Oil pressed from the humble pumpkin seed has been shown to increase ‘good’ cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduce hot flushes, improve headaches and lessen joint pain.
A group of 35 women were divided into two groups, one group to receive daily wheat germ oil, the other group to receive daily pumpkin seed oil. The dose was just two grams daily (approx half a teaspoon). The study lasted 12 weeks.
RESULTS: Women receiving pumpkin seed oil showed a significant increase in high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations (0.92 ± 0.23 mmol/l vs. 1.07 ± 0.27 mmol/l; p = 0.029) and decrease in diastolic blood pressure (81.1 ± 7.94 mmHg vs. 75.67 ± 11.93 mmHg; p < 0.046). There was also a significant improvement in the menopausal symptom scores (18.1 ± 9.0 vs. 13.2 ± 6.7; p < 0.030), with a decrease in severity of hot flushes, less headaches and less joint pains being the main contributors. Women in the group receiving wheat germ oil reported being more depressed and having more unloved feeling.
Gossell Williams. M et al. Improvement in HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women supplemented with pumpkin seed oil: pilot study. Climacteric. 2011; 14:558-564.