Poster Topical Area: Dietary Bioactive Components
Location: Hall D
Poster Board Number: 332
Objective: This study compared the effect of supplementation of pumpkin seeds versus pumpkin seed oil (PSO) for 12 weeks on blood pressure (BP, systolic and diastolic), endothelial function, plasma lipids, C-rective protein (CRP) concentrations, and menopausal symptoms in normotensive postmenopausal women.
Methods: In this randomized trial postmenopausal women (n = 27) were randomly assigned to receive raw pumpkin seeds (4.1g/day) or PSO (2g/day) for 12 weeks. BP, plasma lipids, endothelial function (EndoPAT 2000, Itamar-medical), and CRP concentrations were measured at baseline and 12 weeks following supplementation. Participants also completed a menopausal symptom questionnaire at baseline and at 12 weeks. Statistical analyses were performed using Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS-version 24). Both within-subjects and between-subject effects were compared using repeated measures ANOVA. An alpha of 0.05 was set for significance.
Results: In the pumpkin seed group, systolic BP significantly decreased from baseline (118 ±12 mmHg to 114 ± 14 mmHg; p=0.014) compared to the PSO group (no significant changes). Diastolic BP at 12 weeks decreased significantly from baseline in the PSO group (75 ± 9 mmHg to 72 ± 9 mmHg; p = 0.026) and in the pumpkin seed group (74 ± 6 mmHg to 71 ± 8 mmHg; p = 0.002). A trending improvement in endothelial function at 12 weeks was reflected by a non-significant increase in reactive hyperemia index (4%) and a decrease in augmentation index (25%) in the pumpkin seed group. Overall, menopausal symptom score significantly decreased for women in the PSO group from baseline (15.7 ± 7) to 12 weeks (8.5 ± 6; p<0.01) with a significant decrease in severity of hot-flushes (p=0.02). There were no significant changes in plasma lipids or CRP-concentrations in both groups.
Conclusion: Pumpkin seeds exhibited cardio-protective benefits by significantly reducing BP and by providing a marginal improvement of endothelial function in postmenopausal women. Further studies at different doses of pumpkin seeds are needed to better understand overall potential cardiovascular health and menopausal symptom benefits.
Texas Woman's University