Fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) seed modulates some markers of erectile function in isolated rat's corpus cavernosum: Influence of polyphenol and amino acid constituents

J Food Biochem. 2019 Nov;43(11):e13037. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.13037. Epub 2019 Sep 9.


Pumpkin seeds are often used in traditional medicine in the management of erectile dysfunction. However, there is insufficient information about the possible biochemical rationale behind this practice. Hence, this study investigated the influence of fluted pumpkin seed on critical enzymes involved in erectile function in isolated rats' corpus cavernosum in vitro. The phenolics and amino acid contents of fluted pumpkin seed were determined using HPLC-DAD and GC-PFPD analyses respectively. The aqueous extract of the fluted pumpkin seed significantly (p < .05) scavenged free radicals and inhibited PDE-5, arginase, AChE, and ACE in rats' corpus cavernosum in a concentration-dependent pattern. Quercitrin and luteolin were the most dominant phenolics, while arginine, aspartate, and cysteine were the most aboundant amino acid constituents. The positive modulatory effect of the fluted pumpkin seed on these critical markers of erectile function could be attributed to its polyphenolics and amino acid constituents. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: This study brought to limelight the medicinal importance of fluted pumpkin seed in erectile functions. Therefore, this seed could be used as a functional food ingredient in the management of erectile dysfunctions and also in improving erectile functions in men. In addition, the dominant phenolics and amino acid constituents of this seed might be an effective nutraceutical in enhancing erections in men.

Keywords: Telfairia occidentalis; amino acids; erectile function; phenolics.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cucurbita / chemistry
  • Cucurbita / metabolism*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / diet therapy*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / metabolism
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Penile Erection
  • Penis / physiopathology
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism*
  • Polyphenols / analysis
  • Polyphenols / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Seeds / chemistry


  • Amino Acids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols