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Molecules 2012, 17(10), 11864-11876; doi:10.3390/molecules171011864

Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) Fruit Extract Improves Physical Fatigue and Exercise Performance in Mice

1,†, 2,†, 3,†, 1,†, 4, 4, 4, 5,*  and 4,6,*
1 Department of Food and Nutrition, Providence University, Taichung 43301, Taiwan 2 Graduate Institute of Athletics and Coaching Science, National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan 33301, Taiwan 3 Department of Physical Education, Yuanpei University, Hsinchu 30015, Taiwan 4 Graduate Institute of Sports Science, National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan 33301, Taiwan 5 National Laboratory Animal Center, National Applied Research Laboratories, Taipei 11529, Taiwan 6 School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11031, Taiwan These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 August 2012 / Revised: 8 September 2012 / Accepted: 8 October 2012 / Published: 9 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
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Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) is a popular and nutritious vegetable consumed worldwide. The overall purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of C. moschata fruit extract (CME) on anti-fatigue and ergogenic functions following physiological challenges. Male ICR mice from four groups designated vehicle, CME-50, CME-100 and CME-250, respectively (n = 8 per group in each test) were orally administered CME for 14 days at 0, 50, 100 and 250 mg/kg/day. The anti-fatigue activity and exercise performance were evaluated using exhaustive swimming time, forelimb grip strength, as well as levels of plasma lactate, ammonia, glucose, and creatine kinase after an acute swimming exercise. The resting muscular and hepatic glycogen was also analyzed after 14-day supplementation with CME. Trend analysis revealed that CME treatments increased grip strength. CME dose-dependently increased 5% body weight loaded swimming time, blood glucose, and muscular and hepatic glycogen levels. CME dose-dependently decreased plasma lactate and ammonia levels and creatine kinase activity after a 15-min swimming test. The mechanism was relevant to the increase in energy storage (as glycogen) and release (as blood glucose), and the decrease of plasma levels of lactate, ammonia, and creatine kinase. Therefore, CME may be potential for the pharmacological effect of anti-fatigue.
Keywords: pumpkin; Cucurbita moschata; anti-fatigue; exercise performance; glycogen pumpkin; Cucurbita moschata; anti-fatigue; exercise performance; glycogen
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Wang, S.-Y.; Huang, W.-C.; Liu, C.-C.; Wang, M.-F.; Ho, C.-S.; Huang, W.-P.; Hou, C.-C.; Chuang, H.-L.; Huang, C.-C. Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) Fruit Extract Improves Physical Fatigue and Exercise Performance in Mice. Molecules 2012, 17, 11864-11876.

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