pumpkins, carrots, corn, tomatoes, canaries, flamingos, salmon, lobster, shrimp, and daffodils. The bright colour of pumpkin is due to this colour substance, which actually is an antioxidant. It protects fruit and vegetables against UV rays and oxidation. Also in our body, they protect us from oxidative damage.
Lycopene, another powerful antioxidant that perfectly pairs with pumpkin seed oil to support the prostate functions and the bladder. Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives for example tomatoes their red colour and it has a special affinity for the prostate gland. Together with pumpkin seed oil it can support men’s health.
Phytosterols is a protective compound contained in pumpkin seeds. They may reduce prostate enlargement and potentially relieve BPH symptoms caused by hormone changes, whilst a carotenoid-rich diet reduces the risk of BPH. Pumpkin seed oil can help prevent multiplication of overstimulated prostate cells. The structure of phytosterols is similar to cholesterol in the human body, it blocks cholesterol from being absorbed, which makes them a vital substance of a heart-healthy eating plan.
Pumpkin Seed Oil and Prostate adenoma
Prostate adenoma is a decreased sexual potency in men. Pumpkin seed oil contains a unique complex of substances with diuretic, bactericidal, anti-inflammatory, antitumour and androgenic properties. Pumpkin seed oil favourably affects the prostate gland function, improves erectile function, normalizes the spermatogenesis process and protects tissue and blood vessels of the genitourinary organs against developing inflammatory processes. Therefore, in preventing and in complex treatment of prostatitis, prostate adenoma, erectile dysfunction and diseases of the bladder and urethra, pumpkin seed oil is widely used.
Inflammation of the prostate (or prostatitis) can occur acute – suddenly and short-lived – or as a chronic long-term inflammation. Symptoms depend on the nature of the inflammation, some men may experience little to no complaints, while in others they can flare up violently.
Acute prostatitis – Acute bacterial infections of the prostate mainly occur in young men. It’s associated with bladder infections and a higher risk for men with an enlarged prostate.
Chronic prostatitis – Chronic bacterial inflammation of the prostate is about as common as acute bladder infection. Frequent infections of the bladder and urinary tract often indicate a chronically inflamed prostate.
Prostate stones – infected prostate stones may cause chronic prostatitis. Most men over 40 years of age have prostate stones, which usually are harmless as long as they remain in the prostate gland. If prostate stones become infected with germs they can form a hearth from which bacteria can roam and cause inflammation.
Prostate inflammation has been shown to aggravate LUTS – Lower Urinary Tract Syndrome. Till now, pumpkin seed oil is the first verified herbal substance that showed significant improvement of prostate inflammation.
Pumpkin Seed Oil and Zinc
Zinc is an important mineral contained in pumpkin seed oil. A shortage of zinc causes white spots to appear on the nails. Low zinc levels are associated with decreased sperm quality and increased risk of infertility in men. Zinc plays a role in many bodily processes and has an affinity for the prostate. Zinc also prevents testosterone from being converted into estrogen, the female sex hormone.
There is more zinc in a healthy prostate than in any other area of the body, levels will lower though in men with BPH or in case of prostate cancer.
Pumpkin seeds are incredibly rich in zinc! It boosts testosterone levels – the male sex hormone, necessary for production of sperm – and thereby helps to increase the sperm production. Moreover, testosterone affects lean body tissue, muscle size, muscle strength and sexual function in men.
Pumpkin Seed Oil and Selenium
A fair amount of selenium is provided in pumpkin seed oil. Selenium is needed to protect our cells and also offers protection against developing prostate cancer.
Pumpkin Seed Oil to Reduce the risk of certain cancers
Adding pumpkin seed oil to your daily routine may reduce the risk of stomach, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer. A large observational study found that ingesting pumpkin seeds is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Other studies state that the lignans in pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil play an important role in the prevention and cure of breast cancer, and pumpkin seed oil potentially can slow growth of cancer cells in the prostate.
Pumpkin Seed Oil for Hair – against Baldness
Pumpkin seed oil can support in maintaining a healthy, balanced scalp and strong healthy hair follicles, and therefore be useful in dealing with hair loss caused by clogged follicles and dead skin build up.
Use just a few drops on your fingertips, apply to clean damp hair and gradually massage your scalp. Leave for some hours before washing the hair.
A significant study (probably the most rigorous study on a plant-based hair growth alternative thus far) about pumpkin seed oil and hair loss was published in 2014. Men with pattern baldness took either pumpkin seed supplements or a placebo. The results showed those who took the pumpkin seed supplements experienced 30 percent more hair growth than those who received the placebo. This could indicate that pumpkin seed oil plays some part in better hair growth. Another scientific theory of how pumpkin seed works for hair loss is that the phytosterols in pumpkin seed oil promote hair growth.
Some other useful tips for prostate health: – exercise – avoid sitting for long periods – keep lower body warm – eat vegetarian food or raw vegetables – drink red wine (large dose of antioxidants) instead of beer (quickly converted in sugar).
In general, alcohol may irritate the bladder and worsen urinary symptoms.