Pumpkin Seeds for Prostate Problems and Preventing Hair Loss
Raw pumpkin seeds are a high protein and mineral rich food that have some specific benefits for hair loss prevention and protecting men against prostate problems.
Here’s just what makes pumpkin seeds so good for both maintaining your hair and improving your prostate health if you are a man.
BHP and Pumpkin Seeds
Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH is a painful condition that leads to constriction of the urethra and difficulty urinating. It is quite common in older men but there are several health nutrients in pumpkin seeds that may help in treating BHP.
The first is a compound called delta-7-sterine. Research has found delta-7-sterine competes with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at the receptor sites in the prostate.
DHT is strongly implicated in prostate cell proliferation, but when delta-7-sterine is present in the diet in large enough amounts, it appears to minimize the harmful effects of DHT on the prostate.
Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of phytosterols, including the much studied beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol has been shown to block the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. This can have many positive effects, but specifically for prostate problems, the less excess DHT in the body to act upon the prostate the better.
In a double-blind placebo-controlled study of treating benign prostatic hyperplasia with phytosterols, BPH symptoms were shown to be ‘significantly improved in the treatment group’ with no side effects noted.
The high zinc content in pumpkin seeds is another reason why they are considered so good for guarding against prostate problems.
Zinc is important for proper hormone production, including testosterone. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is said to enhance your immune response. All of these are potentially beneficial for a man suffering from an enlarged prostate.
Pumpkin seeds also contain other protective factors to help prevent or treat prostate problems, such as good levels of antioxidant carotenoids like beta-carotene and essential fatty acids.
The incidence of male prostate problems has been found to be considerably lower in countries where pumpkin seeds are often consumed, like Austria and Hungary.
This is hardly surprising with all of the different nutrients in pumpkin seeds and eating them regularly may help reduce an enlarged prostate and relieve the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Pumpkin Seeds and Hair Loss
Excessive dihydrotestosterone can cause many problems for men, particularly later in life. The same DHT responsible for enlarging the prostate and causing benign prostatic hyperplasia, also contributes to hair loss and eventually male pattern baldness.
DHT causes hair loss in men by shortening the anagen (growth) phase of the hair follicle. This can lead to progressively finer and weaker hairs that eventually simply stop growing.
However, the beta-sitosterol in pumpkin seeds has been shown to act as an inhibitor of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. It’s this enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.
Black currant oil is another natural DHT blocker and well worth investigating if you are looking for a natural treatment for hair loss. For some serious hair nutrition, that promotes hair growth and combats hair loss and grey hairs, try this new smoothie recipe.
While we are supposed to have some DHT, most men would feel a lot better and have fewer health problems if there were a little less of this testosterone conversion to dihydrotestosterone happening in our bodies.
Snacking on a handful of raw pumpkin seed like these regularly is a delicious way of lessening testosterone conversion to DHT and minimizing hair loss.
Delta-7-sterine is also believed to reduce the damaging effects excessive DHT by competing with it at receptor sites. This is hard to observe and confirm with something like hair follicles, but many people report a reduction in hair loss when they make pumpkin seeds a regular addition to their diet.
In fact, some people go so far as to apply pumpkin seed oil directly to their scalp before bed. The idea is to allow the delta-7-sterine, beta-sitosterol, essential fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients in pumpkin seeds to act directly on the hair follicles overnight.
With pumpkin seed oil quite a striking deep green color, I think I’ll personally stick with snacking on the seeds and using the rich tasting oil in recipes to maintain healthy hair.