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Pumpkin was reported to have hypoglycemic effect. It has been used in asia as traditional treatment for diabetes mellitus. Here we report 12 year old Saudi who is diagnosed as diabetes mellitus type 1. The pumpkin was fed once or twice daily. His blood HBA1C dropped from 10.8% to 8.5% within 2 months of onset of pumpkin introduction. Studies in our detailed literature review showed that pumpkin extract has positive effects on glycemic control and pancreatic β cells; however, most of the studies were done on animals and human study are needed in this field
Alenazi et al. European Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research
*Dr. Badi Alenazi, Dr. Asma Deeb, Amal Alrowaili, Abeer Alkhaldi and Muneerah alanazi
Article Received on 28/06/2017 Article Revised on 18/07/2017 Article Accepted on 08/08/2017
diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by
chronic hyperglycemia due to defects in insulin
secretion, insulin action, or both. Diabetes can be
classified into two broad categories (type 1 diabetes,
which is characterized by an absolute deficiency of
insulin secretion; or type 2 diabetes, which results from a
combination of resistance to insulin action and an
inadequate compensatory insulin secretory response.
For many years, Cucurbita ficifolia (Cucurbitaceae)
known as pumpkin was used for management of diabetes
mellitus as traditional therapy in Asia.[1] however, the
mechanisms of antidiabetic action of this plant are
We presented a case report of diabetic child who had
mild improvement in glycemic control within two
months of pumpkin intake.
A 12 year old Saudi boy who is known case as diabetes
mellitus type one for one year. He was presented initially
with history of polyuria and polydepsaia and weight loss.
His initial HbA1C was 14 .4 upon admission. He was on
multiple daily injection (basal/bolus regimen) at total
daily dose of 1 unit /Kg/day. He was followed up
regularly in diabetes clinic. During follow up no noticed
improvement in spite of good compliance. He was a
product of term pregnancy and delivered by normal
spontaneous vaginal delivery. There was no
consanguinity between parents.
Vaccination was up to date. Developmental parameters
were appropriate for age. He was on family diet and not
on strict diabetic diet with average appetite.
On examination he was not dysmorphic, weight, height,
were at 25, 25 percentile respectively. Examination of
chest and cardiovascular system were normal. There was
no hepatosplenomegaly, no skin changes. Child had
normal muscle tone and power. No goiter and injection
site were not hypertrophied nor atrophied.
Investigations showed Hemoglobin 13.6g dl, white blood
cell (WBC) 8.9 x103/ L, Serum urea and electrolytes,
Liver function and Bone profile were normal. Celiac
disease profile was negative. Thyroid function test was
within normal range. Glutamic acid decarboxylase
antibodies were positive.
In october and november 2016 The family began to feed
him about 200 gram of pumpkin on daily basis up on
what they heard from the media. Raw pumpkin is placed
in the blender and administered before meals once or
twice daily. Every outpatient visit, Random blood sugar
and HBA1c have to be done prior to appointment. The
home blood glucose was monitored daily for two months
and we asked patient family to register quantity of
pumpkin consumed in meals for one month. By
comparing rates of blood sugar and HBA1c before and
after eating pumpkin. A mild improvement was noticed
after pumpkin introduction as shown in Table 1.
However, in February 2017. The child stopped eating
pumpkin. The last HbA1c was 11.3%. it done on 10 may
SJIF Impact Factor 4.161
Case Report
ISSN 2394-3211
ejpmr, 2017,4(9), 42-45.
*Corresponding Author: Dr. Badi Alenazi
Al Yamamah Hospital, Riyadh.
Mail ID:
Pumpkin was reported to have hypoglycemic effect. It has been used in asia as traditional treatment for diabetes
mellitus. Here we report 12 year old Saudi who is diagnosed as diabetes mellitus type 1. The pumpkin was fed once
or twice daily. His blood HBA1C dropped from 10.8% to 8.5% within 2 months of onset of pumpkin introduction.
Studies in our detailed literature review showed that pumpkin extract has positive effects on glycemic control and
pancreatic β cells; however, most of the studies were done on animals and human study are needed in this field.
