If you are a man over 50 or younger but have already noticed some disorders with your bladder, then pumpkin seed will become your favorite snack! It is a fact that most men after a certain age may experience changes in their prostate size and urination habits.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder. It converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), assisting in sperm production and ejaculation, thus becoming very important for the male reproductive system. However, if excessive amounts of DHT are produced, problems with the size of the prostate may occur.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
This is an enlargement of the prostate, which usually begins at 40s. The result of this increase is the urethra to be compressed, thus causing urinary problems. Overall, it is a situation that concerns most men, with statistics talking about 1 in 3 at ages over 50 and 80% at ages over 70!
Symptoms of BPH
Although the symptoms are not the same in all men, however noticing one of the following is a reason to visit the urologist right away, not letting them get worse:
- Difficulty in urinate delayed onset
- Intense and sudden urge to urinate
- Frequent urination
- Nocturia, ie waking at night to urinate
- Intermittent or prolonged urination
- Feeling that the bladder is not emptying completely after urination
In many men, sexual function and erection due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are affected, and the likelihood of infection is increased.
Pumpkin seeds and prostate
For centuries pumpkin seeds has been one of the first options for prostate disease in traditional medicine in many countries around the world. They are rich in zinc, carotenoids and phytosterols, substances that appear to be beneficial for prostate health.
Men with benign prostatic hyperplasia appear to have low levels of zinc in prostate fluid, so this is an element they need to increase in their diet. In addition, a carotenoid-rich diet has been found to reduce the risk of BPH, while phytosterols relieve the symptoms (1).
The intake of zinc and phytosterols through diet or supplements appears to help reduce an enlarged prostate (2).
Pumpkin seed oil and prostate
Pumpkin seed oil is essentially the extract obtained after special treatment by pumpkin seeds. It is preferable to choose cold pressed oil, as this process retains more of the beneficial antioxidants that are usually lost with heat. You can also find it as a dietary supplement.
Indeed, in a study with Korean men, it was found that the consumption of pumpkin seed oil reduced the score in the “International Prostate Symptom Score”, also known as IPSS. Also, quality of life and urination gradually improved over a period of 3-6 months after taking 320mg of pumpkin seed oil daily (3).
So put pumpkin seeds in your daily routine and don’t overlook any strange symptoms! Visit a specialist to reassure you and give you the right advice.