Pumpkin Protein May Field Off Yeast Infections
Protein From Pumpkin Rinds Battles Fungus That Causes Yeast Infections
Oct. 30, 2009 -- Researchers in South Korea say pumpkin skins contain a
powerful antifungal protein that works against the cause of many common yeast
Reporting in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and
Food Chemistry, Chosun University scientists from Kwangju, South Korea, say
they extracted a protein from pumpkin rinds called Pr-2 that battles the fungus
that causes vaginal yeast infections, diaper rash, and other health
Pr-2 inhibited the growth of 10 species of harmful fungus, including
Candida albicans, which is a common cause of vaginal yeast infections,
yeast-related diaper rash, and other health problems.
Although there was a strong antifungal effect, Pr-2 had no affect against
bacteria. Yoonkyung Park, PhD, Kyung-Soo Hahm, PhD, and colleagues at the
Research Center for Proteineous Materials of Chosun University report that the
pumpkin protein could be developed into a natural medicine for fighting yeast
They say the protein also blocked the growth of several fungi that attack
plant crops. They believe that Pr-2 inhibits fungal growth by targeting the
cell wall or membrane of the microorganisms.
In Korea and many other countries, pumpkins have been used for medicinal
purposes, and studies have been done to look into any antibiotic, antidiabetic,
antihypertension, and antitumor effects.
“Novel antifungal proteins have the potential for applications in medicine,
food safety, and agriculture,” the researchers write.