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Bio-nutritional constituents of coconut fruit and its possible medicinal applications

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Abstract

Analysis of constituents of coconut fruit for nutritional and medicinal purposes for people from diverse culture was done to establish the scientific claims for its diverse medicinal applications. The concentrations of glucose, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, zinc along with that of vitamins C and E in the coconut milk and oil were determined using standard laboratory methods, while pH and specific gravity of coconut milk and oil were also estimated. The mean concentrations of constituents of coconut milk were 2645.7 ± 275.3 mg/L for glucose, 0.46 ± 0.06 mg/L for vitamin C, 0.14 ± 0.02 mg/L for vitamin E, 2130.6 ± 144.4 mg/L for calcium, 24.56 ± 2.61 mg/L for iron, 7.06 ± 0.88 mg/L for zinc, 1127 ± 105.7 Meq/L for potassium and 20.22 ± 2.46 Meq/L for sodium, respectively. Coconut oil contained 347.4 ± 52.9 mg/L of glucose, 0.11 ± 0.02mg/L of vitamin C, 0.05 ± 0.004 mg/L of vitamin E, 102.6 ± 18.2 mg/L of calcium, 4.53 ± 0.61 mg/L of iron, 1.04 ± 0.15 mg/L of zinc, 222.5 ± 54.0 Meq/L of potassium and 3.01 ± 0.20 Meq/L of sodium, respectively. The difference between the concentrations of nutrients in coconut milk and coconut oil was statistically significant (P < 0.05); coconut milk is a richer source of the aforementioned nutrients than its oil; routine consumption of coconut or its medicinal application especially in medical conditions where some of the aforementioned nutrients are implicated could be considered.

