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Nutrient composition and ameliorative effects of Cocos nucifera products on Alloxan-induced diabetic wistar rats

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Using standard methods, this study investigated the ameliorative effects of coconut products during alloxan-induced diabetic conditions. Experimental animals were divided into five groups, group 1 served as normal control rats fed only rat chow and saline, group 2 were diabetic control rats intraperitoneally treated with 150mg/kg body weight alloxan monohydrate, group 3 were diabetic rats orally treated with 4ml/day of coconut milk, group 4 were diabetic rats orally treated with 4ml/day of coconut water, and group 5 were diabetic rats orally treated with 4ml/day of a mixture of coconut milk and coconut water. The coconut products had high moisture, fats, potassium, magnesium, and sodium contents. Coconut milk exhibited the most effective glucose lowering effect, and on the 21st day. The total cholesterol was completely normalized on treatment with coconut milk after alloxan induced diabetes, while the administration of the mixture of coconut milk and water had a comparable effect to administering only coconut milk on HDL, LDL, and TG. The alloxan-induced derangements on SOD, catalase and GPx were completely normalized after the coconut milk administration, while the mixture of coconut milk and water restored only SOD and GPx, and coconut water, ineffective on most of the antioxidant enzymes. Coconut water was ineffective on the RBC and HB of diabetic rats, while coconut milk and the mixture of coconut milk and water showed the most hemato-ameliorative effect. This study has shown the effectiveness of coconut products in the management of diabetes, with coconut milk the most effective.
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International Journal of Medicine, 5 (2) (2017) 149-157
International Journal of Medicine
Website: www.sciencepubco.com/index.php/IJM
doi: 10.14419/ijm.v5i2.7647
Research paper, Short communication, Review, Technical paper
Nutrient composition and ameliorative effects of Cocos nucifera
products on Alloxan-induced diabetic wistar rats
Amadi Benjamin, Ogunka-Nnoka Charity, Amadi Peter *, Ogaji Miebaka
Department of Biochemistry, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Rivers State Nigeria
*Corresponding author E-mail: Peter_amadi@uniport.edu.ng
Abstract
Using standard methods, this study investigated the ameliorative effects of coconut products during alloxan-induced diabetic conditions.
Experimental animals were divided into five groups, group 1 served as normal control rats fed only rat chow and saline, group 2 were
diabetic control rats intraperitoneally treated with 150mg/kg body weight alloxan monohydrate, group 3 were diabetic rats orally treated
with 4ml/day of coconut milk, group 4 were diabetic rats orally treated with 4ml/day of coconut water, and group 5 were diabetic rats
orally treated with 4ml/day of a mixture of coconut milk and coconut water. The coconut products had high moisture, fats, potassium,
magnesium, and sodium contents. Coconut milk exhibited the most effective glucose lowering effect, and on the 21st day. The total cho-
lesterol was completely normalized on treatment with coconut milk after alloxan induced diabetes, while the administration of the mix-
ture of coconut milk and water had a comparable effect to administering only coconut milk on HDL, LDL, and TG. The alloxan-induced
derangements on SOD, catalase and GPx were completely normalized after the coconut milk administration, while the mixture of coco-
nut milk and water restored only SOD and GPx, and coconut water, ineffective on most of the antioxidant enzymes. Coconut water was
ineffective on the RBC and HB of diabetic rats, while coconut milk and the mixture of coconut milk and water showed the most hemato-
ameliorative effect. This study has shown the effectiveness of coconut products in the management of diabetes, with coconut milk the
most effective.
Keywords: Diabetes; Antioxidant Enzymes; Coconut; Lipid Profile; Hematoprotective; Cholesterol.
1. Introduction
Diabetes mellitus is a multi-systemic complex disorder primarily
caused by absolute or relative insulin deficiency that deprives the
body the ability to effectively carry out glucose homeostasis
(Aladodo et al. 2013, Ezeja et al. 2014). Diabetes mellitus may
occur due to impairment of β-cells of the pancreas that thus de-
creases the secretion of insulin. It may also result from resistance
to the functionality of insulin in circulation by insulin receptors
(ADA, 2010). In most cases, diabetes mellitus manifests as aberra-
tion in lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and blood parameters (An-
dreoli et al. 1990, Lebovitz, 1994). This eventually causes the
accumulation of both fasting and postpriandal glucose in the
blood, resulting to various complications (Tierney et al. 2002,
Rother, 2007). In event of persistent or recurrent hyperglycemia
during diabetes, Sharma, (1993) reported the possible develop-
ment of body proteins glycations leading to complications that
affects various organs, nerves and arteries. Al-Khoury et al. (2006)
have shown that patients suffering from diabetes mellitus show
signs of serious derangement in several hematological parameters.