KEYWARDS: Pumpkin, diabetes mellitus. Cucurbita ficifolia, Trigonelline.
Alenazi et al. European Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research
Table 1: home glucose reading and HBA1c before and after pumpkin introduction.
outpatient visit
Before pumpkin
outpatient visit
Before pumpkin
outpatient visit
Before pumpkin
outpatient visit
2 months after pumpkin
Random blood sugar
(hospital lab)
234 mg /dl
345 mg /dl
198 mg /dl
117 mg /dl
Average home
Blood glucose
278 mg /dl
329 mg /dl
206 mg /dl
85 mg /dl
Average home
Pre lunch
Blood glucose
308 mg /dl
109 mg /dl
188 mg /dl
123 mg /dl
Average home
Pre dinner
Blood glucose
132 mg /dl
87 mg /dl
112 mg /dl
166 mg /dl
Cucurbita ficifolia contain water (94%), fiber (3%),
vitamin B1 (0.03mg), calcium (17 mg), iron (0.6 mg),
and vitamin C (7 mg).[3] The chemicals within pumpkins,
which have hypoglycemic properties include
polysaccharides from the fruit pulp, oil from
ungerminated seeds and protein from germinated
Alloxan is an oxygenated pyrimidine derivative, which is
a toxic glucose analog and selectively destroys
pancreatic insulin-producing cells when administered to
animal species As a consequence, IDDM (Alloxan
Diabetes) is induced with resultant characteristics similar
to type 1 diabetes in humans.[7]
Yongjun Zhang et al. conducted a study to examine the
impact of the polysaccharide (PCE-CC) extracted from
the pumpkin on diabetic rabbits. The notion behind this
study was to observe the efficiency of PCE-CC on
reducing Blood Glucose (BG), Triglyceride (TG), Total
Cholesterol (TC) and Glycosylated Hemoglobin
(HbA1c) in diabetic rabbits. In addition, they also
wanted to examine the PCE-CC’s impact on the pancreas
islet cells. The subjects were rabbits female and male, the
rabbits were divided into 4 groups 6 rabbits each. The
first group was healthy rabbits and the rest of them were
injected with alloxan. The findings showed that the PCE-
CC had effective results on diabetic rabbits. The group
who was consuming PCE-CC had the most significant
decrease in the BG, TG, TC and HbA1c levels compared
to the negative group (diabetic), which had increased in
the BG, TG, TC and HbA1C levels. Moreover, The
impaired Pancreas in the alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits
was restored after consuming PCE-CC doses, which
concludes that islet cells could be regenerated due to the
PCE-CC consumption. Also, the PCE-CC group had
increased in body weight in contrast to the negative
Shuang Wang et al. conducted a study to test the
polysaccharide (PPs) impact on Blood Glucose (BG),
fasting serum insulin and hepatic glycogen and islet
cells. The subjects were male normal and alloxan-
induced diabetic mice, separated to 10 groups 5 mice
each. The results showed that the PPs had significant
lowering effects on BG in mice. Moreover, the
researchers observed the significant increase of liver-
glycogen and insulin level in alloxan-induced mice that
consumed PPs. Finally, researchers believe PPs could
regenerate pancreatic islet cells.[9]
Hui Jin et al. conducted a study to examine the
antidiabetic extraction from the pumpkin on mice. The
purpose of the study was to extract the polysaccharides
(PCE) from pumpkin powder then other chemicals were
extracted and purified. After extracting polysaccharides
from pumpkin powder, researchers purified PCE and
yield seven effective components (PCE- A, PCE-B,
PCE-C, PCE-D, PCE-E, PCE-F and PCE-G) in order to
inject them in the subjects. The mice were young adult
(male and female) normal and alloxan-induced diabetic,
they were separated in 20 groups, 10 mice in each. The
blood test was measured before and 4, 7 and 11 hours
after the injections. The finding showed that PCE with
dose 200mg/kg BW had significant effects on BG in
normal and diabetic mice. Moreover, PCE-C and PCE-F
both had an effective impact on BG level in both normal
and diabetic mice after 7 hours, however, the PCE-F kept
the low BG level after 11 hours.[10]
Orie YOSHINARI et al. experimented the impact of
pumpkin components especially Trigonelline (TRG) and
Nicotinic Acid (NA) on non-obese type 2 diabetic
(T2DM) rats. The researchers did two experiments, one
for pumpkin paste effects, and the other one was for
TRG and NA effects. They tested the subject’s glucose
