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Life Extension Magazine October 2012

Pumpkin Seed

Prevalence and burden of overactive bladder in the United States.

CONTEXT: The National Overactive BLadder Evaluation (NOBLE) Program was initiated to better understand the prevalence and burden of overactive bladder in a broad spectrum of the United States population. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of overactive bladder with and without urge incontinence in the US, assess variation in prevalence by sex and other factors, and measure individual burden. DESIGN: US national telephone survey using a clinically validated interview and a follow-up nested study comparing overactive bladder cases to sex- and age-matched controls. SETTING: noninstitutionalized US adult population. PARTICIPANTS: a sample of 5,204 adults >/=18 years of age and representative of the US population by sex, age, and geographical region. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: prevalence of overactive bladder with and without urge incontinence and risk factors for overactive bladder in the US. In the nested case-control study, SF-36, CES-D, and MOS sleep scores were used to assess impact. RESULTS: the overall prevalence of overactive bladder was similar between men (16.0%) and women (16.9%), but sex-specific prevalence differed substantially by severity of symptoms. In women, prevalence of urge incontinence increased with age from 2.0% to 19% with a marked increase after 44 years of age, and in men, increased with age from 0.3% to 8.9% with a marked increase after 64 years of age. Across all age groups, overactive bladder without urge incontinence was more common in men than in women. Overactive bladder with and without urge incontinence was associated with clinically and significantly lower SF-36 quality-of-life scores, higher CES-D depression scores, and poorer quality of sleep than matched controls. CONCLUSIONS: the NOBLE studies do not support the commonly held notion that women are considerably more likely than men to have urgency-related bladder control problems. The overall prevalence of overactive bladder does not differ by sex; however, the severity and nature of symptom expression does differ. Sex-specific anatomic differences may increase the probability that overactive bladder is expressed as urge incontinence among women compared with men. Nonetheless, overactive bladder, with and without incontinence, has a clinically significant impact on quality-of-life, quality-of-sleep, and mental health, in both men and women.

World J Urol. 2003 May;20(6):327-36

The overactive bladder and quality of life.

Overactive bladder (OAB) affects 16.6% of the U.S. population, or 33 million adults, in some form. Despite the prevalence of OAB, almost 60% of those affected seek no medical assistance for the condition either because of embarrassment or the misconception that it represents an inevitable function of aging. A recent surge of interest on the subject has uncovered the dramatic effect that OAB can have on social interactions, sleep, depression, sexual health, and overall health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The introduction of validated, condition-specific QOL questionnaires has enhanced our ability to measure these subjective dimensions of OAB, and to assess their response to therapeutic interventions.

Int J Fertil Womens Med. 2005 Jan-Feb;50(1):30-6

Protein-source tryptophan as an efficacious treatment for social anxiety disorder: a pilot study.

Until recently, intact protein that is rich in tryptophan was not seen as an alternative to pharmaceutical-grade tryptophan because protein also contains large neutral amino acids (LNAAs) that compete for transport sites across the blood-brain barrier. Recent evidence indicates that when deoiled gourd seed (a rich source of tryptophan with approximately 22 mg/g protein) is combined with glucose (a carbohydrate that reduces serum levels of competing LNAAs) a clinical effect similar to that of pharmaceutical-grade tryptophan is achieved. Objective and subjective measures of anxiety in those suffering from social phobia (also known as social anxiety disorder) were employed to measure changes in anxiety in response to a stimulus as part of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study with a wash-out period of 1 week between study sessions. Subjects were randomly assigned to start with either (i) protein-source tryptophan (deoiled gourd seed) in combination with carbohydrate or (ii) carbohydrate alone. One week after the initial session, subjects returned for a follow-up session and received the opposite treatment of that received at the first session. All 7 subjects who began the study completed the 2-week protocol. Protein-source tryptophan with carbohydrate, but not carbohydrate alone, resulted in significant improvement on an objective measure of anxiety. Protein-source tryptophan combined with a high glycemic carbohydrate is a potential anxiolytic to those suffering from social phobia.

Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Sep;85(9):928-32

Effect of pumpkin-seed oil on the level of free radical scavengers induced during adjuvant-arthritis in rats.

Pumpkin-seed oil (PSO), a natural supplement rich with antioxidant ingredients, was given to rats in which arthritis was induced using Freund's complete adjuvant. Its effect was compared with that of indomethacin, as a classical anti-inflammatory agent. Two experimental patterns were studied, an acute phase that was applied only with PSO and a chronic phase applied for both PSO and indomethacin. Compared to normal untreated rats, it was shown that the induction of arthritis caused a decrease in serum sulphhydryl groups, with an increase in serum ceruloplasmin in both phases. Blood glutathione was first elevated in the acute phase, then its level was reduced in the chronic phase. Serum N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase activity was elevated only at the acute phase, while plasma total proteins and albumin were reduced at the chronic phase. Liver glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity was markedly increased, while no changes were observed in the levels of liver lipid peroxides and glutathione. These changes in the studied parameters were attributed to the superoxides and free radicals during arthritic inflammation. Administration of PSO succeeded in modulating most of the altered parameters affected during arthritis, especially at the chronic phase. Also, a remarkable inhibition of paw oedema was observed. A similar pattern was obtained upon treatment with indomethacin except that indomethacin markedly elevated liver lipid peroxides levels. Concurrent administration of PSO with indomethacin caused no changes in the parameters studied compared to that induced by treatment with indomethacin alone.

Pharmacol Res. 1995 Jan;31(1):73-9

Increased incidence of fractures in middle-aged and elderly men with low intakes of phosphorus and zinc.

The aim of the study was to determine dietary risk factors for fracture in men aged 46-68 years. Six thousand five hundred and seventy-six men were randomly invited using the Municipal Registry to a diet and health study. The diet was assessed using a combined 7-day menu book for hot meals, beverages and dietary supplements and a quantitative food frequency questionnaire for other foods. The fracture incidence was 103/10,000 person-years during a mean follow-up of 2.4 years. Zinc and phosphorus intake were associated with fracture risk and showed a threshold effect. The zinc intake in the lowest decentile, 10 mg daily, was associated with almost a doubled risk of fracture compared with the fourth and fifth quintiles (RR = 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 27-82) of zinc intake adjusted for energy, previous fractures, lifestyle factors and co-morbidity. Energy-adjusted phosphorus intake in the lowest quintile, mean level 1357 mg, was associated with an increased fracture risk compared with subjects in the second quintile. Smoking, martial status and physical activity were independently associated with fracture risk. Calcium, retinol and vitamin D showed no associations with fracture risk. We conclude that inadequate intakes of zinc and phosphorus are important risk factors for fracture.

Osteoporos Int. 1998;8(4):333-40

Magnesium intake from food and supplements is associated with bone mineral density in healthy older white subjects.

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether magnesium intake from supplemental and dietary sources is associated with bone mineral density (BMD) in older men and women. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. SETTING: Memphis, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. PARTICIPANTS: Two thousand thirty-eight older black and white men and women aged 70 to 79 at baseline enrolled in the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study. MEASUREMENTS: Dietary intake of magnesium was assessed using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire, and supplement data were collected based on a medication inventory. BMD of the whole body was obtained using a fan-beam densitometer. Additional covariates included age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, alcohol use, physical activity, estrogen use, and supplemental calcium (Ca) and vitamin D use. RESULTS: In white, but not black, men and women, magnesium intake was positively associated with BMD of the whole body after adjustment for age, self-report of osteoporosis or fracture in adulthood, caloric intake, Ca and vitamin D intake, BMI, smoking status, alcohol intake, physical activity, thiazide diuretic use, and estrogen use in women (P=.05 for men and P=.005 for women). BMD was 0.04 g/cm2 higher in white women and 0.02 g/cm2 higher in white men in the highest than in the lowest quintile of magnesium intake. CONCLUSION: Greater magnesium intake was significantly related to higher BMD in white women and men. The lack of association observed in black women and men may be related to differences in Ca regulation or in nutrient reporting.