The blood is an essential fluid comprised of the Red Blood Cells,
White Blood Cells, and platelets, maintained in homeostatic con-
centrations in the serum. The blood serves many key roles such as
nutritional, homeostatic and immunologic processes (Oze, 1992),
tissue and pulmonary respiration, endocrine processes, and excre-
tion of metabolic wastes (Adebayo et al. 2005). Ezenwaka et al.
(2008) reported a high prevalence of anemia in patients with Type
2 diabetes, as much as 27% (Dipta et al. 2009). In addition, diabe-
tes induces and promotes hematological disorders, where the oc-
currence of anemia in a hyperglycemic patient results from non
enzymatic glycosylation or stiffening of the membrane proteins of
the Red Blood Cells (Kennedy and Baynes, 1984). Further, the
functionality of the pancreas is partly conditioned by the metabo-
lism of active oxygen (Kaliavani et al. 2008). Researchers have
reported the impairment of antioxidant enzyme system to occur as
a pathological consequence of diabetes (Preetha et al. 2012). The
generation of free radicals has been found as one of the character-
istic effects of alloxan, a diabetes inducing agent, and free radicals
contributes extensively to the generation of secondary complica-
tions in diabetes (Thomson and McNeil, 1993, Thornalley et al.
1996). In hyperglycemic conditions the production of reactive
oxygen species leads to membrane damage and lipid peroxidation.
The reduction of antioxidant defense system caused by increase in
circulating levels of oxidants such as hydroxyl radical, superoxide
radical, and hydrogen peroxide have been implicated in hypergly-
cemic conditions (Rahimi et al. 2005, Vincent et al. 2004). In
hyperglycemic conditions, Baynes, (1991) and Pari et al. (2005)
posited that in addition to the generation of free radicals during the
pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus, oxidative stress can equally
occur as a result of formation of peroxides, non-enzyme protein
glycosylation, impairment of antioxidant enzymes, and auto-
oxidation of glucose. This suggests that during diabetic condi-
tions, alterations in the metabolism of macromolecules significant-
ly elevates the generation of reactive oxygen species (Mohamed et
al. 1999, Yue et al. 2003). Furthermore, the predominance of low
density lipoproteins, triglyceride elevation, and reduction in levels
of high density lipoproteins which are in all, consequent of plasma
lipid and lipoprotein aberration, has been implicated in diabetic
conditions (ADA, 2003). Thus, diabetic patients are largely sus-
150
ceptible to all clinical manifestation of atherosclerosis such as
peripheral vascular diseases, cerebrovascular events, and coronary
artery diseases (Mohamed et al. 1999, Cavalli et al. 2007, Torrico
et al. 2007, Figueiredo and Modesto-Filho, 2008, Janebro et al.
2008). The effects of synthetic drugs in the management of diabe-
tes have been beneficial through the provision of good glycemic
control. Unfortunately, despite the occurrence of numerous side
effects, none of those synthetic agents have completely controlled
long term micro and macrovascular complications (Gilman and
Goodman, 1985, Momin, 1987, Stenman et al. 1990). Unlike syn-
thetic therapies, plant derived drugs are frequently regarded to be
safer, more effective, acceptable and more affordable (Valiathan,
1998). Herbal medicine which involves the utilization of plant
parts like stems, roots, barks, leaves, and fruits (Akinyemi et al.
