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The role of Cucurbita pepo in the management of patients affected by lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia: A narrative review

Rocco Damiano, Tommaso Cai, Paolo Fornara, Corrado Antonio Franzese, Rosario Leonardi, Vincenzo Mirone
  • Rocco Damiano
    Department of Urology, University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy | damiano@unicz.it
  • Tommaso Cai
    Department of Urology, Santa Chiara Regional Hospital, Trento, Italy
  • Paolo Fornara
    Department of Urology, Martin-Luther-University, Halle Saale, Germany
  • Corrado Antonio Franzese
    Urology, ASL NA3 SUD, Naples, Italy
  • Rosario Leonardi
    Urology, GECAS Institute, Catania, Italy
  • Vincenzo Mirone
    Department of Urology, University of Naples, Federico II, Naples, Italy

Abstract

Objective: Phytotherapeutic compounds are largely used in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) due to low side-effect profiles and costs, high level of acceptance by patients and a low rate of dropout. Here, we aimed to analyze all available evidence on the role of Cucurbita pepo in the treatment of LUTS-BPH. Material and methods: In May 2016 a systematic search was carried out thorough National Library of Medicine Pubmed, Scopus database and the ISI Web of Knowledge official website in order to identify all published studies on Cucurbita pepo and BPH. The following search strings were used: “Cucurbita pepo” OR “pumpkin seed” AND “prostate”; “Cucurbita pepo” AND “antiandrogen” OR “antiproliferative” OR “anti-inflammatory” OR “antioxidant activities”; “cucurbita pepo” OR “pumpkin seed” AND “LUTS” AND “symptoms improvement” OR “quality of life”. We consider for the present analysis only studies related to LUTS-BPH. Results: Among all 670 screened, 16 were related to LUTSBPH and finally analyzed. Among all, ten of them were performed in “in vitro setting” showing anti-inflammatory and antiandrogen effect, and a reduction in prostate growth and detrusor activity, while six were clinical studies. In all studies an improvement in International Prostatic Symptoms Score (IPSS) and uroflowmetry parameters has been reported. In 4 studies, an improvement in quality of life has been reported. Conclusion: On the basis of our narrative review, the use of Cucurbita pepo in the management of patients affected by LUTS-BPH seems to be useful for improving symptoms and quality of life. However, future clinical trials are requested to confirm these promising results.

Keywords

BPH; Cucurbita pepo; LUTS; Prostate disease; Pumpkin seed

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Submitted: 2016-05-25 07:54:07
Published: 2016-07-04 15:13:24
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Copyright (c) 2016 Rocco Damiano, Tommaso Cai, Paolo Fornara, Corrado Antonio Franzese, Rosario Leonardi, Vincenzo Mirone

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