tolerance, insulin resistance and the hemoglobin A1c,
insulin, fasting glucose and adipocytokine levels. The
subjects were male rats. They were divided into two
groups and five each in the first experiment, the second
they were three groups and six each. The finding showed
that pumpkin paste, TRG and NA had significant effects
on glucose tolerance in T2D rats and reduced HbA1c
levels. However, the TRG had more effective results
than NA. Moreover, both TRG and NA had positive
Alenazi et al. European Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research
effects on triglyceride. They concluded that TRG and
NA might have decreased the development of diabetic in
R. Sharmin et al. conducted a study to examine the
impact of cucumber, white pumpkin, and ridge gourd
extractson Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) and Lipid
Profile in diabetic rats. The subjects were female rats
divided into 6 groups, 5 of them were Alloxan induced
diabetic rats. The results showed that the cucumber,
white pumpkin, and ridge gourd extractions had positive
effects on FBG. The cucumber extraction had the most
significant effect on lowering blood sugar than the white
pumpkin. On the other hand, white pumpkin extraction
had the most significant effects on both total cholesterol
(TC) and serum triglyceride (TG). Moreover, the
cucumber extraction reduced the serum low-density
lipoprotein (LDL) efficiently first, then the pumpkin
extraction reduced it too. In conclusion, the researchers
believe that the cucumber, white pumpkin, and ridge
gourd extraction have a positive impact on FBG and
Lipid Profile. Also, they suggested adding these
extractions as natural treatments alongside the diabetes
Mohamed Makni et al. conducted a study to examine the
effects of flax seeds and pumpkin seeds on Alloxan
induced diabetes rats. The researchers tested the blood
glucose, insulin level and the Pancreases tissues. The
subjects were male rats divided into 3 groups. The results
showed that the rats which were fed the flax and
pumpkin seed mixture diet (DMS) had an excellent
decrease in blood glucose compared to the rats fed the
regular diet (DD). Moreover, the observation of the
Pancreatic tissues showed that the DMS tissues were
regenerated and were similar to the normal tissues. In
conclusion, the flax and pumpkin seeds have significant
effects on Pancreatic tissues, in addition to reducing
blood glucose in rats (3).
Zhiguo Jiang and Qizhen Du conducted a study to
understand the effects of Tetrasaccharide
Glyceroglycolipids from the pumpkin on decreasing
blood glucose. The subjects were mice divided into 5
groups. They extracted QGMG-2 and QGMG-3 from
Tetrasaccharide Glyceroglycolipids then they injected
them in Streptozotocin- and high fat diet-induced
diabetic mice. The results revealed that both QGMG-2
and QGMG-3 had an impact on lowering blood glucose.
However, QCMG-3 had a stronger impact on blood
glucose due to its chemical structure.[13]
LI QUANHONG et al. conducted a study to observe the
impact of the protein-bound polysaccharide (PBPP)
obtained by water extraction from pumpkin fruits on
Alloxan-induced diabetic rats. The subjects were divided
into 5 groups. The finding presented that the PBPP had a
major impact on lowering blood glucose. Moreover, this
study showed that having big doses of PBPP is more
ZHU Hong-Yan et al. conducted a study to observe the
polysaccharides (PP) mechanism in protecting Pancreatic
islet cells from Streptozotocin (STZ). The researchers
removed the pancreas of the rats then they filtered the
islet cells and divide them into six groups. The groups
were a control group, negative group, positive group and
the rest were induced with (STZ) and treated with
different doses from PP. The results showed that STZ
toxicity could eliminate islet cell, however, the PP could
mostly protect the islet cell from these damage.[15]
Our case case demonstrate mild positive impact on
glycemic control over 2 months of eating daily pumpkin.
however, Studies showed that pumpkin extract has
positive effects on glycemic control and pancreatic β
cells; however, most of the studies were done on
animals. Due to the limited number of available studies,
more research, especially human study, are needed in
this field.
