A new study involved bringing together two uncommon treatment options for a common prostate problem. In that study, investigators evaluated the use of pumpkin seed oil phonophoresis for prostatitis. More specifically, the men who participated had chronic nonbacterial prostatitis, aka chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).
What about pumpkin seed oil phonophoresis for prostatitis?
First, let’s explain the individual elements of the study. Pumpkin seed oil is rich in vitamins and anti-inflammatory components, including oleic acid and linoleic acid. Research has indicated that pumpkin seed oil is helpful for reducing symptoms in men who are experiencing an enlarged prostate (i.e., benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH). Prostatitis and BPH share many of the same symptoms.
Phonophoresis is a treatment strategy that involves using ultrasound to boost the delivery of drugs that are applied topically. It is frequently used to improve the absorption of pain and anti-inflammatory drugs for tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, and frozen shoulder. The medications often used include lidocaine, salicylates, dexamethasone, and hydrocortisone. However, other topical agents can be used as well.
CP/CPPS is the most common form of prostatitis, making up about 95 percent of all cases of this prostate condition.
About half of all men will have experienced some form of prostatitis during their lifetime.
The pumpkin seed oil phonophoresis for prostatitis study
A total of 60 men with CP/CPPS were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: (A) those treated with pumpkin seed oil and phonophoresis; (B) those who were given ultrasound without the oil; and (C) those in a placebo ultrasound group. All of the participants were treated daily for up to three weeks. All had their residual urine, flow rate, and white blood cells count measured.
Here’s what the study showed:
- Men in groups A and B showed a significant improvement in residual urine, flow rate, white blood count, and NIH-CPSI, but no significant changes were observed in group C
- Pumpkin seed oil phonophoresis can result in a significant impact on the management of CP/CPPS and is considered to be safe
Men who have CP/CPPS and who are not responding to current treatment may want to ask their healthcare providers about the use of pumpkin seed oil phonophoresis for prostatitis.
Read more in our Prostatitis Health Center.
Hong H et al. Effects of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto oil in Korean men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia. Nutrition Research and Practice 2009 Winter; 3(4): 323-27
Tantawy SA et al. Trans-perineal pumpkin seed oil phonophoresis as an adjunctive treatment for chronic nonbacterial prostatitis. Research and Reports in Urology 2018 Sep 18; 10:95-101