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COCONUT OIL – A REVIEW OF POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS

Authors:

Abstract

Coconut oil is an edible oil obtained from the kernel of harvested mature coconuts of the coconut palm .In recent years this oil has attained superstardom in the health food world. Celebrities are adopting its use, nutritionists advocating it, and patients acclaiming its many virtues. A number of health benefits have been attributed to this oil. These include benefits in skin care, hair care, stress relief, weight loss and cholesterol level maintenance, immunomodulatory effects, cardiovascular uses, and more recently in Alzheimer’s disease .However for several years, coconut oil was demonized and consumers were made to believe that coconut oil is deleterious to health as it would block the arteries and cause heart disease. The tide has turned and in recent times recognition of the positive health effects of coconut oils have emerged stronger. The use of coconut oil, especially virgin coconut oil is in vogue, though some people still remain skeptical. This article attempts to scientifically review the therapeutic benefits of this oil.
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Hygeia.J.D.Med.7 (2) October 2015; 34-41.
Hygeia.J.D.Med. October 2015 March 2016 ISSN 2229 3590
Hygeia:: journal for drugs and medicines
October 2015
Open Access www.hygeiajournal.com
Research article section: Medicinal Natural Products
A Half Yearly Scientific, International, Open Access Journal for Drugs and Medicines
DOI:10.15254/H.J.D.Med.7.2015.149 Review Article
COCONUT OIL A REVIEW OF POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS
Shijna Kappally, Arun Shirwaikar and Annie Shirwaikar*
College of Pharmacy, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE
Key words: coconut oil,
Applications
Correspondence
Annie Shirwaikar
College of Pharmacy,
Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE
Received: 14 April 2015,
Revised: 30 May 2015,
Accepted: 25 July 2015,
Available online: 8 October 2015
ABSTRACT
Coconut oil is an edible oil obtained from the kernel of harvested
mature coconuts of the coconut palm .In recent years this oil has attained
superstardom in the health food world. Celebrities are adopting its use,
nutritionists advocating it, and patients acclaiming its many virtues. A number of
health benefits have been attributed to this oil. These include benefits in skin care,
hair care, stress relief, weight loss and cholesterol level maintenance,
immunomodulatory effects, cardiovascular uses, and more recently in Alzheimer’s
disease .However for several years, coconut oil was demonized and consumers
were made to believe that coconut oil is deleterious to health as it would block the
arteries and cause heart disease. The tide has turned and in recent times
recognition of the positive health effects of coconut oils have emerged stronger.
The use of coconut oil, especially virgin coconut oil is in vogue, though some
people still remain skeptical. This article attempts to scientifically review the
therapeutic benefits of this oil.
1. INTRODUCTION
For thousands of years tropical countries have used coconut from the tree Cocos nucifera, Family
Aracaceae (palm family) as an integral part of their diet and livelihood. Known as “kalpa vriksha”, in
Sanskrit, this interprets as the palm which supplies all the necessities of life. The coconut is known as
pokok seribu guna” in Malaysia, translating as a tree of a thousand uses. In Philippines, it is commonly
known as the "Tree of Life". All parts of the coconut palm are useful, with significant economic value1, 2.
Coconut oil or Copra oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts of the coconut
palm3. In recent years this oil has attained superstardom in the health food world. Celebrities are adopting
its use, nutritionists advocating it, and patients acclaiming its many virtues. Yet, despite the growing
popularity, some people are skeptical. Its many health benefits sounds too good to be true.
Corresponding author email: dr.annie@gmu.ac.ae ; shirwaikarannie@gmail.com
Phone: 055 3105746
Hygeia.J.D.Med. Vol.7 (2), April 2015 © All rights reserved
Hygeia journal for drugs and medicines, 2229 3590
Researcher id: J-6280-2015
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Shijna Kappally et al.
Health care professionals and physicians have exhibited reluctance to use coconut oil as a health
food. Saturated fats have been condemned for so many years, that they find it hard to change their
opinions even when faced with evidence to the contrary. The newest high-value product, which is
becoming a by-word in coconut producing countries is Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO). There is no industry
standard definition for "virgin coconut oil" as there is in the olive oil industry for "virgin" and "extra
virgin" olive oil. Natural or mechanical means are used to obtain the oil. Heat may or may not be used
for extraction. The oil is not subject to chemical refining, bleaching or de-odorising so that the nature of
the oil remains unaltered, and further processing is not required for human consumption4. VCO, the
purest form of coconut oil is essentially colorless and free from rancidity. Unlike natural coconut oil, it
is endowed with the natural antioxidant, Vitamin E which prevents the peroxidation reaction. The aroma
of the fresh coconut can vary from mild to intense depending on the method employed for oil extraction.
VCO differs from natural coconut oil in the process of extraction. While the latter is extracted by cold
milling or cold compression of copra (another name for dried coconut kernels), the former is extracted
from coconut milk obtained from fresh coconuts5. Further processes such as fermentation, and
centrifugal separation, refrigeration, and enzyme action, enables the separation of the oil from water or
moisture. In some cases, micro-expelling is used i.e. boiling the fresh coconut oil, followed by
evaporating the water / moisture or by direct cold compression of fresh dried coconut meat6.
