Pumpkin Seed Oil: Is It Good for You?

Pumpkin seed oil is cold pressed from pumpkin seeds for a range of culinary and cosmetic uses. Its nutty flavor makes it a favorite in desserts, salad dressings, and a finishing oil for dishes. It’s also offered as a treatment for healthy hair and skin.

Researchers are also exploring pumpkin seed oil’s ability to heal wounds. Studies have been conducted using rodents, but further research into the effects on humans is needed.  Pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants that help your body fight off disease. Their anti-inflammatory properties are also being studied.

Modern science supports many claims about pumpkin seed oil’s benefits and offers several reasons why you should incorporate pumpkin seed oil into your diet.

Nutrition Information

One tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil contains: 

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams

Pumpkin seed oil is a good source of: 

Pumpkin seed oil is also an excellent source of poly unsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Studies show that unsaturated fats can improve your blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Potential Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seed Oil

Pumpkin seed oil is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. However, the same thing that makes pumpkin seed oil so potent can also create complications for people with certain medical conditions. 

Research has found a number of potential health benefits to consuming pumpkin seed oil: 

Prostate Health

Pumpkin seed oil may help improve benign prostate hyperplasia, which is an enlarged prostate. In a randomized trial, pumpkin seed oil eased symptoms of enlarged prostate and improved participants’ quality of life over a three-month period. 

Topical pumpkin seed oil has also safely and non-invasively treated chronic nonbacterial prostatitis, a bacterial infection common in older men.

Hair Growth

For people trying to grow hair, pumpkin seed oil may be a helpful supplement. One study tested the success of pumpkin seed oil in men with mild to moderate hair loss. Those in the pumpkin seed oil group grew 30 % more hair than those in the placebo group.

Overactive Bladder Support

In a 12-week study, pumpkin seed oil extract significantly reduced symptoms of overactive bladder. It may also aid the treatment of urinary disorders.

Heart Health

Pumpkin seed oil can improve heart health by lowering cholesterol and reducing high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. This may occur because pumpkin seed oil is a healthier alternative to saturated and trans fats. 

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Potential Risks of Pumpkin Seed Oil

Because pumpkin seed oil has such potent ingredients, you should consult with your doctor before taking it or any other supplement. Consider the following risks before consuming pumpkin seed oil:

Weight Gain

Pumpkin seed oil is a fat that should be consumed in moderation. Follow the serving suggestions to enhance flavors when you cook and keep your consumption within a moderate range. 

Shelf Life

Pumpkin seed oil spoils easily if not stored properly. Keep pumpkin seed oil in a cool place and out of direct sunlight to extend its shelf life. 

Hypotension

Because it may lower blood pressure, people with blood pressure that is already low should take care when consuming pumpkin seed oil and share any concerns with their healthcare provider.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 30, 2020

Sources

SOURCES: 

Climacteric: “Improvement in HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women supplemented with pumpkin seed oil: pilot study.”

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “Effect of pumpkin seed oil on hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.”

Food Research International: “Antioxidant and lipoxygenase inhibitory activities of pumpkin seed extracts.”

Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry: “Oil and Tocopherol Content and Composition of Pumpkin Seed Oil in 12 Cultivars.”

Journal of Medicinal Food: “Antihypertensive and cardioprotective effects of pumpkin seed oil.”

Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine: “Pumpkin Seed Oil Extracted from Cucurbita Maxima Improves Urinary Disorder in Human Overactive Bladder.”

Lipids in Health and Disease: “Oil from pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seeds: evaluation of its functional properties on wound healing in rats.”

Mayo Clinic: “Dietary fats: Know which types to choose.”

Nutrition Research and Practice: “Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “FreshFind: Pumpkin Seed Oil.”

Research and Reports in Urology: “Trans-Perineal Pumpkin Seed Oil Phonophoresis as an Adjunctive Treatment for Chronic Nonbacterial Prostatitis.”

USDA FoodData Central: “Pumpkin Oil.”

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