1. Liu Y, Jin H, Xu ZQ, Nan WK, Wang T, Cheng YY.
[Effects of pumpkin polysaccharides on blood
glucose and blood lipids in diabetic rats]. Zhongguo
Ying Yong Sheng Li Xue Za Zhi, 2006; 22(3):
2. Acosta-Patino JL, Jimenez-Balderas E, Juarez-
Oropeza MA, Diaz Zagoya JC. Hypoglycemic
action of Cucurbita ficifolia on Type 2 diabetic
patients with moderately high blood glucose levels. J
Ethnopharmacol, 2001; 77(1): 99101.
3. Makni M, Fetoui H, Gargouri NK, Garoui el M,
Zeghal N. Antidiabetic effect of flax and pumpkin
seed mixture powder: effect on hyperlipidemia and
antioxidant status in alloxan diabetic rats. J Diabetes
Complications, 2011; 25(5): 33945.
4. Xiong, X. M. Study on extraction and separation of
effective composition of pumpkin polysaccharide
and its glucatonic effect. Chin. Tradit. Patent Med.,
2000; 22(8): 563565.
5. Zhang, Y. J. and Yao, H. Y. Composition analysis of
pumpkin polysaccharide and its glucatonic effect. J.
Wuxi Univ. Light Ind., 2002a; 21(2): 173175.
6. Zhang, Y. J. and Yao, H. Y. Revealing the effective
ingredient in pumpkin for reducing blood sugar. J.
Chin. Cereals and Oils Assoc., 2002b; 17(4): 5962.
7. Gary G. Adams, Shahwar Imran, Sheng Wang,
Abubaker Mohammad, M. Samil Kok, David A.
Gray, Guy A. Channell and Stephen E. Harding The
Hypoglycemic Effect of Pumpkin Seeds,
Trigonelline (TRG), Nicotinic Acid (NA) and D-
Chiro-inositol (DCI) in Controlling Glycemic Levels
in Diabetes Mellitus. Critical Reviews In Food
Science And Nutrition, 2014; 54: 10.
8. Zhang Y, Chen P, Zhang Y, Jin H, Zhu L, Li J, et al.
Effects of polysaccharide from pumpkin on
biochemical indicator and pancreatic tissue of the
diabetic rabbits. International Journal of Biological
Macromolecules, Oct 1, 2013; 62: 57481.
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9. Wang S, Lu A, Zhang L, Shen M, Xu T, Zhan W, et
al. Extraction and purification of pumpkin
polysaccharides and their hypoglycemic effect.
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules,
Jan 30, 2017; 98: 1827.
10. Jin H, Zhang Y-J, Jiang J-X, Zhu L-Y, Chen P, Li J,
et al. Studies on the extraction of pumpkin
components and their biological effects on blood
glucose of diabetic mice. Journal of Food and Drug
Analysis, June 2, 2013; 21(2): 1849.
11. Yoshinari O, Sato H, Igarashi K. Anti-Diabetic
Effects of Pumpkin and Its Components,
Trigonelline and Nicotinic Acid, on Goto-Kakizaki
Rats. Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry,
May 7, 2009; 73(5): 103341.
12. Sharmin R, Khan MRI, Akhtar MA, Alim A, Islam
MA, Anisuzzaman ASM, et al. Hypoglycemic and
Hypolipidemic Effects of Cucumber, White
Pumpkin and Ridge Gourd in Alloxan Induced
Diabetic Rats. Journal of Scientific Research, Dec
20, 2012; 5(1).
13. Jiang Z, Du Q. Glucose-lowering activity of novel
tetrasaccharideglyceroglycolipids from the fruits of
Cucurbita moschata. Bioorganic & Medicinal
Chemistry Letters, Dec 10, 2010; 21(3): 10013.
