Pumpkin seed oil is a deep green oil, rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and other heath nutrients. This article looks at the best dosage, when to take it for the most benefit and where to get good pumpkin seed oil at a low price.
Why Use Pumpkin Seed Oil?
The vitamin E content in pumpkin seed oil is quite high, most notably in gamma-tocopherol which is believed to be a more effective antioxidant than the more commonly known alpha-tocopherol. Alongside its antioxidant functions, a good intake of vitamin E is also very beneficial for preventing skin problems and improving skin tone.
Pumpkin seed oil is a good source of the mineral zinc for boosting our immune system, maintaining sexual health and once again improving our skin. Zinc is also an important mineral for prostate function and may help in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Pumpkin seed oil also contains a compound known as delta-7-sterine that competes with dihydrotestosterone at the receptors and may block its harmful action on the prostate in the case of benign prostatic hyperplasia and the hair follicles with male pattern baldness.
Pumpkin seed oil has been used for improving bladder and kidney function; for treating parasitic infections and kidney stones; as a treatment for hair loss, particularly male pattern baldness associated with excessive dihydrotestosterone production; and most commonly to help treat BPH.
For a more in depth look at the nutritional value of this wonderful green oil please see this post on the various benefits of pumpkin seed oil.
Pumpkin Seed Oil Dosage and Timing
Pumpkin seed oil may be both a preventative and useful treatment for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. A 2009 Korean study found ‘statistically significant’ benefit for a group of men suffering from BPH, given just 320 mg of pumpkin seed oil a day for six months.
In fact, the pumpkin seed oil performed better in the study than saw palmetto oil (a more well-known BPH treatment) and better than pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil combined (which would seem to suggest the higher dosage made the difference).
Another successful pumpkin seed oil study, involving patients with andrological disorders, used Peponen (a brand name pumpkin seed oil), at a dosage of three 300 mg capsules twice a day for the first month (for a total of 1800 mg), then three 300 mg capsules once a day for the remaining months (for a total of 900 mg).
It now seems generally recommended to take at least 1000 mg a day and most good pumpkin seed oil capsules come in this dosage. Therapeutic doses for specific conditions may be higher, perhaps taking the same or double the dose several times a day.
Regarding timing, pumpkin seed oil would, like most fatty acid supplements, be best taken with a meal. If you were taking it as a preventative only once a day, it would probably be best with breakfast or the evening meal.
In larger therapeutic doses, a 1000 mg capsule or two could be taken with each main meal of the day. There would generally be more value in splitting doses throughout the day, rather than having it all at once.
The exception to this would be if pumpkin seed oil were being used as a parasite treatment. In this case, the whole amount for the day, first thing in the morning before food should work best.
Organic Pumpkin Oil
I usually take a teaspoon, around 4 grams, of organic pumpkin seed oil twice a day, with breakfast and dinner as a preventative against BPH and to maintain healthy hair. The anti-parasitic properties and potentially improved bladder and kidney function also interests me, along with the many health nutrients in pumpkin seed oil. Fortunately, I also really like the taste of it.
This may seem a large amount, but there have been no reported side effects in any medical research I’ve seen and pumpkin seed oil is a very healthy oil that covers a lot of nutritional bases. 300 mg just seems too small an amount to me to get real health benefits, but of course consult a knowledgeable healthcare professional if you’re in doubt.
The Pumpkin Seed Oil I currently use is Omega Nutrition organic pumpkin seed oil. The flavor is rich and nutty and it goes well on salads, so you could drizzle a couple of teaspoons worth over mixed salad leaves instead of taking it by teaspoon.
Anyone getting organic pumpkin seed oil by the bottle should keep it in the fridge to maintain freshness. Ideally, use it within a month or two. It should not be heated and is definitely not an oil to use for frying.
Pumpkin Oil Capsules
While I prefer pumpkin seed oil from the bottle, I can see why many people prefer pumpkin seed oil capsules. For one thing, it is much easier to keep track of your pumpkin seed oil dosage and simpler to take than pouring out a spoonful.
Another benefit of the capsules would have to be that the oil is more protected inside and should keep fresh for much longer. Pumpkin seed oil is really sensitive to light. If you are more of an occasional user, it may make better sense to get the pumpkin seed oil capsules and keep them in a cool, dark cupboard.
For good value, high quality pumpkin seed oil capsules, these 1000mg pumpkin seed oil softgels are on special. There is also a new water soluble pumpkin seed extract that many people are reporting significant results with.
Pumpkin seed oil is definitely one of the better tasting ways to improve your health and energy. If you try some for the first time, I’d really appreciate hearing what you think in the comments section below.
Photo credit with thanks: Roberto Verzo