2005) in Africa, were the sole source of medical health care
(Eseyin et al. 2005), and were also used to treat diseases all over
the world (Agbor et al. 2007). Coconut, an important member of
Arecaceae or Palmae family, has been utilized effectively in the
treatment of a wide variety of health problems (Anosike and Obi-
doa, 2010). According to Omotosho and Odeyemi (2012), there
are two types of nutritionally different liquids in coconut, the milk
and water. Coconut milk is a white sweet liquid, extracted from a
pulverized coconut meat. It possesses a refreshing test and attrac-
tive color, attributable to the high sugar and oil content (Omotosho
and Adeyemi, 2012). Nair (2019) found coconut milk to contain a
complex mixture of nutritional constituents like minerals, vita-
mins, and carbohydrates. Osazuwa and Ahonkhai, (1990) and
Adodo, (2002) reported that coconut water is used an intravenous
fluid to dispel complications arising from drug overdose, and poi-
son. It is also used as a source of immune system boost and quick
energy, metabolic rate enhancer, preventive therapy for over-
weight and obesity problems, and for improved absorption and
digestion of amino acids, minerals, and vitamins (Awad, 1981).
Coconut has also found application in the management of diabetes
due to its role in the improvement of insulin secretion and en-
hancement of blood glucose utilization. Notwithstanding the folk-
lores on the nutritional and health benefits of coconut products,
there is paucity of experimental data on the specific biochemical
effect of coconut milk and water during hyperglycemic conditions.
It is on this forgoing, that this study was carried out to investigate
the nutrient compositions of coconut milk and water, and their
effects in hyperglycemic conditions.
2. Materials and methods
2.1. Sample collection and preparation of Cocos nucif-
era products
Thirty matured coconuts were purchased from Choba Market in
Rivers State Nigeria. The coconut fruit was dehusked using a
sharp knife, and afterwards, the shell was broken, then the water
was collected from the “eyes” area. Exactly 100g of coconut meat
was sliced and put in an electric blender. A stock solution of co-
conut milk was obtained by blending the 100g of sliced coconut in
200ml of distilled water and filtered using a sieve. The filtrate
was boiled with constant stirring for another 60 mins to produce
the crude milk which was allowed to cool to room temperature.
The extracts were preserved by refrigeration at 40C, but the coco-
nut water was discarded each week and replaced with freshly pre-
pared ones.
2.2. Proximate composition and phytochemical screen-
ing
Proximate analysis of the samples for carbohydrate, crude fat, ash,
crude protein, fiber and moisture contents were carried out accord-
ing to standard methods of AOAC, (1990).
2.3. Mineral content determination
The minerals were determined by atomic absorption spectropho-
tometry.
Fifty (50) ml of the sample was evaporated to dryness using a
muffle furnace until a residue of constant weight was obtained.
Exactly 20.0 ml of 2.5% HCl, was added to the residue to extract
the minerals, and then heated in a steam bath to reduce the volume
to about 7.0ml, before being transferred quantitatively to a 50ml
volumetric flask. The volume was made up to 50ml with deionised
water and transferred into clean polyethylene bottles, and the min-
eral contents were determined using an atomic absorption spectro-
photometer (Buck Scientific model 210 VGP) and flame photome-
ter (Jenway model).
2.4. Experimental animals
Sexually mature male Wistar rats of body weight 154g±2 were
obtained from the animal house of the Department of Biochemis-
try, University of Port Harcourt Choba Rivers State. The animals
were housed in a cage at the Animal House and fed a standard diet
(Top feed grower's mash) and water ad libitum. The rats used in
the present study were maintained in accordance with guidelines
of the internationally accepted principle for laboratory animal use
and care (NIEHS, 1985).
2.5. Induction of diabetes
The rats were injected with 150 mg/kg body weight single intra-
peritoneal dose of alloxan monohydrate dissolved in sterile normal
saline. Seven days after alloxan injection, rats with marked hyper-
glycemia (fasting blood glucose ≥ 200 mg/dl) were separated and
divided into five groups:
Group 1: Control rats only fed on normal diet and normal saline.
Group 2: Diabetic control
Group 3: Diabetic rats orally administered 4ml kg-1 body weight
coconut milk daily using an intragastric tube.
Group 4: Diabetic rats orally administered 4ml kg-1 body weight
coconut water daily using an intragastric tube.
Group 5: Diabetic rats orally administered 4ml kg-1 body weight
coconut milk and water (in a ratio of 1:1) daily using an intra-
gastric tube.