14. Quanhong L, Caili F, Yukui R, Guanghui H, Tongyi
C. Effects of Protein-Bound Polysaccharide Isolated
from Pumpkin on Insulin in Diabetic Rats. Plant
Foods for Human Nutrition, 2005; 60(1): 136.
15. Zhu H-Y, Chen G-T, Meng G-L, Xu J-L.
Characterization of pumpkin polysaccharides and
protective effects on streptozotocin-damaged islet
cells. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines, Mar 20,
2015; 13(3): 199207.
... The most important hypoglycemic active substances in pumpkin are non-pectines polysaccharides and pectines from pulp, proteins and oil obtained from seeds [107][108][109]. Alenazi et al. [118] reported a clinical case of a 12-year-old Asian diabetic patient that ate every day for four months 200 g of pumpkin. ...
... After two months of daily pumpkin consumption, a decrease of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) from 10.8% to 8.5% was observed [118]. The same positive hypoglycemic effect was also revealed in another study by Jain et al. [119]. ...
Full-text available
Cucurbita genus has received a renowned interest in the last years. This plant species, native to the Americas, has served worldwide folk medicine for treating gastrointestinal diseases and intestinal parasites, among other clinical conditions. These pharmacological effects have been increasingly correlated with their nutritional and phytochemical composition. Among those chemical constituents, carotenoids, tocopherols, phenols, terpenoids, saponins, sterols, fatty acids, and functional carbohydrates and polysaccharides are those occurring in higher abundance. However, more recently, a huge interest in a class of triterpenoids, cucurbitacins, has been stated, given its renowned biological attributes. In this sense, the present review aims to provide a detailed overview to the folk medicinal uses of Cucurbita plants, and even an in-depth insight on the latest advances with regards to its antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticancer effects. A special emphasis was also given to its clinical effectiveness in humans, specifically in blood glucose levels control in diabetic patients and pharmacotherapeutic effects in low urinary tract diseases.
... In this regard, a study of 35 patients who consumed 65 g of pumpkin seeds showed a 35% reduction in the area under the insulin curve (Cândido et al., 2018). In another study, a case report, a male adolescent registered a decrease in blood glucose levels from 198 to 117 mg/dL after 2 months of treatment, while the glycosylated hemoglobin values changed from 10.8% to 8.5% (Alenazi, Deeb, Alrowaili, Alkhaldi, & Alanazi, 2017). In another clinical trial, 20 critically ill diabetic patients evidenced a reduction in glucose levels from 214 to 178 mg/dL; consequently, the required insulin units decreased from 48 to 39.5 (Mahmoodpoor et al., 2018). ...
Oxidative stress is the imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and accumulation and the ability of a biological system to clear these reactive products. This imbalance leads to cell and tissue damage causing several disorders in human body, such as neurodegeneration, metabolic problems, cardiovascular diseases , and cancer. Cucurbitaceae family consists of about 100 genera and 1,000 species of plants including mostly tropical, annual or perennial, monoecious, and dioecious herbs. The plants from Cucurbita species are rich sources of phytochemicals and act as a rich source of antioxidants. The most important phytochemicals present in the cucurbits are cucurbitacins, saponins, carotenoids, phytosterols, and
Full-text available
Ethanolic extracts of some fruits of Cucurbitaceae family such as Cucumis sativus (cucumber), Lagenaria siceraria (white pumpkin), Luffa acutangula (ridge gourd), Benincasa hispida (ash gourd), Citrullus lanatus (sweet melon) and Cucarbita maxima (pumpkin) have been studied for their hypoglycemic effects on alloxan induced diabetic rats (AIDRs). Screening results suggested that among the tested fruits the hypoglycemic potency follows: cucumber > white pumpkin > ridge gourd. These three fruit-extracts were further investigated for their hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and glycogenesis effects. Cucumber, white pumpkin and ridge gourd extracts reduced blood glucose level by 67, 65 and 51%, respectively at 12 hours after single intraperitoneal injection; while reduced the low density lipoprotein (LDL) level to 13, 28 and 86%, respectively in AIDRs. The maximum reduction 87% was observed by cucumber extract. Cucumber, white pumpkin and ridge gourd extracts reduced total cholesterol level to 29, 15 and 38%, respectively comparing with the diabetic control group. Here the maximum reduction of 85% was observed by white pumpkin extract. Cucumber, white pumpkin and ridge gourd also reduced triglyceride levels to 72, 68 and 80%, respectively. Maximum reduction of 32% was observed by white pumpkin. Significant improvement of glycogenesis was also observed by ridge gourd extracts in AIDRs.
