Along with being a great tasting culinary oil, pumpkin seed oil is most commonly taken for preventing hair loss and prostate problems, due to its reported DHT blocking properties. But what are some of the other pumpkin seed health benefits and problems it may help with?
Pumpkin Seed Oil and Skin
Like the seeds, raw pumpkin seed oil can help improve skin tone and may be a beneficial supplement for many skin problems like acne, dry flaky skin, eczema and psoriasis. Alongside the powerful antioxidant content, the high levels of natural fats would appear to be responsible for this effect.
The fatty acids in this healthy oil assist in maintaining smooth skin tone and will help speed up the repair of dry, flaky and irritated skin. They are also important for proper moisture levels within the epidermis and normalizing skin’s oil production.
Vitamin E, especially the gamma-tocopherol version found in good concentrations in pumpkin seed oil, and carotenoids like beta-carotene, are powerful antioxidants for protecting your skin from damage and reducing the signs of aging.
It is actually so good for the skin, some practitioners even recommend applying it directly to your face as a treatment. While people have reported positive results with this, taking the oil regularly would seem more important for skin health than going for the green face look. Our skin is one of the most obvious reflections on our health and nutritional intake and a good pumpkin seed oil can help play a part in improving that reflection.
Alongside its beneficial fatty acids and other antioxidants, cold pressed pumpkin seed oil usually contains high levels zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin is a antioxidant carotenoid that has been shown to protect our eye’s retina from both UV and blue light damage. Because of this, it may help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a very common problem for older people, and improve visual acuity in general.
Since it can be hard to find in food sources, many people use zeaxanthin and lutein supplements and other nutrients for eye health. Still, it is good to be able to add protecting our vision to the many other pumpkin seed oil health benefits.
The high fatty acid content in pumpkin seed oil helps lubricates joints and can be beneficial for diseases of inflammation like arthritis. In fact, studies have shown regular doses to be even more effective than the anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin for reducing arthritic pain. However, unlike indomethacin, it did not elevate liver lipid peroxide levels (something that may actually lead to a worsening of arthritis symptoms).
Consult a knowledgeable healthcare professional if you suffer from arthritis, but also know that not all effective treatments come in a patented prescription pack and regular pumpkin seed oil may be a better and cheaper option.
Pumpkin Seed Oil and Bladder Function
Pumpkin seed oil is often included in products designed to alleviate bladder problems and urinary incontinence. In older men, this issue is often related to an enlarged prostate and it’s DHT blocking properties may help reduce the problem.
But in older women, bladder problems are usually caused by a weakening of the bladder sphincter and pelvic floor. Taking the oil daily can help, but recent studies have shown even better results with a new water-soluble pumpkin seed extract.
Pumpkin Seed Oil, Cholesterol and Phytosterols
Pumpkin seed oil contains good levels of phytosterols that can block the absorption of cholesterol in our gastrointestinal tract. For this reason, along with its beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants, it has been used concurrently with cholesterol-lowering drugs and appears to both help lower overall LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the side effects of medication taken for cholesterol problems.
Of course, consult your doctor if you are currently taking medication, but for anyone wanting to lower their cholesterol levels a little, taking a teaspoon of the oil regularly may have potential.
Other Health Benefits
Pumpkin seed oil has also being used as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, for dealing with intestinal parasites like tapeworms, to lessen the symptoms of osteoporosis and to prevent and even treat kidney stone problems.
These are just a few of the more commonly reported health benefits. If you would like to try it for yourself, the next page is on where to find pumpkin seed oil at a low price.
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