The effects of Cucurbita pepo seeds on testosterone induced benign prostatic hyperplasia
The Cucurbita pepo L. (pumpkin) seeds are considered a snack food in most social gatherings in Lebanon and the Middle East. Many herbal combinations containing pumpkin seeds are used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Because the seeds are the most commonly consumed and not the seed oil, this study was carried out to examine the effects of pumpkin seeds on testosterone (3.57mg/kg body weight) induced BPH in rats (1). After achieving hyperplasia (30 days), treatment with pumpkin seeds (10, 20, 30 and 60% w/w of chow) or finasteride (5mg/kg body weight) was initiated for 12, 24, and 36 days. Results showed that pumpkin seeds exerted maximum inhibition (86.7, 98.0 and 98.4%) of hyperplasia at 30% w/w dose after 12, 24 and 36 days respectively. They were comparable to finasteride (78.1, 89.5 and 96.4%). There was no significant effect on weight gain in rats treated with testosterone and pumpkin seeds. Additionally, no significant effects were observed on levels of sGOT-AST enzyme and ALP, while slight increase was observed on sGPT-AST. The findings on prostatic hyperplasia were confirmed by histopathological studies where tissue showed abundant stoma between glandular cells and lack papillary projections into the lumen of the glands. In conclusion, pumpkin seeds inhibit prostate hyperplasia induced by testosterone, and improve the histology of the prostate
Acknowledgement: Mr. Jean Karam.
References: 1. Gonzales G (2007) Asian J Androl 9(2): 245–251.