VCO mainly consists of medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which are resistant to peroxidation. They
differ from animal fat which consists of long chain saturated fatty acids and is the one main risk factor for
cardiac complication7. Medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) differ from long chain fatty acids in that they
actually help to protect against heart disease. MCFA have been reported to lower the risk of both
atherosclerosis and heart disease. MCFA is reported to be primarily responsible for the special and
beneficial effects of VCO8. The best known dietary sources of MCFA are include coconut and palm
kernel oils.
2. CHEMICAL PROPERTIES AND CHEMISTRY
In the 1920s and 1930s it was discovered that coconut oil differed from other fats and oils in that it was
found to be composed predominantly medium chain triglycerides. The composition of Fatty acids in VCO
as determined by Gas Liquid Chromatography include Saturated fats : Lauric acid (45% to 52%) ,
Myristic acid (16% to 21%), Palmitic acid (7% to 10%), Caprylic acid (5% to 10%), Capric acid ( 4% to
8%), Stearic acid (2% to 4%), Caproic acid (0.5% to 1%) and Palmitoleic acid ( in traces) and
Unsaturated fats : Oleic acid (5% to 8%) , Linoleic acid (1% to 3%) and Linolenic acid (up to 0.2%).
VCO is colourless, free of rancidity and has a specific fresh natural coconut aroma and the specifications
which should meet by the Virgin Coconut Oil listed in the Table 19.
3. THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS
Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has been consumed worldwide for various health-related reasons and some of
its benefits have been scientifically evaluated.
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Hygeia.J.D.Med.7 (2) October 2015; 34-41.
Coconut oil a review of potential applications
Table.1: Specifications of Virgin Coconut Oil
Properties
Specifications
Moisture and volatile content
0.20% max
Free fatty acids(Expressed as lauric acid)
0.20% max
Peroxide value
3.0 meq/kg oil max
Food additives
None permitted
Matter volatile at 105OC
0.20% max
Heavy metal
Mg/kg max
Iron(Fe)
5.0
Copper(Cu)
0.40
Lead(Pb)
0.10
Arsenic(As)
0.10
3.1. Antioxidant and Antistress Activity
A study carried out by Yeap SK et al evaluated the antistress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut
oil in vivo. VCO reduced lipid peroxidation and increase the activity of SOD in the serum of mice
undergoing the forced swim test and the brains of mice subjected to chronic cold restraint10. VCO has
been reported to be rich in polyphenols and these contribute to the increased antioxidant enzyme levels,
which in turn reduces inflammation and lipid peroxidation in VCO-treated mice. Restoration of brain
antioxidant levels hinders further neuronal damage thereby preventing subsequent monoamine
depletion11. The potential of VCO to prevent exercise- and chronic cold restraint stress-induced damage
and to restore the antioxidant balance was demonstrated and this was attributed to the polyphenols and
medium-chain fatty acids present in VCO. In another study on the comparative effect of VCO with copra
oil, olive oil and sunflower oil on endogenous antioxidant status and paraoxonase-1 activity in
ameliorating the oxidative stress in rats, findings revealed that dietary VCO improved the antioxidant
status as compared to the other three oil- fed groups, as was evident from increased catalase, superoxide
dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase activities in tissues12.
3.2. Hepatoprotective activity
Several studies10, 11 have reported the antioxidant activity of VCO. Oxidative stress induced by the
generated free radicals plays a lead role in the development of hepatic toxicity13. A study was conducted
on hepatoprotective activity of VCO on 2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2, 4-D) induced liver damage in
rats14. Rats treated with 2, 4-D showed a significant liver damage with increased serum transaminases and
alkaline phosphatase enzymes activities, hepatic lipid peroxidation and liver free fatty acids. Serum total
protein, albumin, hepatic superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase enzymes activities were
significantly reduced. Inflammation and necrosis were observed in liver sections of treated rats. VCO oil
treated animals showed an improvement in hepatic antioxidant enzymes, serum transaminases activities
and liver free fatty acids levels which was confirmed by histopathological examination, thereby
establishing the hepato protective activity of VCO15.
3.3. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of VCO
A study conducted by Intahphuak et al, evaluated the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic
effects of VCO in rats using ethyl phenyl propiolate-induced ear edema and carrageenan and arachidonic
acid-induced paw edema. VCO was found to possess moderate anti-inflammatory effects.
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Shijna Kappally et al.
Through reduction of the transudative weight, granuloma formation, and serum alkaline phosphatase
activity, VCO exhibited an inhibitory effect on chronic inflammation. In acetic acid-induced writhing, the
model for analgesic activity and for yeast-induced hyperthermia for antipyretic activity, VCO showed a
moderate analgesic and antipyretic effect16.
3.4. Wound Healing Effect
Wound healing is a complex process where the skin or other body tissue repairs itself after injury. The
oil of Cocos nucifera has been reported to be an effective wound healing agent17. Nevin et al studied the
effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during
dermal wound healing in young rats. In their study, animals were treated for 10 days with VCO, 24 hours
after creation of the wound. VCO’s healing activity was evaluated by monitoring time for complete
epithelization in addition to various parameters of the wound's granulation tissue. Solubility pattern of
collagen, glycohydrolase activity and granulation tissue histopathology were also studied. Animals treated
with VCO showed much faster wound healing activity, indicated by a decreased time in complete
epithelization and higher levels of various skin components. The significant increase of Pepsin-soluble
collagen and glycohydrolase activities observed indicated higher collagen cross- linking and its turnover.