The anti-diabetic activity of the polysaccharides (PPs) obtained from the dried pumpkin pulp was studied in this paper. The PPs were administered by intraperitoneal injection to the alloxan-induced diabetic male ICR mice. The PPs hypoglycemic effect was evaluated by testing the fast blood glucose level, fasting serum insulin and hepatic glycogen. After 7 h administration, the PPs showed a significantly hypoglycemic effect (p < 0.01) and could significantly increase hepatic glycogen and insulin level (p < 0.05). PPs-e with potential to enhance the islet cells proliferation activity by MTT assays in vitro was obtained from the PPs through alcohol fractional precipitation and gel chromatography. PPs-e composed of rhamnose, arabinose, glucose, galactose, and little amount of inositol could maintain the blood glucose at a low level in diabetic mice and could even last for more than 24 h. These results suggest the potential hypoglycemic effect of the pumpkin polysaccharides in alloxan-induced diabetic mice and for the treatment of diabetic mellitus.
The polysaccharides from pumpkin fruit (PP) were obtained and purified by hot-water extraction, anion-exchange chromatography, and gel column chromatography. The physicochemical properties of PP were determined by gel filtration chromatography, gas chromatography, fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Results indicated that the molecular weight of PP was about 23 kDa and PP was composed of D-Arabinose, D-Mannose, D-Glucose, and D-Galactose with a molar ratio of 1 : 7.79 : 70.32 : 7.05. FTIR and NMR spectra indicated that PP was the polysaccharide containing pyranose ring. Additionally, PP protected islets cells from streptozotocin (STZ) injury in vitro via increasing the levels of super-oxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) and reducing the production of NO. The experiment of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction further proved that PP inhibited apoptosis via modulating the expression of Bax/Bcl-2 in STZ-damaged islet cells. In conclusion, PP could be explored as a novel agent for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Copyright © 2015 China Pharmaceutical University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Pumpkin crude extract (PCE) was extracted from pumpkin powder with water and 95% ethanol at 60 degrees C. Several components were isolated and further purified by solvents purification and dialysis as well as column chromatography. The anti-diabetic activities of the hypoglycemic components extracted from pumpkin were identified using diabetic model mice which were induced by alloxan intraperitoneal injection. The diabetic mice were treated with pumpkin extracts by intraperitoneal injection at dosages of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight. Blood samples for glucose assays were taken from the diabetic mice before injection and 4, 7 and 11 hours after injection. The results showed that the blood glucose levels in the diabetic mice were significantly reduced by PCE-C from 15.32 +/- 4.38 mM to 5.77 +/- 1.46 mM (p < 0.001) in 7 hours. PCE-C was further purified by deproteinization, dialysis and Sephadex G-100 column chromatography and a fraction as PCE-F was collected. Seven hours after PCE-F injection at a dosage of 200 mg/kg body weight, blood glucose levels dropped significantly from 15.90 +/- 3.21 mM to 7.19 +/- 2.54 mM (p < 0.01). PCE-F was identified by gas chromatography as a polysaccharide consisting of heterogeneous monosaccharides, such as glucose, galactose, arabinose and rhamnose. Copyright
In the contemporary society, diabetes mellitus is considered as a common, growing, serious, costly, and potentially preventable public health problem. It is forecasted that in 2030, the number of people with diabetes will go up from 117 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. The prevalence of diabetes will place a huge burden on health and financial structures of countries, and these will impact on individuals, as well as families and nations. Polysaccharides, para-aminobenzoic acid, fixed oils, sterol, proteins, and peptides are biologically active ingredients, which are found in pumpkins. The chemicals within pumpkins such as the fruit pulp, oil from ungerminated seeds, and protein from germinated seeds have hypoglycemic properties. Preliminary investigation showed that pumpkin seeds, and the macromolecules, therein, such as Trigonelline (TRG), Nicotinic acid (NA), and dchiro-inositol (DCI), possess hypoglycemic properties and could assist in maintaining glycemic control.
