Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Food therapy - Vegetables - Summer Squash (Cucurbita)

Kyle J. Norton(Scholar and Master of Nutrients, all right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published on line, including world wide health, ezine articles, article base, healthblogs, selfgrowth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
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Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bio science, ISSN 0975-6299.

                            Squash (Cucurbita)

Squash is the genus Cucurbita, belongs to family Cucurbitaceae and native to Mexico and Central America. In North America, squash is divided into summer squash or winter squash, depending on the maturity of squash when harvested, immature fruit called summer squash and mature fruit called winter squash.

Summer squash
Summer squash, particularly the yellow variety, is a very popular vegetable in the North America now a day. May and July are at their best and most readily available. You can also find fresh, frozen, or canned at any time of the year but it is more fragile and cannot be stored fresh for long periods of time, because of more tender-tasting and easily bruised.

1. Carbohydrate
2. Protein
3. Fat (Omega 3 fatty acid)
4. Dietary fiber
5. Calcium
6. Copper
7. Manganese
8. Magnesium
9. Potassium
10. Iron
11. Zinc
12. Vitamin A
13. Vitamin B1
14. Vitamin B2
15. Vitamin B3
16. Vitamin B6
17. Folate
18. Vitamin C
19. Vitamin K
20. Etc.

Health benefits
A. Health Benefits according to studies
1. Antioxidative activity
In the investigation of water soluble polysaccharide fraction (WSP) from pumpkin fruits (Cucurbita maxima Duchesne) and its antioxidant effects found that the WSP can serve as an inhibitor of ascorbic acid oxidation. The efficacy was also affected by the total sugar content, according to the study of "Antioxidative activity of water soluble polysaccharide in pumpkin fruits (Cucurbita maxima Duchesne)" by Nara K, Yamaguchi A, Maeda N, Koga H.(a)2. Blood sugar
In the assessment of tetrasaccharide glyceroglycolipids obtained from pumpkin and theirs Glucose-lowering activity found that both compounds demonstrated significant glucose-lowering effects in streptozotocin- and high-fat-diet-induced diabetic mice, according to "Glucose-lowering activity of novel tetrasaccharide glyceroglycolipids from the fruits of Cucurbita moschata" by Jiang Z, Du Q.(b)

3. Anticancer and antiinflammatory activities
In the purification of an extract of Cucurbita andreana fruits yielded cucurbitacins B (1), D (2), E (3), and I (4) found that Compounds 1, 2, 3, and 4 inhibited the COX-2 enzyme by 32, 29, 35, and 27%, respectively, at 100 microg/ml. However these compounds did not inhibit the COX-1 enzyme at this concentration. Ibuprofen, naproxen and vioxx, commercial antiinflammatory drugs, were tested as controls for the inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes at concentrations of 2.1, 2.5 and 1.67 microg/ml, respectively. Ibuprofen and naproxen exhibited 59 and 95% COX-1, and 53 and 79% COX-2 inhibitory activities, respectively. Vioxx showed specific COX-2 inhibition by 71%. Also, cucurbitacins 1 and 4 inhibited lipid peroxidation by 59 and 23%, respectively, at 100 microg/ml, according to "Anticancer and antiinflammatory activities of cucurbitacins from Cucurbita andreana" by Jayaprakasam B, Seeram NP, Nair MG.(c)

4. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
In the assessment of extracts from Pygeum africanum, Serenoa repens andCucurbita pepo and theirs effect in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer (PCa) found that A selective dichloromethane extract from the stem barks of Pygeum africanum revealed the highest antiandrogenic effect. Bioactivity-directed fractionation of this extract led to the isolation of N-butylbenzenesulfonamide (NBBS) indicating that extracts of the stem bark of P. africanum harbour androgen antagonistic activity. This compound may provide a novel approach for the prevention and treatment of BPH and human PCa, according to "Extracts from Pygeum africanum and other ethnobotanical species with antiandrogenic activity" by Schleich S, Papaioannou M, Baniahmad A, Matusch R.(d)