They concluded that the wound healing activity of VCO may be a cumulative effect of various minor
biologically active components present within 18.
3.5. Effect on Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic skin disease characterized by features of defective epidermal barrier
function and inflamed cutaneous layer. In this condition trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) is increased
and the ability of the stratum corneum to hold water is impaired. This leads to decreased skin capacitance
and hydration. A study by Evangelista et al investigated the topical effect of VCO on SCORAD index,
trans epidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis using a
randomized controlled trial design. A total of 117 patients included were evaluated at baseline, and then at
2, 4, and 8 weeks respectively. The results concluded the superiority of VCO over mineral oil among
pediatric patients with mild to moderate AD 19.
3.6. Use as an Ocular Rewetting Agent
Dry eye is a symptom caused by the lack of quality /quantity of tears or defect on the ocular surface
area. That leads a condition of discomfort, visual disturbance; tear film instability, increased osmolality of
the tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface, which ameliorate the damage to the ocular surface.
Among all the therapeutic option for dry eyes, artificial tears is the mainstay for the initial management of
dry eye patient. Due to the complexity of tear film, it is difficult to manufacture tears that would be
similar to that of the human eye. Several brands of artificial tears are commercially available, that would
consist of Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose, Poly vinyl alcohol, sodium hyaluronate and oil based tears. A
previous study showed that liposomal spray applied on closed eye lid had increased the thickness of lipid
layer and also significantly increased the tear film stability. On account of this study Dept. of Optometry
and vision science at Malaysian University evaluated the usage of VCO as a supplement for tear film.
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Hygeia.J.D.Med.7 (2) October 2015; 34-41.
Coconut oil a review of potential applications
A pilot study was carried out on the efficacy of VCO as an ocular rewetting agent on Rabbit eyes. VCO
was found to be safe in the dry eye and its anti-inflammatory property was attributed to be responsible for
its significant beneficial effect in the management of dry eyes20.
3.7. Effect on Alzheimer’s disease
In the neurological disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD), memory loss and cognitive decline occurs
because of death of brain cells. The neurodegenerative disease starts as mild dementia getting
progressively worse. In the brain, the lipid macromolecule, cholesterol is utilized as an antioxidant, for
structural scaffolding of the neural network, as an electrical insulator (to prevent ion leakage), and as a
functional membrane component. Cholesterol is utilized in the wrapping and synaptic delivery of the
neurotransmitters and also plays an important role in the formation and functioning of synapses in the
brain. Several studies21 have proven the lack of cholesterol in the brains of AD patients. In contrast, a
positive correlation (better memory function and reduced dementia) was observed between high
cholesterol levels and longevity in a population above 85 years old . A study appearing in the American
Journal of Cardiology in February 2011 suggested that a diet with adequate amounts of saturated fat is
essential to maintain HDL high cholesterol levels. Those with deficiencies and suffering from
neurological disorders needed to consider a diet that is high in saturated fat. The saturated fat of coconut
oil provides the brain with an alternate source of energy in ketones. Ketones are high energy fuels that
nourish the brain. Fasting /starvation can trigger the production of ketones. Ketones are also formed by
the conversion of medium chain fatty acids in certain foods. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of these
medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) 22. A study done in 2004 took MCTs from coconut oil and put them
into a drink that was given to Alzheimer’s patients while a control group took a placebo. They observed
significant increases in levels of the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate (beta-OHB) 90 minutes after
treatment. When cognitive tests were administered, higher ketone values were associated with greater
improvement in paragraph recall with MCT treatment relative to placebo across all subjects23.
3.8. Effect on blood pressure elevation
Hypertension or elevated blood pressure is the main risk factor for cardiovascular complications such as
coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stroke. Many studies to prevent the elevation of blood
pressure have been carried out.
Badlishah Sham Nurul-Iman et al carried out a study on Effect of VCO on prevention of blood pressure
elevation and Improves Endothelial Functions in rats fed with repeatedly heated palm oil. This study
explored the effects of virgin coconut oil (VCO) in male rats fed repeatedly with heated palm oil on blood
pressure, plasma nitric oxide level, and vascular reactivity. In their study elevation of blood pressure was
created by the repeated feeding of heated palm oil. On overheating, the free radicals that were generated
induced oxidative stress within the blood vessel, affecting the NO level in the endothelial cells. In male
rats, supplementation with repeatedly heated palm oil VCO was found to prevent blood pressure elevation
and to also decrease nitric oxide deactivation. In addition, VCO did not influence relaxation but decreased
vasoconstriction of the endothelium24.
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Shijna Kappally et al.
3.9. Immunomodulatory effect
In 1966, Jon Kabara discovered that Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA’s) of virgin coconut oil are
incredible for antimicrobial properties that kill harmful viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. When
MCFA’s are digested, they break down into free fatty acids and monoglycerides 25 .Lauric Acid, Capric
acid, and Caprylic acid are the important medium chain fatty acids present in coconut oil that possess
antimicrobial activity. Their monoglyceride form, monolaurin, monocaprylin, and monocaprin hinder
microbes from terrorizing the immune system. Individually, these fatty acids act on microbes in different
ways. Some may kill a particular organism that causes fungal infections but may not be as useful on other
microbes. Unitedly, however they act as a highly powerful defence against diseases. Monolaurin
(monoglyceride form of lauric acid) is considered to have the best antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial
effect26.