2.6. Biochemical analysis
The animals were sacrificed at the 21st day by anaesthesizing with
10% chloroform vapor. Blood was collected and the peritoneum
was cut open, and the pancreas quickly harvested. The pancreatic
tissues were placed in 10% formalin solution, and immediately
processed by the paraffin technique. Sections of 5µm thickness
were cut and stained using haematoxylin and Eosin (H & E) for
histological examination. The photomicrographs of histological
studies were obtained. The collected blood was centrifuged at
3000 rpm for 10mins to separate sera. Blood glucose was meas-
ured using the glucose oxidase method
2.7. Determination of body weight and organ weights
Body weight of the entire animal in each group was noted on the
before treatment, at 48hrs, 7, 14, and 21 days of the experiment
period. The weight difference was calculated. After the animals
were sacrificed, the pancreas, liver, heart, kidneys and spleen were
isolated, washed with saline and weighed by using an electronic
balance.
2.8. Determination of hematological parmeters
The Packed cell volumes (PCV), White blood cell (WBC) counts,
Red blood cell (RBC) counts, Hemoglobin (Hb) Concentrations,
and Platelets counts, were obtained using an Automated Hematol-
ogy AnalyzerMC-2800 (Mindray Company, China).
International Journal of Medicine
151
2.9. Lipid profiling
Plasma total cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL were determined
enzymatically using commercially available kits (Randox kits).
From the results, LDL cholesterol, using the formular of Friedel-
wald et al. (1972).
2.10. Determination of antioxidant enzymes
2.11. Estimation of superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity
(McCord and fridovich (1969)
Sample extract (20ml) and 2.5 ml of 0.05 M carbonate buffer (pH
10.2) were mixed together and equilibrated in the spectrophotome-
ter. In addition, 0.3 ml of 0.3 mM freshly prepared adrenaline was
added and mixed by inversion. The increase in absorbance at 480
nm was monitored spectrophotometrically at 30 seconds intervals
for 3mins.
2.12. Determination of catalase activity (aebi, 1984)
Distilled water (2. 5 ml) was pipetted into test tube containing 0. 5
ml H2O2, and about 40l sample was added and mixed thorough-
ly. Rate of decomposition of hydrogen peroxide was read at
240nm at 30sec interval for 5 mins.
2.13. Determination of malondialdehyde (ohkawa et al.
1979)
Normal saline (0.5ml) was pipetted into a test tube containing
0.5ml of the serum sample. About 2ml of thiobarituric acid
(TBA)/trichloroacetic acid (TCA) mixture was added, allowed to
boil for 1 hour, cooled to room temperature, and centrifuged at
4000rpm for 5min. The clear supernatant was read at 532nm.
2.14. Estimation of glutathione (GSH) (sedlak and Lind-
say, 1968)
To a test tube containing 0.5ml of the sample was added 0.5ml
(50%) of TCA and the solution was mixed and centrifuged at 2.0 x
103rpm. Then, 1ml of the supernatant was mixed with 2ml of
0.01m DTBN reagent (Ellman’s reagent) and kept away from
direct light for 15 to 20 minutes. The absorbance at 412nm was
recorded. Then, standard glutathione was added to a mixture of
1.5ml phosphate buffer and 2ml of DTBN, and absorbance was
read at 412nm after 15 minutes. The concentrations of glutathione
(µg/ml) were traced from the standard curve for glutathione.
2.15. Determination of glutathione peroxidase (GPX)
(Paglia and valentine, 1967)
Glutathione peroxidase (GSH-px) activity in the sample was
measured using Randox GSH-px kit according to the method of
Paglia and Valentine, (1967).
2.16. Statistical analysis
All data were subjected to statistical analysis. Values are reported
as Mean ± Standard error of mean (SEM) while one way ANOVA
was used to test for differences between treatment groups using
Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. The
results were considered significant at p-values of less than 0.05
(p<0.05)
3. Results
Table 1: Proximate Composition of Cocos Nucifera Products
Composition
Coconut
milk
Coconut
water
Coconut
milk+water
PROTEIN (%)
3.77±0.15a
0.80±0.07b
2.94±0.28c
CARBOHYDRATE
(%)
2.93±0.27a
3.77±0.54a
3.33±0.40a
LIPID (%)
11.98±0.047a
0.033±0.005b
5.24±0.73c
MOISTURE (%)
80.78±0.35a
94.90±0.45b
87.98±0.15c
ASH (%)
0.49±0.05a
0.46±0.05a
0.47±0.02a
FIBRE (%)
0.036±0.02a
0.016±0.01a
0.026±0.01a
Values represent means ± standard deviations of triplicate determinations.