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... The metabolic functions of zinc are based largely on its presence as an essential component of many metallo-enzymes. Zinc is second to iron as the most abundant trace element in the body; tissues and fluid that are rich in zinc are prostrate, semen, liver, kidney, retina, bone, and muscle [27]. Copper is an essential trace mineral necessary for survival. ...
... Sodium has also been found to be present in coconut. Aside from its role in ionic exchange and balance in the kidneys, it has other numerous health benefits like maintenance of balance of positive and negative ions in the body fluid and tissues, and it also helps in signal transmission and muscle contraction [27]. Carrot has the highest sodium concentration of 84.0 mg followed by coconut (18.7 mg), turmeric (2.4 mg) and pawpaw having the least concentration of 0.10 mg. ...
... Dietary iron is of two types; Heme iron and Non-heme iron, heme iron is present in red meat, fish and poultry and it is absorbed better at 15 to 20% than non heme iron. Non heme is the one that can be found in cereal, vegetable and fruits in which coconut belongs; for non heme iron, absorption is 1.5% but its absorption can be increased with the help of vitamin C which is also present in coconut [27]. ...
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... The high glycemic index observed in the samples of coconut enriched gari fermented for 48 hours may be due to the addition of coconut which has glucose as one of its macronutrients and the reduced fermentation period during processing of the food (Omoregie and Osagie, 2008;Ishiaq and Odeyemi, 2012). This corresponds with reports suggesting that increased processing of foods through addition of other nutrients, may increase the G.I (Ludwig, 2002;Ishiaq and Odeyemi, 2012). ...
... The high glycemic index observed in the samples of coconut enriched gari fermented for 48 hours may be due to the addition of coconut which has glucose as one of its macronutrients and the reduced fermentation period during processing of the food (Omoregie and Osagie, 2008;Ishiaq and Odeyemi, 2012). This corresponds with reports suggesting that increased processing of foods through addition of other nutrients, may increase the G.I (Ludwig, 2002;Ishiaq and Odeyemi, 2012). ...
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The phytochemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial potency of endosperm tissues of C. nucifera were investigated. The phytochemical constituents were revealed to include phenols (0.19 %), flavonoids (0.53 %), alkaloids (0.29 %), tannins (0.18 %) and saponins (0.35 %). Vitamins contents were ascorbic acid (0.08 %), riboflavin (0.27 %), niacin (0.66 %), β-carotenoid (0.03 %) and thiamine (0.18 %). Proximate compositions were moisture (22.33 %), ash (7.76 %), crude protein (11.59 %), crude fibre (12.79 %) and lipids (41.16 %). Mineral constituents detected were calcium (2.87 %), magnesium (0.27 %), potassium (0.53 %), sodium (0.18 %), phosphorus (0.23 %), iron (0.39 %), copper (0.005 %) and zinc (0.007 %). The endosperm tissue extract of C. nucifera showcased significant free radical scavenging activity (using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl method) at minimum and maximum concentrations of 4.0 and 20.0 mg/mL (38.2 – 64.4 %) using ascorbic acid as a standard free radical scavenger (40.4 – 89.6 %). The extract also exhibited potent antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger and Penicillium notatum. Ciprofloxacin was used as an antimicrobial standard. The in vitro bioprotective properties demonstrated by the extract of C. nucifera endosperm tissues could be as a result of the presence of certain vitamins and phytochemicals.
... Solangi and Iqbal [13] also reported the mineral composition and physicochemical parameters of coconut meat and water of major cultivars at the coastal area of Pakistan. In the same vein, the bio-nutritional constituents of coconut fruit and its possible medicinal applications were reported by Ishiaq and Odeyemi [14], but they focused mainly on the coconut milk and oil, not endosperm tissues. In this research, therefore, the West Africa Tall coconut from south-east Nigeria was used. ...
Article
The phytochemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial potency of endosperm tissues of C. nucifera were investi-gated. The phytochemical constituents were revealed to include phenols (0.19 %), flavonoids (0.53 %), alkaloids (0.29 %), tannins (0.18 %) and saponins (0.35 %). Vitamins contents were ascorbic acid (0.08 %), riboflavin (0.27 %), niacin (0.66 %), β-carotenoid (0.03 %) and thiamine (0.18 %). Proximate compositions were moisture (22.33 %), ash (7.76 %), crude protein (11.59 %), crude fibre (12.79 %) and lipids (41.16 %). Mineral constituents detected were calcium (2.87 %), magnesium (0.27 %), potassium (0.53 %), sodium (0.18 %), phosphorus (0.23 %), iron (0.39 %), copper (0.005 %) and zinc (0.007 %). The endosperm tissue extract of C. nucifera showcased significant free radical scavenging activity (using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl method) at minimum and maximum concentrations of 4.0 and 20.0 mg/mL (38.2 – 64.4 %) using ascorbic acid as a standard free radical scavenger (40.4 – 89.6 %). The extract also exhibited potent antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger and Penicillium notatum. Ciprofloxacin was used as an antimicrobial standard. The in vitro bioprotective properties demonstrated by the extract of C. nucifera endosperm tissues could be as a result of the presence of certain vitamins and phytochemicals.
... It is because the fat has lower density than water. Referring to Ishiaq & Odeyemi (2012), the specific gravity values of coconut milk and coconut oil in their study were 1.008 and 0.915 respectively indicating that the coconut fat was apparently lighter than coconut milk. ...
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... However, from the rank 19 or 21, the glucose of coconut water is progressively redeployed into kernel's sucrose and polysaccharides. This is due to hydrolysis reactions implicating alcohols functions (Omotosho and Odeyemi, 2012). At genetic level, the coconut water gustatory characteristics do not seem to be heritable parameters. ...
... Cependant, à partir du rang 19 ou 21, le glucose de l'eau de coco est progressivement reconverti en saccharose et en polysaccharides de l'amande grâce aux réactions d'hydrolyse impliquant les fonctions alcools hémiacétaliques ou non (Assa et al., 2010). En effet, l'eau de coco est partiellement transformée en amande au cours de la maturation des noix (Omotosho and Odeyemi, 2012). ...
Article
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Natural vitamin E includes four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. RRR-α-tocopherol is the most abundant form in nature and has the highest biological activity. Although vitamin E is the main lipid-soluble antioxidant in the body, not all its properties can be assigned to this action. As antioxidant, vitamin E acts in cell membranes where prevents the propagation of free radical reactions, although it has been also shown to have pro-oxidant activity. Non-radical oxidation products are formed by the reaction between α-tocopheryl radical and other free radicals, which are conjugated to glucuronic acid and excreted through the bile or urine. Vitamin E is transported in plasma lipoproteins. After its intestinal absorption vitamin E is packaged into chylomicrons, which along the lymphatic pathway are secreted into the systemic circulation. By the action of lipoprotein lipase (LPL), part of the tocopherols transported in chylomicrons are taken up by extrahepatic tissues, and the remnant chylomicrons transport the remaining tocopherols to the liver. Here, by the action of the "α-tocopherol transfer protein", a major proportion of α-tocopherol is incorporated into nascent very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), whereas the excess of α-tocopherol plus the other forms of vitamin E are excreted in bile. Once secreted into the circulation, VLDL are converted into IDL and LDL by the action of LPL, and the excess of surface components, including α-tocopherol, are transferred to HDL. Besides the LPL action, the delivery of α-tocopherol to tissues takes place by the uptake of lipoproteins by different tissues throughout their corresponding receptors. Although we have already a substantial information on the action, effects and metabolism of vitamin E, there are still several questions open. The most intriguing is its interaction with other antioxidants that may explain how foods containing small amounts of vitamin E provide greater benefits than larger doses of vitamin E alone.
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