3.10. Effect on blood sugar control
A study on Insulinotropic potency of lauric acid: a metabolic rationale for medium chain fatty acids
(MCFA) in TPN formulation by Garfinkel M et al proved that the effect of MCFA on insulin secretion
depends upon its chain length. Among all MCFA capric acid (C10) and lauric acid were observed to
display the most potent effects on insulin secretion27. Another study proved that, as compared to other
oils, coconut oil in the diet enhanced insulin action and improved binding affinity 28.
3.11. Effect on weight loss
A study conducted on the effect of dietary medium- and long-chain triacylglycerols (MLCT) on
accumulation of body fat in healthy humans by Kasai M et al proved that a daily intake of MLCT diet
could cause a reduction in body weight and body fat accumulation. Volunteers in a double-blind study for
12 weeks, consumed daily at breakfast, test bread, with 1.7 g MCFA, bread made with long-chain
triacylglycerols (LCT) was consumed by the control group. A significant decrease of body weight and
amount of fat, with a significant decrease in serum total cholesterol was observed in the test group29. In
another study on the effect of dietary supplementation with coconut oil on the biochemical and
anthropometric profiles of women with abdominal obesity (waist circumferences (WC) >88 cm) the
intake of dietary supplement with VCO was observed to decrease the amount of abdominal fat30.
4. CONCLUSION
People of traditional cultures of the South Pacific Islands, Asia, Africa and the Central America have
used coconut oil for generations in traditional coconut-based diets. These people suffer very much lower
rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and other health problems than those in North
America and Europe who don't eat coconut-based food at all. Till very recently, coconut oil was
demonized and consumers were made to believe that coconut oil is deleterious to health as it would clog
arteries and cause heart disease. The tide has turned and in recent times recognition of the positive health
effects of coconut oils has emerged stronger and coconut oil, especially virgin coconut oil is being
extolled for its beneficial properties.
40
Hygeia.J.D.Med.7 (2) October 2015; 34-41.
Coconut oil a review of potential applications
While coconut oil definitely never really deserved its bad reputation, there is need for more research on
the many claims attributed to this oil.
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Shijna Kappally, Arun Shirwaikar and Annie Shirwaikar. Coconut oil a review of potential applications. Hygeia.J.D.Med.7 (2) October 2015; 34-41
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DOI: 10.15254/H.J.D.Med.7.2015.149.
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... Leaves, dichloromethane fraction from ethanolic extract [35] ACE inhibition in vitro [35] Mangiferin [34,36] Leaves, methanolic extract [101] ACE inhibition in vitro [101] Urs-12-ene [101] A. graveolens Seeds, methanolic extract [102] ACE inhibition in vitro [102] Junipediol A 8-O-β-dglucoside [104] Leaves, methanolic extract [103]. ...
... ACE inhibition in vitro [103] C. nucifera ...
... The results from studies with several experimental models have suggested that A. graveolens preparations may exert their antihypertensive effects through vasodilation; the stimulation of muscarinic receptors; and/or the stimulation of diuresis [39,41,126]. Suggestions for an involvement of ACE inhibition in (some of) these effects came from the decreased conversion of N-[3-(2-furyl)acryloyl]-L-phenylalanyl-glycyl-glycine by rabbit lung ACE in the presence of a methanolic seed extract [102], and the decreased conversion of 3-hydroxybutyrylglycyl-glycyl-glycine into Gly-Gly and 3-hydroxybutyric acid by rabbit lung ACE in the presence of a methanolic leaf extract [103]. Subsequent studies led to the identification of junipediol A 8-O-β-d-glucoside as one of the main ACE-inhibiting ingredients of A. graveolens [104]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Plant-based antihypertensive preparations are abundantly used in traditional medicinal practices in many parts of the world including the Republic of Suriname (South America). In some cases, their apparent blood pressurelowering activity may be related to inhibition of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). In this literature review, 12 plants that are commonly used in Suriname for treating hypertension have been compiled and assessed for an involvement of ACE inhibition in this condition. The 12 most commonly used ‘antihypertensive’ plants with ACEinhibitory properties are Ruellia tuberosa, Mangifera indica, Apium graveolens, Cocos nucifera, Cucumis sativus, Momordica charantia, Punica granatum, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Musa x paradisiaca, Averrhoa bilimbi, Phyllanthus amarus, and Piper betle. All of them inhibited ACE activity in vitro, 3 (M. charantia, P. granatum, and P. betle) inhibited ACE activity in laboratory animals as well, and 2 (P. granatum and M. paradisiaca) were also active against ACE in human subjects. Indications about the identity of the pharmacologically active ingredient(s) were available for R. tuberosa, M. indica, A. graveolens, M. charantia, H. sabdariffa, and P. amarus. In most cases, the active ingredient(s) were associated with phenolic compounds. The results from this study support the involvement of ACE inhibition in the blood pressure-lowering activity of traditionally used Surinamese medicinal plants but also indicate that the scientific evidence for this contention is limited. Further pharmacological studies on these aspects as well as the pharmacologically active constituents of the plants are warranted, since they may help identify novel plant-based ACE inhibitors
... The coconut is often called the "Tree of Life" since it yields fruit almost every month and its different parts like the copra (dried meat of the coconut seed) and coconut oil from the matured coconut kernels are of economic interest [1,11]. The main product is the endosperm, which includes the liquid coconut endosperm and the solid coconut endosperm or meat and its by-products. ...
... Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is highly composed of medium chain triglycerides and has recently been popular due to its potential health benefits. VCO has properties that are beneficial for human health, as shown by studies related to chronic inflammation, osteoporosis, blood pressure control, nitric oxide deactivation, sugar level control, wound healing, and studies in rat models testing for analgesic and antipyretic characteristics [1,11,[24][25][26][27]. VCO is resistant to lipid peroxidation, and increases important antioxidant enzymes (such as superoxide mutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase), hepatic antioxidant enzymes and lipid-controlling enzymes (such as paraoxonase-1) that could protect against coronary heart disease [11,[28][29][30][31]. ...
... VCO has properties that are beneficial for human health, as shown by studies related to chronic inflammation, osteoporosis, blood pressure control, nitric oxide deactivation, sugar level control, wound healing, and studies in rat models testing for analgesic and antipyretic characteristics [1,11,[24][25][26][27]. VCO is resistant to lipid peroxidation, and increases important antioxidant enzymes (such as superoxide mutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase), hepatic antioxidant enzymes and lipid-controlling enzymes (such as paraoxonase-1) that could protect against coronary heart disease [11,[28][29][30][31]. A comparison of the fatty acid composition in edible vegetable oils derived from coconut, oil palm, canola, corn, cottonseed, flax or linseed, olive, peanut, soybean and sunflower shows that coconut oil and palm oil are rich sources of lauric acid (C12) ( Table 1) and are considered to be of high economic value [3,5,16,[18][19][20]. Lauric acid is a medium-chain triglyceride that is beneficial for human health and nutrition [16]. ...
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The coconut is a major crop of many tropical countries, with the endosperm being one of its main products. The coconut soft-endosperm variants, the Makapuno and the Lono, are emerging as economically important. This review describes this crop, its salient endosperm phenotypes and the prevailing hypotheses associated with these. We also collate the literature on the Makapuno and provide a comprehensive review of the scarce information on the Lono. We review the current tenets of plant DNA methylation and provide examples of altered phenotypes associated with such methylation changes. We explore how the changes in the methylome affect endosperm development and the tissue culture process. We further cite the epigenetic basis of an altered endosperm phenotype of a closely related species to the coconut, the oil palm. We discuss how such modifications could affect coconut endosperm development, yielding the Makapuno and Lono phenotypes.
... In another review, virgin coconut oil inhibited the effects of chronic inflammation by reducing granuloma formation and alkaline phosphatase activity in the blood serum. 29 Meanwhile, blood thrombogenicity was found to be promoted in subjects consuming coconut oil by lowering tissue plasminogen activator antigen concentration 26 and increasing the platelet count. 17 This finding indicates faster healing and recovery after an injury. ...
... Promising results in increasing antioxidant levels due to the presence of polyphenols, tocopherol, tocotrienol, phytosterol, phytostanol and flavonoids in coconut oil have been reported. 12,29,30 Coconut oil, particularly VCO, is less affected by oxidation as evident by its low total oxidation (TOTOX) value after five days of use. It is therefore less prone to free radical formation (hence greater oxidative stability) even after re-use. ...
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Coconut oil is commonly used in most Asian countries such as the Philippines. However, with the introduction of the-Lipid Heart Theory‖, there has been a decrease in the oil's acceptance by consumers. This short review aims to identify the current status of coconut oil, particularly in the Philippines, in terms of its effects on human health. The health aspects considered in this review are: cardiac health, lipid profile, visceral adiposity, weight management, immunity, dege-nerative disease, infectious disease, skin and hair health, and oral health. Coconut oil generally confers positive effects on the health of the consumers but further studies are necessary in order to determine its long term effects.
... It is commonly known as the "Tree of Life" in some South Asian countries, such as the Philippines, Malaysia, etc. That means the coconut tree is known as a tree of a thousand uses, and all parts of the coconut palm are useful, with significant economic value [1,2]. At the same time, the coconut tree is crucial for biodiversity protection. ...
... One of edible oil that still produce in large quantity, sell traditionally, easy to find in traditional market, and has been widely used in long time is coconut oil. Coconut oil is an edible oil obtained from kernel of harvested mature coconut of coconut palm (Shijna Kappally, 2015). Coconut oil is produced by crushing copra, the dried kernel, which contains about 60-65% of the oil. ...
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One of the main factors that cause rancidity in oil is microbial activity. Microbes may produce enzyme which hydrolyze glycerides to become glycerol and free fatty acid (FFA). Volatile FFA may change the odor and flavor of oil. The aims of this research are to identify the microbial contaminant in seven samples of traditional coconut oils and two samples of factory coconut oil as a control; and to determine FFA content in these coconut oil samples. Microbial contaminant was detected by using pour plate method, while FFA content was determined by using acid-base titration. Results show that the common microbe contaminants in seven samples of traditional coconut oil are fungus: genus of Aspergillusand Rhizopus and the possibility of yeast and bacteria presence. Free fatty acid content in traditional coconut oil samples is between of 1 to 4,while FFA value in factory coconut oil is lower than 0.2. These results show that the higher of FFA value in traditional coconut oil than FFA value in factory coconut oil. The main factors that caused the difference ofFFA content is the presence of antioxidant. Factory coconut oils are using antioxidant to prevent hydrolysis and oxidation reaction occur in oil. Fungus contaminant in traditional coconut oil lead to the produce of enzyme that hydrolyze glyceride in oil to become FFA. Fungus contaminant in traditional coconut oil were possibly contaminated in packaging process. Generally, traders in traditional market use waste bottles (reuse of mineral water bottle) as a packaging bottle for coconut oil without any sterilized treatment.
