Worry Less and Go Less with Pumpkin Seed

Posted on: February 7th, 2018 by Brandon No Comments

Do you feel like you have to use the bathroom more often than you used to during the day? Are you tired of waking up in the middle of the night to go? Do you ever lose urine from exercising, sneezing, or coughing? Do you have an “all-of-a-sudden” need to go and worry you can’t get to the toilet fast enough? These are all symptoms of urinary incontinence (UI).

It’s generally good to move about the world with a sense of urgency; but not because of bladder control issues. Bladder control associated with UI is not something everyone is comfortable talking about, but it’s something that most people encounter with age and effects mostly women.

Pumpkin seeds have been known in folk medicine as a remedy for urinary disorders for centuries. Now they are increasingly being found in natural bladder control products. How do they work? Can they really help improve UI?

What problems come from a lack of bladder control?

Bladder control issues can range from the mildly frustrating to downright embarrassing. As people get older, they can find themselves having to get up in the night more often than they would like or experience periodic bouts of unwanted leakage of urine throughout the day.

Getting up twice or more in the night to go to the bathroom is a condition called nocturia, and it is quite common in both women and men after the age of 40. Another common bladder control problem is known as stress incontinence. This actually has nothing to do with psychological stress and instead refers to mechanical stressors on the bladder such as sneezing, heavy lifting, coughing, and strenuous exercise like running.

Stress incontinence is also sometimes referred to as accidental “leaking.” The sudden need to go, that’s difficult to control, and needing to go eight or more times a day (including two or more times at night) is a condition known as overactive bladder (OAB).

Many bladder control issues are caused by a weakening of the bladder sphincter and pelvic floor muscles. Menopause can often be the culprit in women, as menopause tends to make such problems worse due to hormonal changes. Most people think their symptoms are an inevitable part of normal aging. Fortunately, safe, natural, and low-cost approaches exist — such as pumpkin seed extract — that have demonstrated remarkable benefits in clinical trials.

How does pumpkin seed work?

Pumpkin seed extracts are derived from the same seeds you dig out of your pumpkin when carving the jack-o-lantern for Halloween. Pumpkin seeds are well-known for being very nutrient-rich, as they contain high levels of protein, dietary fiber and a wide array of beneficial micronutrients.

Pumpkin seed has been used for centuries to treat a variety of prostate and urinary issues. From 1863 to 1936, the United States Pharmacopoeia even listed pumpkin seeds as a recommended medicine for intestinal parasite elimination. Only in recent years have scientists begun to discover proof that pumpkin seed really does have some significant medicinal powers.

The exact mechanisms are unclear, but some researchers believe pumpkin seed addresses bladder control issues by strengthening and toning the pelvic floor muscles. This is the name for the group of muscles, located from the pubic bone back to the tailbone, which holds and supports a number of important organs – including the bladder.

When these muscles weaken, due to factors such as age, excess body fat, chronic coughing, and post-menopausal hormone changes, the pelvic floor muscles can fail when you’ve got to go.

How effective is pumpkin seed for bladder control?

A study published in the Japanese Journal of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science demonstrated that pumpkin seed (in this case, paired with soybean germ extract) reduced urinary frequency during both the day and night for the 39 postmenopausal women that were treated over a 6-week period. The researchers noted significant improvement at the end of the first week of therapy.

The Journal of Gynecology and Women’s Health published research showing that pumpkin seed and soybean supplement can even help with leakage caused by OAB. The researchers looked at 82 women, aged 42 to 62, and attributed the improvement in symptoms to the supplement’s ability to protect against the biological changes that occur with age (and menopausal transition) and can lead to urinary incontinence.

Can I get enough pumpkin seed from my diet?

It is certainly possible to get a significant amount of this substance through simply eating pumpkin seeds every day. The studies that demonstrate pumpkin seeds’ effect on bladder control problems typically administer about 1000mg a day to the test subjects.

It is hard to know exactly how many seeds one would have to eat to get this therapeutic dose of pumpkin seed. The appeal of pumpkin seed extract supplements is that they allow for exact, sufficient dosing to address bladder control problems while adding minimal calories.

Do bladder medications work? What are other natural solutions?

Pharmaceutical bladder control products, such as Ditropan, Solifenacin or Tolterodine, can be effective for some people, but few options exist to treat certain UI symptoms (such as stress incontinence) and most of them come with side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, headaches, and nausea. With the various unwanted side effects of medications, many are looking for natural solutions to help reduce their urges to go.

Kegel exercises are commonly recommended to help tighten and strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor which are critical to proper urinary control. These exercises are a good compliment to pumpkin seed supplementation. To try these, contract your pelvic floor muscles for two seconds and relax. Over time, work up to holding the contraction for five seconds and then 10 seconds at a time. Try to do three sets of 30 repetitions each day to develop better pelvic floor strength.

