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Oil from pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) is an annual climber and is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October . Pumpkin seeds oil is an extraordinarily rich source of diverse bioactive compounds having functional properties used as edible oil or as a potential nutraceutical. In recent years, several studies have highlighted the medical properties of pumpkin seed oil which is known as strongly dichromatic viscous oil . Researchers have so far focused particularly on the composition and content of fatty acids, tocopherols and sterols in pumpkin seed oil because of their positive health effects [3–5]. Moreover, pumpkin has gained attention as an exceptional protective against many diseases, e. g. hypertension and carcinogenic diseases [6, 7]; due to its health benefits such as antidiabetic , antibacterial , antioxidant and anti-inflammation . The determination of the biochemical and oxidative stability properties of raw material pumpkin seeds oil would contribute to the valorization of such oil especially in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries.
Although much progress has been reached in the domain of modern medicine, we still notice the lack of efficient wounds healing treatments. The demand for natural remedies is rising in developing countries  as natural substances may be effective, safe and cheap . Basic research has improved our understanding of enhancement and inhibition of wound healing and has given the basis for introduction of novel treatment methods .
In this respect, the proprieties of Cucurbita pepo L. extracted oil have captured our interest. Despite all the proprieties of the pumpkin oil, and to the best of our knowledge, there is no investigation of this oil in wound healing potential. To this end, the current study aims to identify some physico-chemical aspects of the bioactive components of snow white pumpkin seeds oil as well as to highlight its hemostatic and healing potential effects on wound.
The pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) var. Bejaoui seeds were harvested in region of Sidi Bouzid (Centre of Tunisia). The seeds were authenticated at the National Botanical Research Institute Tunisia (INRAT) and the voucher sample was deposited at INRAT. The fixed oil was extracted by the first cold pressure from seeds using a mechanical oil press (SMIR, MUV1 65). However, “Cicaflora cream®” a repairing emulsion with 10 % of Mimosa Tenuiflora, was served as a reference drug from the local pharmacy. The remaining chemicals used were of analytical grade.
The present study aimed to examine the effect of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seeds supplementation on atherogenic diet-induced atherosclerosis. Rat were divided into two main groups , normal control and atherogenic control rats , each group composed of three subgroups one of them supplemented with 2% arginine in drinking water and the other supplemented with pumpkin seeds in diet at a concentration equivalent to 2% arginine. Supplementation continued for 37 days. Atherogenic rats supplemented with pumpkin seeds showed a significant decrease (p<0.001) in their serum concentrations of total cholesterol and LDL — C as they dropped from 4.89 mmol / L to 2.55 mmol /L and from 3.33 mmol / L to 0.70 mmol / L respectively. Serum concentrations of HDL-C were also significantly elevated in the same group. Although, atherogenic rats supplemented with 2% arginine showed significant increase in serum concentration of HDL-C, no significant changes were observed in their serum concentrations of total cholesterol and LDL-C. Our results showed that treatment of atherogenic rats with pumpkin seeds significantly decreased serum concentrations of TC and LDL-C. Our findings suggest that pumpkin seeds supplementation has a protective effect against atherogenic rats and this protective effect was not attributed to the high arginine concentrations in shine skin pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds may be tiny, but they are densely packed with useful nutrients and nutraceuticals such as amino acids, phytosterols, unsaturated fatty acids, phenolic compounds, tocopherols, cucurbitacins and valuable minerals. All these bioactive compounds are important to a healthy life and well-being. The purpose of this review is to merge the evidence-based information on the potential use pumpkin seeds as a functional food ingredient and associated biological mechanisms, collected from electronic databases (ScienceDirect, ResearchGate, PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar) up to January 2020. Bioactive compounds in pumpkin seeds exhibit promising activities such as anthelmintic, antidiabetic, antidepressant, antioxidant, antitumor and cytoprotective. Furthermore, these bioactives carry potential in ameliorating microbiological infections, hepatic and prostate disorders. As evidenced from literature, pumpkin seeds show potential to be used as both a traditional and functional food ingredient provided further animal and clinical investigations are carried out to establish the respective molecular mechanisms and safety profile.