... Several health benefits have been attributed to this oil. These include benefits in skincare, haircare, stress relief, weight loss, cholesterol level maintenance, immunomodulatory effects, cardiovascular uses, and more recently, in Alzheimer's disease [33]. Huang et al. [34] evaluated the antimicrobial property of LA against Propionibacterium acnes both in vitro and in vivo. ...
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Antibiotics have components to inhibit infections against Staphylococcus aureus, but they depend on judicious use to minimize the incidence of resistance forms. Strategies to improve the current situation include research in finding a new antimicrobial from virgin coconut oil (VCO). The saturated fatty acid, lauric acid (LA) (C12) contain in VCO was reported to have antibacterial activities. This study developed antimicrobial of VCO as an antimicrobial and immunomodulatory agent. Staphylococcus aureus used in this study had been isolated and identified from the mastitis milk crossbreed Etawa goat from Riau, Indonesia. The susceptibility of S. aureus to VCO was tested using the broth dilution method. The inhibition mechanisms of S. aureus had been studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) after treatment with VCO, and potential of VCO, which is known in phagocytosis macrophage. In vitro test confirmed the inhibitory effect of VCO on the growth of S. aureus at the concentration of 200 μl (equal to 0.102 % LA). Based on the result of the phagocytosing assay, VCO could increase the ability of the macrophage cells to phagocyte S. aureus significantly at a concentration of 200 μL (equal to 0.102% LA). This study concluded that the VCO could inhibit the growth of S. aureus with destructive mechanisms of bacterial cell walls and increase the ability of the phagocytic immune cells.
... There have been many researches about biodiesel production by either the transesterification of vegetable oils and animal fats or the esterification of refined fatty acid esters. The vegetable oils transesterification with short-chain alcohols is carried out by acid or basic catalysts while the esterification of free fatty acids (FFA) presenting in animal fats with alcohols is carried out over heterogeneous acid catalysts [3]. As a result, the products derived from these syntheses are glycerol and esters of the renewable fuel or socalled biodiesel. ...
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This research aimed to determine the influence of process parameters on yields of biofuel production by hydrocracking of waste virgin coconut oil using HZSM-5 zeolite catalyst and to determine statistical relationship of yields of biofuels with the parameters by Pearson's correlation. The various operating parameters in batch reactor were a reaction temperature (350-400°C), an initial hydrogen pressure (20-40 bar), and a reaction time (1-3 h). The highest yields of gasoline (6.79 wt%) and kerosene (31.38 wt%) were achieved under a temperature at 400°C, initial hydrogen pressure at 40 bar, and a reaction time of 3 h. The highest yield of diesel of 58.62 wt% was achieved at a reaction time of 1 h under temperature 400°C and initial hydrogen pressure 40 bar. Using Pearson's correlation data analysis, the correlation coefficient between two variables (the yield of biofuel and the operating condition) showed strong dependence of reaction temperature and time on yields of hydrocarbon chains of various length. Yields of shorter hydrocarbon chains such as biogasoline and biokerosene required higher reaction temperature and longer reaction time and vice versa. However, pressure dependence on yields of biofuels was insignificant.
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This study aimed to apply silkworm pupae (SP) to food product development. The characteristics and sensory acceptance of chicken bread spread fortified with SP at different levels (0%; SP0, 25%; SP25, 50%; SP50, and 75%; SP75) were evaluated. The fat content of the bread spread was significantly increased, whereas the protein content was decreased with increasing levels of SP ( p ≤ 0.05). The increased level of SP resulted in the final products being dark in color, as indicated by the significant decrease in L* and the significant increase in a* and b* ( p ≤ 0.05). SP50 was accepted by the consumer. Thereafter, the characteristics and sensory acceptance of SP50 with different levels of coconut oil (CO) (100%; SP50-100, 70%; SP50-70, 40%; SP50-40, and 10%; SP50-10 of CO content in the control sample) were studied. The firmness and stickiness increased, whereas TEF decreased with decreasing CO levels, which was related to the decreased spreadability of SP50. SP50-40 obtained satisfactory sensory properties by the consumer. The energy value for SP50-40 was within the normal range for bread spread products. Therefore, SP could be a source of fat and protein for the production of an alternative food product to increase the added value of edible insects.
