Booster Shots

Oddities, musings and news from the health world

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Let's milk Halloween for all it's worth, shall we?

October 29, 2009 |  5:13 pm

Pumpkins In the spirit of the season, we report on a new study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that describes the antimicrobial properties of pumpkin skins.

South Korean researchers at the Research Center for Proteineous Materials at Chosun University mushed up pumpkin rinds and subjected the fungus Candida albicans to an extract of several proteins found in the extract. They identified a protein (Pr-2, which we like to imagine stands for "pumpkin rind 2") in the extract that strongly inhibited the growth of C. albicans, suggesting that it could be developed into an anti-fungal therapy. Candida causes vaginal yeast infections and diaper rash.

The scientists also note in the paper that pumpkins have been used in traditional medicine and that "the antibiotic effects of pumpkin have been analyzed, along with its antidiabetic, antihypertension, antitumor, antibacterial, antiinflammatory and antimutagenic effects."

Sounds like another darn superfruit! (This appears to be becoming a pretty crowded category...)

--Rosie Mestel

Photo Credit: Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images