Sometimes constipation puts extra pressure on the bladder, so be sure to eat a high-fiber diet rich in beans, grains, and veggies to avoid making existing bladder problems even worse. Since some urinary disorders are actually caused by urinary tract infections (UTIs), read my article Is Cranberry the Best Natural Solution for UTIs?

Make sure you are maintaining an optimal weight. Excessive pounds in your body can add further pressure to the bladder and muscles of the pelvic floor. It is common to see significant improvement, if not complete control, when this type of mechanical stress is relieved.

It also helpful to drink to drink water throughout the day to make sure the body is well-hydrated. It seems counter-intuitive, as many people try to drink less to have less urine, but more concentrated urine (which typically has a darker color) can irritate the bladder and actually lead to more frequent urges to go.

The average adult produces about 6.3 cups of urine a day and the bladder can hold as much as 2.5 cups at a time. Most people usually feel the urge to pee when their bladder is about a cup full. In comparison, an elephant can hold an incredible 13 gallons or 208 cups. But a 2013 study about the “law of urination” suggests that regardless of the size of the mammal, you and the elephant take on average about 21 seconds to pee.

Change your diet to avoid common substances that irritate the bladder, including caffeine, alcohol, apples, carbonated drinks, chocolate, citrus juice and fruit, corn syrup, cranberries, spicy foods, honey, milk, sugar, artificial sweeteners, tea, tomatoes, and vinegar. Also, try to stop smoking. It can irritate the bladder muscle and cause coughing and stress incontinence. All of these things can go a long way toward helping with bladder control problems and boosting the effectiveness of supplements like pumpkin seed extract.

Which pumpkin seed supplements should I try?

There are a number of high-quality pumpkin see extract supplements to consider for bladder control. Pumpkin Capsules by Genestra simply features essentially fatty acid-rich pumpkin seed oil in softgel form.

If you are interested in a pumpkin seed and soy combination supplement, similar to the ones used in some of the studies mentioned here, Flow-Less by Allergy Research Group is a great option. If you struggle with bladder control and think that UTIs may be playing at least a partial role in the problem, Go-Less by Progressive Labs combines pumpkin seed with cranberry extract.

There’s no need to let urinary disorders control your life with the great natural solutions that exist. If you have any questions regarding the concepts discussed here or anything else, you can reach our customer service team at at: customerservice@oakwaynaturals.com or you can call them at 888-460-3091.

Until next time, stay healthy!

 

Yours in health,

Dr. Gregg Gittins

www.OakwayNaturals.com

Our top pick is...

High-quality pumpkin seed oil in capsule format. Studies show pumpkin seed extract can help with a wide array of urinary disorders. Researchers believe pumpkin seed addresses bladder control issues by strengthening and toning the pelvic floor muscles.

Do you feel like you have to use the bathroom more often than you used to during the day? Are you tired of waking up in the middle of the night to go?  Do you ever lose urine from exercising, sneezing, or coughing?  Do you have an “all-of-a-sudden” need to go and worry you can’t get to the toilet fast enough?  These are all symptoms of urinary incontinence (UI).

It’s generally good to move about the world with a sense of urgency; but not because of bladder control issues. Bladder control associated with UI is not something everyone is comfortable talking about, but it’s something that most people encounter with age and effects mostly women.

Pumpkin seeds have been known in folk medicine as a remedy for urinary disorders for centuries. Now they are increasingly being found in natural bladder control products. How do they work? Can they really help improve UI?

What problems come from a lack of bladder control?
What problems come from a lack of bladder control?

Bladder control issues can range from the mildly frustrating to downright embarrassing.  As people get older, they can find themselves having to get up in the night more often than they would like or experience periodic bouts of unwanted leakage of urine throughout the day.

Getting up twice or more in the night to go to the bathroom is a condition called nocturia, and it is quite common in both women and men after the age of 40. Another common bladder control problem is known as stress incontinence, which refers to mechanical stressors on the bladder such as sneezing, heavy lifting, coughing, and strenuous exercise like running. The sudden need to go, that’s difficult to control, and needing to go eight or more times a day (including two or more times at night) is a condition known as overactive bladder (OAB).

Many bladder control issues are caused by a weakening of the bladder sphincter and pelvic floor muscles — which includes the bladder. Menopause can often be the culprit in women, as menopause tends to make such problems worse due to hormonal changes. Most people think their symptoms are an inevitable part of normal aging. Fortunately, safe, natural, and low-cost approaches exist — such as pumpkin seed extract — that have demonstrated remarkable benefits in clinical trials.

How does pumpkin seed work?
How does pumpkin seed work?