Values with similar superscript letter (a-c) across the column denotes no
significant difference at p<0.05.
The proximate content of coconut milk, water and a mixture of
both extracts are presented in Table 1. The results show that coco-
nut milk possesses more protein and lipid content, while coconut
water contained the highest moisture content among the three
products, and hence more susceptible to microbial infestation. No
significant change was recorded for the carbohydrate, ash, and
fibre content among the three compared coconut products. The
protein content of coconut milk was comparable to the protein
content of Tiger nut milk but however higher than the lipid con-
tent as shown by Awonirin and Udeozor, (2014). Also, the protein
content of coconut water was higher than the protein content of
fresh watermelon (Fila et al. 2013). The moisture content of coco-
nut milk reported in this study (80.78%±0.35) was comparable to
the moisture content of groundnut milk (Adeiye et al. 2013) and
Tiger nut milk (Awonirin and Udeozor, 2014). The lipid content
of both coconut milk and the mixture of coconut milk and water
was higher than the values reported for cow milk (Adeiye et al.
2013), while the fibre content of the Tiger nut milk as reported by
Awonirin and Udeozor was higher than the fibre content of coco-
nut milk reported in this present study.
Table 2: Mineral Contents (Mg/100 ml) of Cocos Nucifera Products
Minerals
Coconut milk
Coconut water
Coconut
milk+water
Potassium (K)
277.17±11.96a
317.73±8.81b
305.28±4.79b
Calcium (Ca)
44.26±3.13a
30.20±1.96b
40.80±3.17a
Magnesium (Mg)
40.26±1.73a
18.80±2.35b
31.14±2.11c
Zinc (Zn)
0.79±0.15a
0.026±0.02b
0.45±0.11c
Sodium (Na)
48.26±5.73a
87.16±7.07b
55.95±4.07a
Copper (Cu)
0.27±0.03a
0.0033±0.005b
0.22±0.04a
Iron (Fe)
2.33±0.31a
0.15±0.04b
1.92±0.80a
Phosphorus (P)
134.93±6.20a
36.06±5.46b
82.36±5.32c
Manganese (Mn)
2.00±0.34a
0.10±0.02b
1.23±0.31c
Values represent means ± standard deviations of triplicate determinations.
Values with similar superscript letter (a-c) across the column denotes no
significant difference at p<0.05.
Table 2 shows the mineral contents of each of the coconut prod-
ucts. In a decreasing order, the mineral composition was found as
follows K>P>Na>Ca>Mg>Fe>Mn>Zn>Cu, while in the coconut
products, the levels of mineral composition was in this order, co-
conut milk>coconut milk + water >coconut water. Coconut water
had the highest composition of potassium and sodium but was
least in composition of other mineral constituents. The phospho-
rus, calcium, and zinc contents of all the coconut products evalu-
ated were greater than those for popularly consumed fruit juices,
strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and gooseberry (Marjanovic-
Balaban et al. 2012). The potassium and magnesium content of the
mixture of coconut milk and water was greater than the values
reported for the juice from Psidium guajava, Anona muricata,
Citrus lanatus, and Citrus sinensis, while the potassium content of
coconut milk found in this study were lower than the potassium
content of Carica papaya juice (Ekpete et al. 2013) but comparable
with apple and pineapple juice (Ekpete et al. 2013). The manga-
nese and sodium content (2.00mg/100ml±0.34 and
48.26mg/100ml±5.73) of coconut milk presented in Table 2, was
higher than the contents of Morinda citifolia juice and placebo
152
juice used as sports drink (Anugweje, 2004) while the iron content
of the coconut products was found lower than those reported for the sports juice (Anugweje, 2014).
T re at m en t D u ra tio n
W e ig ht (g )
B e fo re t re a tm e nt
48hr s a fte r tr e a tm e n t
7 d ays afte r tre at m e n t
14 d ays a fte r t re a tm e n t
21 d ay s afte r tre a tm e n t
0
50
100
150
200 G ro up 1
G ro up 2
G ro up 3
G ro up 4
G ro up 5
aaaaaa
bbbb
a
bbcd
a
bcbc
a
b
cde
Fig. 1: Body Weight of Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats Treated with Cocos Nucifera Products.
