Studies have shown that women after menopause are more likely than men to have high blood pressure.1
While the oil extracted from the seeds of pumpkins has shown initial benefits for controlling blood pressure, further studies on various populations were encouraged to fully understand them.
Consequently, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of pumpkin seed oil supplementation on postmenopausal women with hypertension.
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study was conducted by researchers from two US-based universities, Marymount University (Virginia) and Texas Tech University (Texas), as well as the Iranian University of Guilan.
The study involved 22 postmenopausal women, aged 48 to 64 and diagnosed with hypertension. They were assigned either to the pumpkin seed oil group (three 1 g capsules per day taken with meals) or the placebo group (similar capsules containing maltodextrin). The study took place over the span of six weeks.
Blood pressure assessments and other measurements were done before and after the study.
In comparison to the placebo group, several blood pressure parameters significantly decreased in the pumpkin seed oil group, including wave reflection (a key aspect of arterial blood flow) as well as brachial and central systolic blood pressure.
There were no notable changes in the placebo group. Neither of the groups reported adverse side effects.
What Does this Mean?
This study has shown that pumpkin seed oil can be used to manage high blood pressure in postmenopausal women thanks to its effects on improving arterial blood flow. Researchers emphasize that aortic blood pressure reduction is more clinically important than brachial blood pressure decrease.
Although the mechanism behind these effects is still unknown, researchers encourage the use of pumpkin seed oil as a means of preventing and treating hypertension in mid-life women, thus further reducing the risk of life-threatening complications.
- Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, The effects of pumpkin seed oil supplementation on arterial hemodynamics, stiffness and cardiac autonomic function in postmenopausal women, 2019
- Atherosclerosis. (2006). Menopause is an independent factor augmenting the age-related increase in arterial stiffness in the early postmenopausal phase. Retrieved November 5, 2020 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0021915005002479