It is estimated that androgenetic alopecia - also known as male-pattern baldness - affects up to 80% of men by the time they reach the age of 80.1 Most approved medications have numerous side effects, which decreases patient compliance.
Alternative treatment methods are a promising option for men struggling with androgenetic alopecia, wanting to avoid side effects. The oil extracted from the seeds of pumpkin is known to offer various benefits for masculine health, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia. However, its effects on hair loss are still unknown.
The aim of this clinical trial was to determine whether pumpkin seed oil can be used to treat androgenetic alopecia.
This randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind was done by scientists from Pusan National University Hospital in Yangsan, South Korea. Its findings were published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal.
Researchers recruited 76 men with mild to moderate androgenetic alopecia. Half of the men received capsules with 400 mg of pumpkin seed oil daily for 24 weeks or the placebo for the same duration of time.
To measure the outcomes, researchers evaluated the photos of the scalps, patient self-assessment scores, scalp hair thickness, and scalp hair counts before, during, and after the study.
Regarding hair count, men in the intervention group showed greater improvements than men in the placebo group (a 40% increase of mean hair count in comparison to a 10% increase, respectively).
In terms of patients' self-assessment scores, the group receiving pumpkin seed oil reported higher satisfaction relative to those receiving the placebo.
No serious side effects were reported by either of the groups.
What Does this Mean?
Researchers in this study have demonstrated that pumpkin seed oil has positive effects on hair growth in men with androgenetic alopecia. These promising results give hope for a natural and safe potential treatment for this type of hair loss.
Since it was the first clinical trial evaluating the use of pumpkin seed oil on baldness, further studies are necessary to fully understand its therapeutic application.
- Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial, 2014
- Expert Opinion in Pharmacotherapy. (2010). Male androgenetic alopecia. Retrieved November 5, 2020 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20426708/