O rg an w eig ht (g )
K i d n ey
L iv e r
Sp le e n
0
2
4
6
8G ro up 1
G ro up 2
G ro up 3
G ro up 4
G ro up 5
abac b c ac
a
b
cbc
abb b b
Fig. 2: Organ Weights of Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats Treated with Cocos Nucifera Products.
The results of the effect of administration of coconut products on
body weight, relative to the treatment duration was presented in
Fig.1, while the effects on organ weight after 21 days administra-
tion was shown in Fig. 2. The results showed no significant effects
of the extracts after 48hrs and 7days treatments but positively
modulated the diabetogenic effects of alloxan administration on
body weight on the 14th and 21st day (Fig. 1). Administration of
coconut water proved more deleterious on organ weight at the 7th
day of intake, as a significant decrease in body weight was evident
after the oral treatment with coconut water. The body weight of
the experimental animals continuously depreciated with increasing
treatment periods on alloxan, however, at the 21st day, the amelio-
rative effect of the coconut products were optimal, with coconut
milk shown to be the most effective. In Fig. 2, the administration
of both coconut milk and the mixture of coconut milk and water
were recorded to be the most hepatoprotective as well as the most
with positive modulation on the kidney. The effect of the diabetes
inducing agent on the kidney weight remained unaffected by co-
conut water while the derangement of the spleen remained un-
changed after administration of the coconut products.
On the blood glucose levels of alloxan induced diabetic rats orally
treated with coconut milk, water, and a mixture of both coconut
milk and coconut water (Fig 3), the results showed that none of
the coconut products used had a complete restorative effect. The
mixture of coconut milk and water had as much ameliorative ef-
fect on blood glucose level as the coconut milk only on the 14th
day. However, this comparable restorative effect depreciated be-
tween the 14th and 21st days of treatment. A similarly comparable
effect of these extracts used for this study on blood glucose was
reported for a standard antidiabetic agent, glibenclamide, and M.
malabraticum leaf (Balamurugan et al. 2014). In addition, on the
14th day, the effectiveness of coconut milk for the management of
diabetes mellitus was in similar pattern to the reports of Revathy
et al. (2014) for Costus speciosus rhizome extract on alloxan in-
duced diabetic albino rats. In this study, the near restorative effect
of coconut milk on the blood glucose levels may imply that coco-
nut milk induced the reversal of insulin resistance or increased the
secretion of insulin by possibly regenerating the damaged pancre-
atic β-cells in the diabetic rats (Sezik et al. 2005).
The lipid profile of the diabetic rats treated with coconut products
were shown in Fig. 4. According to Adeyemi et al. (2009), diabe-
tes mellitus propagates profound aberrations in serum lipid profile
and lipoprotein levels, thus increasing the susceptibility to coro-
nary heart diseases. After 21 days oral treatment in this study,
alloxan significantly increased the LDL, TC and TG levels of
experimental animals in group 2, which consequently reduced on
administration of coconut products. In diabetic conditions, al-
Shamony et al. (1994) posited that the most commonly obtained
lipid dysfunctions are hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterol-
emia. In line with this, the total cholesterol and triglyceride levels
were the most significantly deranged after treatment with the dia-
betogenic agent (Fig. 4). The administration of coconut milk
proved most effective, but comparable in all cases with the effect
of treatments using the mixture of coconut milk and water. Only
the total cholesterol levels of diabetic rats treated with coconut
milk was completely restored after 21days. The decreased HDL
level observed during diabetic condition was incompletely amelio-
rated by the coconut products, with coconut water, the least effec-
International Journal of Medicine
153
tive. From the findings of Devi et al. (2012), Echinochloa crusgalli
showed more hypolipidemic potentials, when compared to the
results for the coconut products in this study. Whole plant extract
of Sarcostemma secanone and rhizomes of turmeric were also
reported to possess hypolipidemic potentials (Mohan et al. 2013,
Jeevangi et al. 2013) similar to the cholesterol lowering effect of
coconut milk reported in this study.