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Poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA)-based nanoparticles draw remarkable attention as drug delivery agents due to their controlled release characteristics, low toxicity, and biocompatibility. 4HGF is an herbal mixture of Phellinus linteus grown on germinated brown rice, Cordyceps militaris grown on germinated soybeans, Polygonum multiflorum, Ficus carica, and Cocos nucifera oil. Here, we encapsulated 4HGF within PGA-based hydrogel nanoparticles, prepared by simple ionic gelation with chitosan, to facilitate its penetration into hair follicles (HFs). In this study, we report the hair promoting activity of 4HGF encapsulated with PGA nanoparticles (PGA-4HGF) and their mechanism, compared to 4HGF alone. The average size of spherical nanoparticles was ~400 nm in diameter. Continuous release of PGA-4HGF was observed in a simulated physiological condition. As expected, PGA-4HGF treatment increased hair length, induced earlier anagen initiation, and elongated the duration of the anagen phase in C57BL/6N mice, compared with free 4HGF treatment. PGA-4HGF significantly increased dermal papilla cell proliferation and induced cell cycle progression. PGA-4HGF also significantly increased the total amount of β-catenin protein expression, a stimulator of the anagen phase, through induction of cyclinD1 and CDK4 protein levels, compared to free 4HGF treatment. Our findings underscore the potential of PGA nanocapsules to efficiently deliver 4HGF into HFs, hence promoting hair-growth. Therefore, PGA-4HGF nanoparticles may be promising therapeutic agents for hair growth disorders.
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Coconut oil is an edible oil obtained from the kernel of harvested mature coconuts of the coconut palm .In recent years this oil has attained superstardom in the health food world. Celebrities are adopting its use, nutritionists advocating it, and patients acclaiming its many virtues. A number of health benefits have been attributed to this oil. These include benefits in skin care, hair care, stress relief, weight loss and cholesterol level maintenance, immunomodulatory effects, cardiovascular uses, and more recently in Alzheimer's disease .However for several years, coconut oil was demonized and consumers were made to believe that coconut oil is deleterious to health as it would block the arteries and cause heart disease. The tide has turned and in recent times recognition of the positive health effects of coconut oils have emerged stronger. The use of coconut oil, especially virgin coconut oil is in vogue, though some people still remain skeptical. This article attempts to scientifically review the therapeutic benefits of this oil.
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Purpose. An open-label pilot study of virgin coconut oil (VCO) was conducted to determine the safety of the agent as ocular rewetting eye drops on rabbits. Methods. Efficacy of the VCO was assessed by measuring NIBUT, anterior eye assessment, corneal staining, pH, and Schirmer value before instillation and at 30 min, 60 min, and two weeks after instillation. Friedman test was used to analyse any changes in all the measurable variables over the period of time. Results. Only conjunctival redness with instillation of saline agent showed significant difference over the period of time (P < 0.05). However, further statistical analysis had shown no significant difference at 30 min, 60 min, and two weeks compared to initial measurement (P > 0.05). There were no changes in the NIBUT, limbal redness, palpebral conjunctiva redness, corneal staining, pH, and Schirmer value over the period of time for each agent (P > 0.05). Conclusion. VCO acts as safe rewetting eye drops as it has shown no significant difference in the measurable parameter compared to commercial brand eye drops and saline. These study data suggest that VCO is safe to be used as ocular rewetting agent on human being.
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Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has been consumed worldwide for various health-related reasons and some of its benefits have been scientifically evaluated. Medium-chain fatty acids were found to be a potential antidepressant functional food; however, this effect had not been evaluated in VCO, which is rich in polyphenols and medium-chain fatty acids. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antistress and antioxidant effects of VCO in vivo, using mice with stress-induced injury. The antistress effect of VCO (administered per os, at a dose of 10 ml/kg body weight) was evaluated using the forced swim test and chronic cold restraint stress models. VCO was able to reduce immobility time and restore oxidative stress in mice post-swim test. Furthermore, mice treated with VCO were found to exhibit higher levels of brain antioxidants, lower levels of brain 5-hydroxytryptamine and reduced weight of the adrenal glands. Consequently, the serum cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose and corticosterone levels were also lower in VCO-treated mice. These results suggest the potential value of VCO as an antistress functional oil.
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Background: Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. However, its use is associated with toxic reactions. Virgin coconut oil (VCO), derived from coconut, has been widely used throughout history for its medicinal value. The aim of this study was to investigate the beneficial actions of VCO against TMP-SMX-induced alterations in serum biochemical end points. Methods: Twenty rats were divided into four groups. Group 1 (control) received no drug, whereas group 2 received TMP-SMX (8/40 mg/kg) twice daily for 7 days. Group 3 was administered coconut oil at a dose of 600 mg/kg body weight per day. The last group was treated with TMP-SMX (8/40 mg/kg) and coconut oil (600 mg/kg) simultaneously. Blood samples were collected from all groups on the 8th day of the experiment for measurement of serum biochemical parameters. Organ weights and coefficients were also evaluated. Results: TMP-SMX caused a significant (p<0.05) increase in the levels of serum total bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase, and alkaline phosphatase by 192%, 67%, and 41%, respectively, relative to controls. This was followed by a significant reduction in triglyceride and relative kidney weight by 40% and 7%, respectively. There were no significant differences (p>0.05) in the activities of serum aminotransferases, total acid phosphatase, γ-glutamyl transferase, uric acid, cholesterol, albumin, and urea levels. Supplementation of VCO ameliorated TMP-SMX-induced effects by restoring the levels of total bilirubin, alkaline phospahatase, and lactate dehydrogenase. Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate that the active components of coconut oil had protective effects against the toxic effects induced by TMP-SMX administration, especially in the liver of rats.
