Halloween pumpkin seeds health benefits

Halloween pumpkin

Wondering what to do with all those seeds hacked from the orange flesh of your halloween pumpkin? You could try eating them, especially if you’re on a low-protein diet or likely to be exposed to the organic solcent carbon tetrachloride (tetrachloromethane)!

According to researchers in South Africa, pumpkin seeds can protect the liver from the harmful effects of protein deficiency and exposure to hepatotoxins such as carbon tet.

The seeds of the pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) contain a protein that is a potent antioxidant according to SE Terblanche and colleagues at the University of Zululand in KwaDlangezwa.

The researchers tested the effects of protein isolate on blood plasma levels of certain enzymes including catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase, and on total antioxidant capacity in the liver of rats fed a low protein diet that were exposed to carbon tetrachloride.

They report that, “From the results of the present study it is concluded that pumpkin seed protein isolate administration was effective in alleviating the detrimental effects associated with protein malnutrition and carbon tetrachloride intoxication.” Terblanche and colleagues explain that this indicates that pumpkin seed protein isolate has powerful antiperoxidative properties.

Details of the research appears in the November issue of the journal Phytotherapy Research, 2006, 20(11), 935-940.

Of course, swallowing a handful of pumpkin seeds is not really going to provide adequate protection against ingestion of carbon tetrachloride, so please don’t make it a Halloween chaser.

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5 thoughts on “Halloween pumpkin seeds health benefits

  1. Is it true that Halloween Pumpkin Seeds contains antioxidants? Then it must be a good news for those people who are pro-anti aging.

  2. A paper just out in the journal Indian J Exp Biol. 2008 Sep;46(9):639-45 entitled “Effect of ripe fruit pulp extract of Cucurbita pepo Linn. in aspirin induced gastric and duodenal ulcer in rats.” by Sarkar S, Buha D. of the S.N. Pradhan Centre for Neurosciences, University of Calcutta 244B, A.J.C. Bose Road, Kolkata 700 020, India, claims benefits in stomach ulcer of C pepo

    “A significant decrease in alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity and mucosal thickness and increase in ulcer index (UI) was observed in aspirin treated stomach and duodenum of albino rats. However, pretreatment with C. pepo fruit pulp extract for 14 consecutive days showed increase in AP activity and mucosal thickness along with decrease in UI, suggesting gastroduodenal protective and anti-ulcerogenic properties of C. pepo.”

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