T re at m e nt D u ra tio n
B lo od g lu co s e lev el (m g /d l)
4 8h rs a fte r t re a tm e nt
7 d ays afte r t re a tm e n t
14 d ay s a fte r t r e a t m e n t
21 d ays a fte r t re at m e n t
0
100
200
300
400 G ro u p 1
G ro u p 2
G ro u p 3
G ro u p 4
G ro u p 5
a
b
cbd
a
b
c
d
c
a
b
c
de
a
b
c
de
Fig. 3: Effect of Cocos Nucifera Products on Blood Glucose Levels of Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats.
L ipid pro file (m g /d l)
L D L
HD L
T C
TG
0
50
100
150
200
250 G ro up 1
G ro up 2
G ro up 3
G ro up 4
G ro up 5
a
b
c
dca
bcdc
a
b
ad
c
da
b
c
d
c
Fig. 4: Lipid Profile of Diabetic Rats Orally Treated with Cocos Nucifera Products.
T re atm en t g ro u ps
S O D (U /m g p ro te in )
G r o u p 1
G roup 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
0
2
4
6
8
a
b
a
b
a
Fig. 5.1: SOD Levels of Diabetic Rats Treated with Cocos Nucifera Prod-
ucts.
T re atm en t g ro u ps
C ata las e ( Un it/m g p ro te in )
G r o u p 1
Group 2
Group 3
G roup 4
Group 5
0
10
20
30
40 a
b
ac
b
c
Fig. 5.2: Catalase Levels of Diabetic Rats Treated with Cocos Nucifera
Products.
154
T re atm en t g ro u ps
M D A
(m m o l/ L)
Gro up 1
Group 2
G roup 3
Gr o up 4
Group 5
0
5
10
15
20
25
a
b
c
de
Fig. 5.3: MDA Levels of Diabetic Rats Treated with Cocos Nucifera
Products.
T re atm en t g ro u ps
G S H
(n m o l/m g p ro te in )
Gro up 1
Group 2
G roup 3
Gr o up 4
Group 5
0
5
10
15
20 a
bbbb
Fig. 5.4: GSH Levels of Diabetic Rats Treated with Cocos Nucifera Prod-
ucts.
T re atm en t g ro u ps
G P X
(n m o l/m i n/ m g pr ote in )
Group 1
G r o up 2
Group 3
Group 4
Gr o up 5
0
20
40
60
80
100
a
b
a
ca
Fig. 5.5: GPX Levels of Diabetic Rats Treated with Cocos Nucifera Prod-
ucts.
Fig. 5.1- 5.5 shows the antioxidant enzyme levels of alloxan-
induced diabetic rats treated with coconut products. From the re-
sults, the levels of SOD (5.6U/mg protein ± 0.7) in Fig 5.1 were
normalized with the administration of only coconut milk and the
mixture of coconut milk and water (5.3U/mg protein ± 0.9 and
5.0U/mg protein ± 0.7). This complete restoration after derange-
ment in a diabetic condition was similar to the findings of Kalai-
vani et al. (2008) for Cassia auriculata leaves. Increase in SOD
activities is essential in protecting the cells from oxidative damage
(Cemek et al. 2008, Adewole et al. 2008, Budin et al. 2009). A
similar effect of the coconut products on SOD was recorded for
catalase activity (Fig. 5.2) except for the incomplete restoration by
the mixture of coconut milk and water. Intraperitoneal treatment
with alloxan significantly increased the MDA levels from
8.93mMol/L ± 0.42 to 19.93mMol/L ± 0.55 (Fig 5.3). The in-
crease in MDA levels could be suggestive of depletion of antioxi-
dant enzyme defense system (Mori et al. 2003). The results also
showed that the most effective coconut product for reducing the
levels of MDA levels was the coconut milk. However, other coco-
nut products significantly reduced the MDA levels compared to
the levels during diabetes. The administration of the coconut
products proved ineffective in increasing the activity of GSH after
depletion by alloxan (Fig. 5.4). Similar to the findings of this
study on GSH activities, the result was in agreement with the find-
ings of Iranloye et al. (2013) after the administration of 7.5ml of
coconut oil, however, a consequent increase in the activity of GSH
was observed on increment to 10ml oral treatment. As shown in
Fig. 5.5, the activity of GPx was normalized in the diabetic rats
after the oral treatment with coconut milk and the mixture of co-
conut milk and water. This could imply that coconut milk possess-
es strong antioxidant potentials. It is possible that administration
of coconut milk enhances response to oxidative cells by enhancing
the secretion of insulin.