Two new tetrasaccharide glyceroglycolipids were obtained from pumpkin. The structures of the two compounds were determined using chemical methods and spectroscopic analysis. Both compounds demonstrated significant glucose-lowering effects in streptozotocin- and high-fat-diet-induced diabetic mice.
Reactive oxygen species play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications. This study aims to examine the effects of flax and pumpkin powder seed mixture on alloxan induced diabetes in Wistar rats. Animals were allocated into three groups of six rats each: a control group (CD), diabetic group (DD) and diabetic rats fed with flax and pumpkin seed mixture (DMS) group. The diabetic rats (DD) presented a significant increase in glycemia, plasma and liver lipid parameters such as total lipid, total cholesterol and triglycerides compared to the control group (CD). In addition, plasma and liver malonaldialdehyde levels (MDA, an index of lipid peroxidation) significantly increased compared to (CD). Antioxidant enzymes activities such as catalase, superoxide dismutase, and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels significantly decreased in the plasma and liver of diabetic rats compared to controls. Diet supplemented with flax and pumpkin seed mixture in the DMS group ameliorated antioxidant enzymes activities and level of GSH in diabetic rats and significantly decreased MDA levels. The present study revealed a significant increase in the activities of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase on diabetic status, indicating considerable hepatocellular injury. The administration of flax and pumpkin seed mixture attenuated the increased levels of the plasma enzymes produced by the induction of diabetes and caused a subsequent recovery towards normalization comparable to the control group animals. Our results thus suggest that flax and pumpkin seed mixture supplemented to diet may be helpful in preventing diabetic complications in adult rats.
Ten Type 2 diabetic patients with moderately hyperglycemia, received a raw extract of Cucurbita ficifolia or potable water in a single dose of 4 ml/Kg body weight, in two different sessions at least separated by 1 week. Blood glucose levels were followed in both parts of the study by a period of 5 h. The patients had stopped their pharmacologic medication 24 h prior to each part of the study. As expected, no significant changes on blood glucose were observed after giving the vehicle; however, the oral administration of C. ficifolia was followed by a significant decrease in blood glucose levels, from 12.07+/-1.69 mM (217.2+/-30.4 mg/dl) to 9.42+/-1.96 mM (169.6+/-35.3 mg/dl) 3 h after and to 8.37+/-1.74 mM (150.8+/-31.3 mg/dl) 5 h after the extract administration. The hypoglycemic action of Cucurbita ficifolia agrees with its effects previously observed in laboratory animals. The results of this preliminary study do not give indications for the mechanism of this hypoglycemic effect.
To investigate hypoglycemic substances from pumpkin, protein-bound polysaccharide was isolated by activity-guided isolation from water soluble substances of the fruits. The protein-bound polysaccharide from pumpkin fruits (PBPP) was identified to consist mainly of polysaccharide (approximately 41.21%) and protein (approximately 10.13%) by anthrone test and Lowry-Folin test. Different doses of PBPP were evaluated for hypoglycemic activity and the effect on serum insulin levels in alloxan diabetic rats. The results indicated that PBPP can obviously increase the levels of serum insulin, reduce the blood glucose levels and improve tolerance of glucose. The hypoglycemic effect of big dose PBPP group (1000 mg/kg body weight) excelled that of small dose PBPP group (500 mg/kg body weight) and antidiabetic agent group. The results suggest that the hypoglycemic effect of PBPP depends on the dose and PBPP possesses the possibility of being developed from a new antidiabetic agent.
Study on extraction and separation of effective composition of pumpkin polysaccharide and its glucatonic effect
  • X M Xiong
Xiong, X. M. Study on extraction and separation of effective composition of pumpkin polysaccharide and its glucatonic effect. Chin. Tradit. Patent Med., 2000; 22(8): 563-565.