Pumpkin, Squash, and Uric Acid Research

Pumpkin, Squash, and Uric Acid Research

Growing interest in Zucchini and Gout prompts me to look at related vegetables – pumpkin, squash, and marrow.

In fact all these vegetables are part of the Cucurbita group of plants. Significantly, these gourds have different families that might mean different effects on uric acid. Unfortunately, I have not found enough research to allow definite conclusions with respect to uric acid. So, I’ll present what I have for now. Then the picture may become clearer as new research is published.

Gourds and Uric Acid Research Topics

Pumpkin Seeds and Uric Acid
This study tested a mixture of crushed Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) and Field Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seeds. The mix was prepared at the ratio of Omega 6/Omega 3 fatty acids of 5/1.
Diabetic rats had uric acid levels 16% higher (350.2 µmol/L) than controls (302.55 µmol/L). The flax and pumpkin seed mix reversed the increase to slightly less than the control (297.6 µmol/L).
Makni M, Sefi M, Fetoui H, Garoui el M, Gargouri NK, Boudawara T, Zeghal N. Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture ameliorates diabetic nephropathy in rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Aug-Sep;48(8-9):2407-12. Epub 2010 Jun 4. PMID: 20570704.

In the present study, there was an elevation in urea, uric acid and creatinine in the DD [Untreated Diabetic] group indicating renal damage, while significant decrease in these parameters was observed in the animals of DMS [Diabetic rats fed with Flax and Pumpkin seeds mixture] group

Squash Seed Extract and Uric Acid
This study used a methanol extract from crushed seeds of Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin, summer squash, and vegetable marrow). It compares different strengths of extract dose with a traditional Indian alternative to allopurinol – Himalayan cystone.
Diseased rats had uric acid levels 16% higher (1.62 mg/dL) than controls (0.84 mg/dL). The pumpkin seed extract reversed the increase to slightly more than the control (0.92 mg/dL). Note: the uric benefit decreased with higher doses and was not as effective as cystone (0.81 mg/dL).
Shehzad, Aisha, Uzma Saleem, Muhammad Ajmal Shah, Celia Vargas-de la Cruz, Abdul Haleem Khan, and Bashir Ahmad. "Antiurolithic evaluation of Cucurbita pepo seeds extract against sodium oxalate-induced renal calculi." Pharmacognosy Magazine 16, no. 68 (2020): 174.

Conclusion: The extract significantly reduced the urolithiatic [kidney stone] elements such as oxalate, sodium, calcium, phosphate, and uric acid.

Uric Acid unaffected by Squash and Pumpkin
On the other hand, two studies report no significant effects on uric acid…
de Queiroz-Neto, Antonio, Maria Isabel Mataqueiro, Aureo Evangelista Santana, and Antonio Carlos Alessi. "Toxicologic evaluation of acute and subacute oral administration of Cucurbita maxima seed extracts to rats and swine." Journal of ethnopharmacology 43, no. 1 (1994): 45-51.

The extract prepared from dried seeds of Cucurbita maxima [Winter Squash] was administered to rats and pigs. Following a single dose or 4 weeks of daily oral administration, the extract produced no changes in serum glucose, urea, creatinine, total protein, uric acid

Wang, Shih-Yi, Wen-Ching Huang, Chieh-Chung Liu, Ming-Fu Wang, Chin-Shan Ho, Wen-Pei Huang, Chia-Chung Hou, Hsiao-Li Chuang, and Chi-Chang Huang. "Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) fruit extract improves physical fatigue and exercise performance in mice." Molecules 17, no. 10 (2012): 11864-11876.

Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) is a gourd-like squash […] a 14-day oral feeding trial. […] there were no significant side effects in the […] renal profile (BUN, creatinine and uric acid)

Gourds and Uric Acid Research Summary

From 4 uric acid studies we see favorable results in 2 experiments and no effect in the other 2. So there is insufficient data to draw conclusions. We therefore need studies on human gout sufferers to confirm tentative theories:

  • There is no evidence of uric acid increases from gourd consumption.
  • Uric acid reduction from gourd consumption might depend on the variety of gourd.
  • Uric acid reduction rates from gourd extracts appear to be dose dependent.
Pumpkin and Uric Acid
Pumpkin and Uric Acid

Your Gourds and Uric Acid

Which aspects of gourds and uric acid are you interested in? Do you think consumption of pumpkin, squash, or other gourds might have affected your gout?

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