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Scientific Research on Cucurbita pepo
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The plant Cucurbita pepo (of the family Cucurbitaceae) is a species of plant with a large amount of variants that are collectively known as pumpkins, squash, zucchini, and gourds.
The flesh, which has a moisture content of 92.93+/-1.01%, contains:
A fatty acid (0.18%), carbohydrate (48.40%), protein (15.50%), and ash (6.64%) content by dry weight
β-carotene (3934.02µg/100g dry weight)
Triterpenoids calotropoleanyl ester and 13(18)-Oleanen-3-ol
The rind, which has a moisture content of 84.18+/-1.42%, contains:
A fatty acid (6.57%), carbohydrate (19.45%), protein (23.95%), and ash (10.65%) content by dry weight
β-carotene (751.99µg/100g dry weight)
The triterpenoids calotropoleanyl ester and 13(18)-Oleanen-3-ol
The seeds, which have a moisture content of 43.29+/-4.38%, contain:
A fatty acid (47.03%), carbohydrate (6.37%), protein (35.95%), and ash (3.55%) content by dry weight
The fatty acid component, called the seed oil, is comprised mainly of oleic acid (43.8%), linoleic acid (33.1%), palmitic acid (13.4%) and stearic acid (7.8%)
β-carotene (78.89µg/100g dry weight)
Caffeic acid trihexoside and two caffeic acid derivatives
Phenolic acids including p-hydroxybenzoic acid, sinapic acid, and vanillic acid
The seed oil contains phenolic acids in the free form only, at 34.3-113mg of gallic acid equivalents per 100g of seed oil.
In general, all parts of cucurbita pepo fruits are considered food products but extracts from the seeds (water extracts of the seed oil) can be used as dietary supplements. The unique bioactives in these extracts seem to be triterpenoid structures, and there are some carotenoids and phenolic acids as well
In isolated MCF-7 cells, extracts from pumpkin fruits appear to hold cytotoxic potential with IC50 values in the range of 0.4-1.01µg (with the rind being most potent).
- Badr SE, et al. Chemical composition and biological activity of ripe pumpkin fruits (Cucurbita pepo L.) cultivated in Egyptian habitats. Nat Prod Res. (2011)
- Nawirska-Olszańska A, et al. Characteristics of antioxidant activity and composition of pumpkin seed oils in 12 cultivars. Food Chem. (2013)
- Coulson S, et al. A phase II randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial investigating the efficacy and safety of ProstateEZE Max: a herbal medicine preparation for the management of symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy. Complement Ther Med. (2013)
- Jia W, Gao W, Tang L. Antidiabetic herbal drugs officially approved in China. Phytother Res. (2003)