Pumpkin seed extracts are derived from the same seeds you dig out of your pumpkin when carving the jack-o-lantern for Halloween. Pumpkin seeds are well-known for being very nutrient-rich, as they contain high levels of protein, dietary fiber and a wide array of beneficial micronutrients.

Pumpkin seed has been used for centuries to treat a variety of prostate and urinary issues. In 1863 to 1936, the United States Pharmacopoeia even listed pumpkin seeds as a recommended medicine for intestinal parasite elimination.

The exact mechanisms are unclear, but some researchers believe pumpkin seed addresses bladder control issues by strengthening and toning the pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles weaken, due to factors such as age, excess body fat, chronic coughing, and post-menopausal hormone changes, the pelvic floor muscles can fail when you’ve got to go.

How effective is pumpkin seed for bladder control?
How effective is pumpkin seed for bladder control?

A study published in the Japanese Journal of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science demonstrated that pumpkin seed (in this case, paired with soybean germ extract) reduced urinary frequency during both the day and night for the 39 postmenopausal women that were treated over a 6-week period. The researchers noted significant improvement at the end of the first week of therapy.

The Journal of Gynecology and Women’s Health published research showing that pumpkin seed and soybean supplement can even help with leakage caused by OAB. The researchers looked at 82 women, aged 42 to 62, and attributed the improvement in symptoms to the supplement’s ability to protect against the biological changes that occur with age (and menopausal transition) and can lead to urinary incontinence.

Can I get enough pumpkin seed from my diet?
Can I get enough pumpkin seed from my diet?

It is certainly possible to get a significant amount of this substance through simply eating pumpkin seeds every day. The studies that demonstrate pumpkin seeds’ effect on bladder control problems typically administer about 1000mg a day to the test subjects. It is hard to know exactly how many seeds one would have to eat to get this therapeutic dose of pumpkin seed. The appeal of pumpkin seed extract supplements is that they allow for exact, sufficient dosing to address bladder control problems while adding minimal calories.

Do bladder medications work? What are other natural solutions?
Do bladder medications work? What are other natural solutions?

Pharmaceutical bladder control products can be effective for some people, but they can’t treat all symptoms and come with side effects such as dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, headaches, and nausea.

Kegel exercises are commonly recommended to help tighten and strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor which are critical to proper urinary control.  These exercises are a good compliment to pumpkin seed supplementation.

Sometimes constipation puts extra pressure on the bladder, so be sure to eat a high-fiber diet rich in beans, grains, and veggies. Since some urinary disorders are actually caused by urinary tract infections (UTIs), read my article Is Cranberry the Best Natural Solution for UTIs?

Also make sure you are maintaining an optimal weight, since excessive pounds in your body can add further pressure to the bladder and muscles of the pelvic floor. Drink plenty of water because more concentrated urine (which typically has a darker color) can irritate the bladder and actually lead to more frequent urges to go.

The average adult produces about 6.3 cups of urine a day and the bladder can hold as much as 2.5 cups at a time.  Most people usually feel the urge to pee when their bladder is about a cup full.  In comparison, an elephant can hold an incredible 13 gallons or 208 cups.  But a 2013 study about the “law of urination” suggests that regardless of the size of the mammal, you and the elephant take on average, about 21 seconds to pee.

Avoid common substances that irritate the bladder, including caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods. Also try to stop smoking.

Which pumpkin seed supplements should I try?
Which pumpkin seed supplements should I try?

There are a number of high-quality pumpkin see extract supplements to consider for bladder control. Pumpkin Capsules by Genestra simply features essentially fatty acid-rich pumpkin seed oil in softgel form. If you are interested in a pumpkin seed and soy combination supplement, similar to the ones used in some of the studies mentioned here, Flow-Less by Allergy Research Group is a great option. If you struggle with bladder control and think that UTIs may be playing at least a partial role in the problem, Go-Less by Progressive Labs combines pumpkin seed with cranberry extract.

 

We hope this slide show was helpful and informative. Should you have questions, or suggestions, please feel free to fill out our Ask the Doctor form found at the Doctors Corner.

 

Yours in health!

Dr. Gittins

 

* Sogabe H., Ph.D. and Terado T., Ph.D., Japanese Journal of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science: Open Clinical Study of Effects of Pumpkin Seed Extract/ Soybean Germ Extract Mixture-containing Processed Food on Nocturia. 2001
* Maranon, JA, Ph.D., et al., Journal of Gynecology and Women’s Health: Clinical Study: Effect of Supplementation with High Genistein Soybean Isoflavones and Pumpkin Standardized Extract on Urinary Incontinence in Western Perimenopausal Women. 2017
* Yang, Patricia, Ph.D., et al., Cornell University. Law of Urination: all mammals empty their bladders over the same duration. 2013

Leave a Reply


*FDA Required Statement: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.