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Nov;53(11):1875-80

Improvement in HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women supplemented with pumpkin seed oil: pilot study.

OBJECTIVE: Pumpkin seed oil is rich in phytoestrogens and animal studies suggest that there is some benefit to supplementation in low estrogen conditions. This study is the first to evaluate the benefit of pumpkin seed oil in postmenopausal women. METHODS: This pilot study was randomized, double-blinded and placebo-controlled. Study participants included 35 women who had undergone natural menopause or had iatrogenically entered the climacteric due to surgery for benign pathology. Wheat germ oil (placebo; n = 14) and pumpkin seed oil (n = 21) were administered to eligible participants over a 12-week period at a dose of 2 g per day. Serum lipids, fasting plasma glucose and blood pressure were measured and an 18-point questionnaire regarding menopausal symptoms was administered; the atherogenic index was also calculated. Differences between groups, as well as before and after the period of supplementation, were evaluated with Student's t-test, Wilcoxon matched-pair signed-ranked test and Mann-Whitney test, as appropriate (Stata version 10.1). 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. CONCLUSION: This pilot study showed pumpkin seed oil had some benefits for postmenopausal women and provided strong evidence to support further studies.

Climacteric. 2011 Oct;14(5):558-64. Epub 2011 May 5

Phytosterol composition of nuts and seeds commonly consumed in the United States.

Phytosterols were quantified in nuts and seeds commonly consumed in the United States. Total lipid extracts were subjected to acid hydrolysis and then alkaline saponfication, and free sterols were analyzed as trimethylsilyl derivatives by capillary GC-FID and GC-MS. Delta5-Avenasterol was quantified after alkaline saponification plus direct analysis of the glucoside. Sesame seed and wheat germ had the highest total phytosterol content (400-413 mg/100 g) and Brazil nuts the lowest (95 mg/100 g). Of the products typically consumed as snack foods, pistachio and sunflower kernel were richest in phytosterols (270-289 mg/100 g). beta-Sitosterol, Delta5-avenasterol, and campesterol were predominant. Campestanol ranged from 1.0 to 12.7 mg/100 g. Only 13 mg/100 g beta-sitosterol was found in pumpkin seed kernel, although total sterol content was high (265 mg/100 g). Phytosterol concentrations were greater than reported in existing food composition databases, probably due to the inclusion of steryl glycosides, which represent a significant portion of total sterols in nuts and seeds.

J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Nov 30;53(24):9436-45

Micellar distribution of cholesterol and phytosterols after duodenal plant stanol ester infusion.

Properties of the intestinal digestion of the dietary phytosterols, cholesterol and cholestanol, and the mechanisms by which phytosterols inhibit the intestinal absorption of cholesterol in healthy human subjects are poorly known. We have studied the hydrolysis of dietary plant sterol and stanol esters and their subsequent micellar solubilization by determining their concentrations in micellar and oil phases of the jejunal contents. Two liquid formulas with low (formula 1) and high (formula 2) plant stanol concentrations were infused via a nasogastric tube to the descending duodenum of 8 healthy human subjects, and intestinal contents were sampled for gas-liquid chromatographic sterol analysis 60 cm more distally. During the duodenal transit, phytosterol esters were hydrolyzed. This was especially profound for sitostanol, as its esterified fraction per milligram of sitosterol decreased 80% (P < 0.001) in formula 1 and 61% (P < 0.001) in formula 2. Contrary to that, esterified fraction of cholesterol per milligram of sitosterol was increased fourfold (P < 0.001) in formula 1 and almost sixfold (P < 0.001) in formula 2, whereas that of cholestanol remained unchanged. Percentages of esterified sterols and stanols in total intestinal fluid samples were higher after the administration of formula 2 than of formula 1. Esterified cholesterol and stanols accumulated in the oil phase, and free stanols replaced cholesterol in the micellar phase. At high intestinal plant stanol concentrations, cholesterol looses its micellar solubility possibly by replacement of its free fraction in the micellar phase by hydrolyzed plant stanols, which leads to a decreased intestinal absorption of cholesterol.

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2002 Jun;282(6):G1009-15