pumpkins

Pumpkins are recommended for breast cancer

By "pumpkins," we mean common large pumpkins, as well as smaller members of the pumpkin family with orange or deep yellow flesh such as butternut squash, acorn squash, winter squash, spaghetti squash, harlequin squash, Hokkaido pumpkins, red kuri squash, and other small orange squashes. Pumpkins contain hypoglycemic substances that may improve diabetes. Pumpkins and pumpkin seeds have components such as squalene, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and various tocopherols with suspected or demonstrated cancer fighting properties. Pumpkin polysaccharide has been shown to possess significant cytoprotective effect and antioxidative activity.

Dietary intake of pumpkin was found to be protective against head and neck cancer in one Eastern European study. Studies have found that those with very low plasma levels of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are at a higher risk of gastric cancer. Intake of orange and yellow vegetables may also be protective against prostate cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, one Japanese study that found a reduced risk of lung cancer in males with frequent consumption of raw and green vegetables, fruit and milk, found an increased risk of lung cancer associated with the consumption of carrots, pumpkins, eggs and coffee.

Most of the population-based breast cancer studies performed to date that specifically included pumpkins were conducted in Japan (since pumpkin consumption is higher there than in the U.S. or Europe). One Japanese study found that consuming vegetables (specifically including pumpkins) reduced the risk of gastric, breast, lung and colorectal cancer, regardless of the family history of cancer. Another Japanese study found reductions in breast cancer risk associated with high intakes of green-yellow vegetables (green leafy vegetables, carrots and pumpkins) among both premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

Pumpkin flesh and seeds should be eaten cooked or roasted, not raw. One study found that raw pumpkin juice increased chromosomal damage in bone marrow cells of experimental rats treated with a carcinogen whereas boiled pumpkin juice significantly suppressed it.

Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil are rich sources of phytoestrogens and cucurbitacin E. One study found that pumpkin seed oil supplementation prevented changes in plasma lipids and blood pressure associated with inadequate estrogen availability in experimental rats that had their ovaries removed. Cucurbitacin E has been shown to inhibit triple negative breast cancer metastasis in the laboratory by suppressing cell migration and invasion. On the other hand, pumpkin seeds also contains relatively high levels of copper, which has been shown to increase angiogenesis and metastasis of breast cancer.

Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list of studies, please click on pumpkin.

Tags: alphaCarotene, betaCarotene, carotenoid, milk, phytoestrogens, pumpkin, squash, type2Diabetes, vitaminB6, zinc

Adolescent Carotenoid Intake and Benign Breast Disease Specific carotenoid intake is inversely associated with the risk of breast cancer among Chinese women The Effect Of Cooking On Phytochemical Content In Vegetables: A Review Circulating Carotenoids and Risk of Breast Cancer: Pooled Analysis of Eight Prospective Studies Cucurbitacin E inhibits breast tumor metastasis by suppressing cell migration and invasion Antioxidant Activity of Brazilian Vegetables and Its Relation with Phenolic Composition Dietary compared with blood concentrations of carotenoids and breast cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies The Association Between Dietary Lignans, Phytoestrogen-Rich Foods, and Fiber Intake and Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk: A German Case-Control Study Comparison of the chemical compositions and nutritive values of various pumpkin (Cucurbitaceae) species and parts Cucurbitane Triterpenoids from the Leaves of Momordica charantia, and Their Cancer Chemopreventive Effects and Cytotoxicities Carotenoid intakes and risk of breast cancer defined by estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor status: a pooled analysis of 18 prospective cohort studies Chemical composition and profile characterisation of pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) seed oil Physicochemical, technological properties, and health-benefits of Cucurbita moschata Duchense vs. Cehualca: A Review Triterpenoids as potential agents for the chemoprevention and therapy of breast cancer Circulating Carotenoids, Mammographic Density, and Subsequent Risk of Breast Cancer Longitudinal study of serum carotenoid, retinol, and tocopherol concentrations in relation to breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women Dietary carotenoids and the risk of invasive breast cancer Influence of Pumpkin Seed Oil Supplementation on Cardiovascular and Histological Outcomes in Female Non-ovariectomized and Ovariectomized Rats Micellar oleic and eicosapentaenoic acid but not linoleic acid influences the β-carotene uptake and its cleavage into retinol in rats Comparison of lifestyle risk factors by family history for gastric, breast, lung and colorectal cancer



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