T re atm en t g ro u ps
P C V ( % )
G r o u p 1
Group 2
Group 3
G roup 4
Group 5
0
20
40
60 a
b
ad
ccd
Fig. 6.1: Effect of Cocos Nucifera Products on the PCV Levels of Allox-
an-Induced Diabetic Rats.
T re atm en t g ro u ps
W B C (x 1 09/L )
G r o u p 1
Group 2
Group 3
G roup 4
Gr o up 5
0
10
20
30
40
a
b
c
d
cd
Fig. 6.2: Effect of Cocos Nucifera Products on the WBC Levels of Allox-
an-Induced Diabetic Rats.
International Journal of Medicine
155
T re atm en t g ro u ps
R B C (x 1 01 2 / L )
G r o u p 1
Group 2
Group 3
G roup 4
Gr o up 5
0
2
4
6
8
10
aa
b
a
b
Fig. 6.3: Effect of Cocos Nucifera Products on the RBC Levels of Allox-
an-Induced Diabetic Rats.
T re atm en t g ro u ps
H B (g /d l)
G r o u p 1
Group 2
Group 3
G roup 4
Group 5
0
5
10
15
20
a
b
a
b
a
Fig. 6.4: Effect of Cocos Nucifera Products on the HB Levels of Alloxan-
Induced Diabetic Rats.
T re atm en t g ro u ps
P la te le ts (x 10 9/L )
G r o u p 1
Group 2
Group 3
G roup 4
Gr o up 5
0
200
400
600
800
1000 a
b
ccc
Fig. 6.5: Effect of Cocos Nucifera Products on the Platelet Levels of
Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Rats.
The results of the effects of coconut products on hematological
indices of alloxan induced diabetic rats were shown in Figs. 6.1-
6.5. Halim and Ali (1996) reported that decreased hematological
parameters are testament to anemic conditions. The intraperitoneal
administration of alloxan in this study, showed a hyperglycemia-
induced anemia. Sheela and Augusti (1992) remarked that in hy-
perglycemic conditions, the decrease in total hemoglobin levels
results from the reaction of the consequent excess blood glucose
and hemoglobin, thus forming glycated hemoglobin. The results
of this study showed that these derangements in the levels of PCV,
RBC, HB, and platelets were completely reversed by treatment
with Cocos nucifera milk. This resulting increase in HB and RBC
count on administration of Cocos nucifera milk might have result-
ed from its peroxide lowering effect leading to the decreased he-
molysis of RBC (Crouch et al. 1981). Also, oral treatment with the
mixture of Cocos nucifera milk and water completely reversed the
levels of RBC, PCV, HB, and platelets. Coconut water had no
effect on RBC and HB of diabetic rats as shown in Fig 6.3 and 6.4
respectively, but induced a significant increase in PCV (Fig. 6.1)
and WBC (Fig. 6.2) while it had a comparable effect on the plate-
lets with other coconut products evaluated in this study (Fig, 6.5).
None of the coconut products normalized the levels of WBC, but
however significantly lowered the levels in comparison to the
effect obtained in diabetic conditions (Fig. 6.2).
Plate A: Group 1
Plate B: Group 2
Plate C: Group 3
156
Plate D: Group 4
The results of the histopathological examination of the pancreatic
cells were shown in Plate A-D. The result shows a near complete
loss of the pancreatic islet on administration of alloxan (Plate B),
which were regenerated mostly by the oral treatment of coconut
milk (Plate C), while treatment with coconut water had minor
regenerative effect (Plate D).
4. Conclusion
Our findings showed that coconut milk contained the best combi-
nation of nutrients among the other coconut products evaluated in
this study. All the coconut products significantly improved the
body weight of diabetic rats after 21days of oral treatment, where-
as coconut water was the least effective in normalizing the organ
weight. Also, none of the coconut products used completely nor-
malized the blood glucose levels after alloxan-induced alterations,
but showed significant hypolipidemic, antioxidant, and
hematoameliorative potentials.
5. Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest regarding the publica-
tion of this article.
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