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Virgin coconut oil (VCO) extracted by wet processing is popular among the scientific field and society nowadays. The present study was carried out to examine the comparative effect of VCO with copra oil (CO), olive oil (OO) and sunflower oil (SFO) on endogenous antioxidant status and paraoxonase 1 activity in ameliorating the oxidative stress in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed different oils at 8% level for 45 days along with the synthetic diet. Results revealed that dietary VCO improved the antioxidant status compared to other three oil fed groups (P < 0.05), which is evident from the increased activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase in tissues. Concentration of reduced glutathione was also found to be increased significantly in liver (532.97 mM per 100 g liver), heart (15.77 mM per 100 g heart) and kidney (1.58 mM per 100 g kidney) of VCO fed rats compared to those fed with CO, OO and SFO (P < 0.05). In addition, the activity of paraoxonase 1 was significantly increased in VCO fed rats compared to other oil fed groups (P < 0.05). Furthermore, VCO administration prevented the oxidative stress, which is indicated by the decreased formation of lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation products like malondialdehyde, hydroperoxides, conjugated dienes and protein carbonyls in serum and tissues compared to other oil fed rats (P < 0.05). Wet processing of VCO retains higher amounts of biologically active unsaponifiable components like polyphenols (84 mg per 100 g oil) and tocopherols (33.12 μg per 100 g oil) etc. compared to other oils (P < 0.05). From these observations, it is concluded that VCO has a beneficial role in improving antioxidant status and hence preventing lipid and protein oxidation.
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This study was performed to explore the effects of virgin coconut oil (VCO) in male rats that were fed with repeatedly heated palm oil on blood pressure, plasma nitric oxide level, and vascular reactivity. Thirty-two male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: (i) control (basal diet), (ii) VCO (1.42 mL/kg, oral), (iii) five-times-heated palm oil (15%) (5HPO), and (iv) five-times-heated palm oil (15%) and VCO (1.42 mL/kg, oral) (5HPO + VCO). Blood pressure was significantly increased in the group that was given the 5HPO diet compared to the control group. Blood pressure in the 5HPO + VCO group was significantly lower than the 5HPO group. Plasma nitric oxide (NO) level in the 5HPO group was significantly lower compared to the control group, whereas in the 5HPO + VCO group, the plasma NO level was significantly higher compared to the 5HPO group. Aortic rings from the 5HPO group exhibited attenuated relaxation in response to acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside as well as increased vasoconstriction to phenylephrine compared to the control group. Aortic rings from the 5HPO + VCO group showed only attenuated vasoconstriction to phenylephrine compared to the 5HPO group. In conclusion, VCO prevents blood pressure elevation and improves endothelial functions in rats fed with repeatedly heated palm oil.
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Abstract Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of hospital-acquired antibiotic-associated diarrhea worldwide; in addition, the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant C. difficile is becoming a significant problem. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has been shown previously to have the antimicrobial activity. This study evaluates the lipid components of VCO for the control of C. difficile. VCO and its most active individual fatty acids were tested to evaluate their antimicrobial effect on C. difficile in vitro. The data indicate that exposure to lauric acid (C12) was the most inhibitory to growth (P<.001), as determined by a reduction in colony-forming units per milliliter. Capric acid (C10) and caprylic acid (C8) were inhibitory to growth, but to a lesser degree. VCO did not inhibit the growth of C. difficile; however, growth was inhibited when bacterial cells were exposed to 0.15-1.2% lipolyzed coconut oil. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed the disruption of both the cell membrane and the cytoplasm of cells exposed to 2 mg/mL of lauric acid. Changes in bacterial cell membrane integrity were additionally confirmed for VCO and select fatty acids using Live/Dead staining. This study demonstrates the growth inhibition of C. difficile mediated by medium-chain fatty acids derived from VCO.
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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic skin disease characterized by defects in the epidermal barrier function and cutaneous inflammation, in which transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is increased and the ability of the stratum corneum to hold water is impaired, causing decreased skin capacitance and hydration. This study investigated the effects of topical virgin coconut oil (VCO) and mineral oil, respectively, on SCORAD (SCORing of Atopic Dermatitis) index values, TEWL, and skin capacitance in pediatric patients with mild to moderate AD, using a randomized controlled trial design in which participants and investigators were blinded to the treatments allocated. Patients were evaluated at baseline, and at 2, 4, and 8 weeks. A total of 117 patients were included in the analysis. Mean SCORAD indices decreased from baseline by 68.23% in the VCO group and by 38.13% in the mineral oil group (P < 0.001). In the VCO group, 47% (28/59) of patients achieved moderate improvement and 46% (27/59) showed an excellent response. In the mineral oil group, 34% (20/58) of patients showed moderate improvement and 19% (11/58) achieved excellent improvement. The VCO group achieved a post-treatment mean TEWL of 7.09 from a baseline mean of 26.68, whereas the mineral oil group demonstrated baseline and post-treatment TEWL values of 24.12 and 13.55, respectively. In the VCO group, post-treatment skin capacitance rose to 42.3 from a baseline mean of 32.0, whereas that in the mineral oil group increased to 37.49 from a baseline mean of 31.31. Thus, among pediatric patients with mild to moderate AD, topical application of VCO for eight weeks was superior to that of mineral oil based on clinical (SCORAD) and instrumental (TEWL, skin capacitance) assessments.