Pumpkin seeds and other nutritional supplements may not be safe for pregnant women

USA Today article APRIL 4, 2018 8:17:17Pumpkin seed and other nutritionally valuable supplements may be unsafe for pregnant and nursing women, according to a study.

Researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder reviewed all the available studies on the safety of pumpkin seeds and related foods, including nutrition and nutritional supplements.

Their conclusion?

There is no scientific evidence that pumpkin seeds are safe for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

The results, which are based on data collected between 2004 and 2014, are in line with other studies.

They also found that nutritional supplements were more likely to contain contaminants than the other foods and beverages studied.

The Colorado State University School of Medicine found in a review published in May 2017 that pumpkin seed supplements may contain some toxic compounds, such as caffeine, methylmercury, and phenylmethylsulfonylmethane (PMMA), a solvent that is known to be harmful to human health.PMMA is an important component of several synthetic fragrances, including perfumes and nail polish.

Researchers believe it may contribute to the growth of mold and other growth-promoting microorganisms in consumer-grade fragrance products.

The University of California, Davis School of Public Health and the University at Buffalo School of Health & Science found that some pumpkin seeds may have high levels of arsenic and lead.

Potential risks include toxic effects on the fetus, newborns, and children, as well as the reproductive system, according a recent review published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Potentially dangerous substances include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc, the review said.

Potassium chloride, which is also found in some pumpkin seed, has been linked to increased risks of kidney disease, bone disease, and thyroid dysfunction.