5. Etc.

B. Health benefits according to studies
1. Vitamin C
In the evaluation of pulmonary dysfunction. and it effects on pulmonary dysfunction found that At present, evidence from randomised-controlled trials is insufficient to recommend a specific role for vitamin C in the treatment of asthma. Further methodologically strong and large-scale randomised controlled trials are needed in order to address the question of the effectiveness of vitamin C in children withasthma but some outcome data showed effectiveness on lung function, symptom scores, IgE levels and inhaled steroid use. One small study showed a significant difference in % drop in FEV1 post-exercise, according to the study of "Vitamin C supplementation for asthma" by Kaur B, Rowe BH, Arnold E.(1)

2. Molybdenum
Molybdenum cofactor is vital for human enzymes, including xanthine oxidase, sulfite oxidase, and aldehyde oxidase, Deficiency may cause
a. Prenatal brain disruption, according to the study of "Prenatal brain disruption in molybdenum cofactor deficiency" by Carmi-Nawi N, Malinger G, Mandel H, Ichida K, Lerman-Sagie T, Lev D.(2)

b. Uniparental isodisomy with microcephaly and developmental delay, according to the study of "Maternal uniparental isodisomy is responsible for serious molybdenum cofactor deficiency" by Gümüş H, Ghesquiere S, Per H, Kondolot M, Ichida K, Poyrazoğlu G, Kumandaş S, Engelen J, Dundar M, Cağlayan AO.(3)

3. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
a. Memory Improvements
In the investigation of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and Memory Improvements found that The multivitamin improved speed of response on a measure of spatial working memory, according to ""Memory improvements in elderly women following 16 weeks treatment with a combined multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement : A randomized controlled trial" by Macpherson H, Ellis KA, Sali A, Pipingas A.(4)

b. Anti cancer effects
In the observation of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and its anti cancer effects found thatvitamin B6 is involved in the methyl donor cycle ant thus, some of the antitumor properties of vitamin B6 may involve an indirect effect on the level of DNA or histone methylation. according to ""Vitamin B6 and cancer: from clinical data to molecularly mechanisms" by Sujol G, Docquier A, Boulahtouf A, Castet-Nicolas A, Cavaillès V.(5)

4. Etc.

C. Other health benefits
1. Antioxidants
Since summer squash contains several vitamins and minerals antioxidants, it enhances the immune system in fighting the forming of free radicals that causes oxidation, leading to aging, tumors, cancers, etc., according to the study of " Multifunctional antioxidants for the treatment of age-related diseases" by Jin H, Randazzo J, Zhang P, Kador PF., posted in PubMed (

2. Healthy bone
Summer squash helps to ensure healthy bone structure, bone metabolism in absorbing vital calcium, building essential enzymes for building bones and aiding the mineral density of spinal bone, as a result of high amount mgmesium, according to the study of "Magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium levels in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Can magnesium play a key role in osteoporosis?" by Odabasi E, Turan M, Aydin A, Akay C, Kutlu M., posted in PubMed (

3. Lymphatic function
Magnesium in summer squash helps to maintain the proper ratio of potassium, thus enhancing the lymphatic function in regulating the body fluid, resulting in lessening the risk water retention cause of swelling.

4. Vitamin K
Vitamin K beside is best known for its function in aiding coagulation, it also assists the digestive system in absorption of calcium content from food, thus enhancing formation and maintenance of healthy bones, according to the study of "Ultrasound bone mass in patients undergoing chronic therapy with oral anticoagulants" by Rey-Sanchez P, Lavado-Garcia JM, Canal-Macias ML, Rodriguez-Dominguez MT, Bote-Mohedano JL, Pedrera-Zamorano JD., posted in PubMed (

5. Zinc
Zinc beside enhancing the biochemical reactions in the body by stimulating activity in about 100 enzymes, it is a vital mineral for ensuring the prostate health. Deficiency of zinc causes enlarged prostate, sexual dysfunction, abnormal sperm production, etc., according to the study of "Zinc levels in seminal plasma are associated with sperm quality in fertile and infertile men?" by Colagar AH, Marzony ET, Chaichi MJ., posted in PubMed (

6. Etc.

Side effect
1. OxalatesSince summer squash contain a measure amount of oxalates, it can cause health problem for people with untreated kidney and gallbladder diseases.
2. Etc.

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