An interesting observation. I eat a lot of pumpkin seeds as a snack and for prostate health. It is a common folk medicine in many cultures.
That being the case I took a quick look at the chemistry behind its use and possible links to tremor (a PD symptom that only rarely bothers me.)
I found this on http://superfoodprofiles.com/pumpkin...ting-hair-loss
"protecting a man’s prostate gland.
Eating the seeds regularly may help reduce an enlarged prostate and relieve the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is a painful condition that leads to constriction of the urethra and difficulty urinating.
There are several health nutrients believed to be responsible for the way pumpkin seeds help reduce prostate problems. The first is a compound called delta-7-sterine
. Delta-7-sterine competes with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at the receptor sites in the prostate.
DHT is strongly implicated in prostate cell proliferation, but when delta-7-sterine is present in the diet in large enough amounts, it seems to help minimize the harmful effects of DHT on the prostate.
Pumpkin seeds contain high levels of phytosterols, including the much studied beta-sitosterol
. Beta-sitosterol has been shown to block the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase.
This can have many positive effects, but specifically for prostate problems, the less excess DHT in the body to act upon the prostate the better.
In a double-blind placebo-controlled study of treating benign prostatic hyperplasia with phytosterols, BPH symptoms were shown to be ‘significantly improved in the treatment group’ with no side effects noted.
The high zinc content
may be another reason why pumpkin seeds are good for prostate problems. Zinc is important for proper hormone production, including testosterone. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is said to enhance our immune response.
All of these are potentially beneficial for a man suffering from an enlarged prostate. Alongside eating pepitas, here are some other good ways to get more of it into your diet.
Pumpkins with Seeds Pumpkin seeds also contain other protective factors to help prevent or treat prostate problems, such as good levels of antioxidant carotenoids like beta-carotene and essential fatty acids. All in all, there’s a lot of nutrition, particularly for men, packed into the little green seeds.
Pumpkin Seeds and Hair Loss
Excessive dihydrotestosterone can cause many problems for men, particularly later in life. The same DHT responsible for enlarging the prostate and causing benign prostatic hyperplasia, is also believed to contribute to hair loss and eventually male pattern baldness.
DHT causes hair loss in men by shortening the anagen (growth) phase of the hair follicle. This can lead to progressively finer and weaker hairs that eventually simply stop growing. However, the beta-sitosterol in pumpkin seeds has been shown to act as an inhibitor of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. It’s this enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.
While we are supposed to have some DHT, most men would feel a lot better and have fewer health problems if there were a little less of this testosterone conversion to dihydrotestosterone happening in our bodies. Snacking on a handful of raw pumpkin seeds regularly may be a good way of lessening testosterone conversion to DHT and minimizing hair loss.
Delta-7-sterine is also believed to reduce the damaging effects excessive DHT by competing with it at receptor sites. This is hard to observe and confirm with something like hair follicles, but many people report a reduction in hair loss when they eat pumpkin seeds regularly.
In fact, some people go so far as to apply pumpkin seed oil directly to their scalp before bed. The idea is to allow the delta-7-sterine, beta-sitosterol, the EFAs and other beneficial nutrients in it to act directly on the hair follicles overnight. The idea’s there, but I’m not sure about the green scalp look. Personally, I think I’ll stick with snacking on the seeds and using pumpkin seed oil on salads and in other recipes to maintain healthy hair."
Not being forced to deal with tremor often, I don't have much personal experience to draw on, but I couldn't help but notice the zinc levels being mentioned. I found this-
1. Indian J Med Sci. 2002 Feb;56(2):69-72.
Infantile tremor syndrome and zinc deficiency.
Vora RM, Tullu MS, Bartakke SP, Kamat JR.
Department of Pediatrics, Seth G.S. Medical College & K.E.M. Hospital, Parel,
Mumbai 400 012.
Infantile tremor syndrome is characterized by coarse tremors, mental and physical
retardation, light colored brown hair, skin pigmentation and anemia. Amongst the
theories proposed for the etilogy of the disorder, the nutritional theory is most
accepted. In this case report, we have presented a fourteen-month-old male child
with ITS and documented zinc deficiency. Though most of the previous workers have
proposed vitamin-B12 deficiency as the etimology for ITS, our report suggests
that zinc deficiency could also have a causative role.
PMID: 12508616 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]