Introduction: The German Research Activities on Natural Urologicals (GRANU) study was a randomized, partially blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial that investigated the efficacy of pumpkin seed in men with lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH/LUTS).
Subjects and methods: A total of 1,431 men (50-80 years) with BPH/LUTS were randomly assigned to either pumpkin seed (5 g b.i.d.), capsules with pumpkin seed extract (500 mg b.i.d.) or matching placebo. The primary response criterion was a decrease in International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) of ≥5 points from baseline after 12 months. Secondary outcome measures included IPSS-related quality of life, IPSS single items and diary-recorded nocturia.
Results: After 12 months, the response rate (intention-to-treat/last-observation-carried-forward approach) did not differ between pumpkin seed extract and placebo. In the case of pumpkin seed (responders: 58.5%), the difference compared with placebo (responders: 47.3%) was descriptively significant. The study products were well tolerated. Overall, in men with BPH, 12 months of treatment with pumpkin seed led to a clinically relevant reduction in IPSS compared with placebo.
Conclusion: In order to fully justify a recommendation for the use of pumpkin seed to treat moderate LUTS, these findings need to be substantiated in a confirmatory study or systematic review.
2014 S. Karger AG, Basel