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VCO potential as antimicrobial agent in combating dental caries
Virgin Coconut Oil and Its Antimicrobial
Properties against Pathogenic Microorganisms:
A Review
Nur Ainatul Mardia Mohamad Nasir
Department of Biotechnology
Kulliyyah of Science
International Islamic University Malaysia
Pahang, Malaysia
Anil Azura Jalaludin
Department of Biotechnology
Kulliyyah of Science
International Islamic University Malaysia
Pahang, Malaysia
Zurainie Abllah
Department of Pediatrics
Orthodontic & Dental Public Health,
Kulliyyah of Dentistry
International Islamic University Malaysia
Pahang, Malaysia
Intan Azura Shahdan
Department of Biomedical Science
Kulliyyah of Allied Health Sciences
International Islamic University Malaysia
Pahang, Malaysia
Wan Nor Hayati Wan Abd Manan
Department of Restorative
Kulliyyah of Dentistry, International Islamic University Malaysia
Pahang, Malaysia
AbstractVirgin coconut oil (VCO) is the purest form
of coconut oil, essentially water-clear or colourless that
consists mainly of medium chain saturated fatty acids. For
over many decades, the biological properties of VCO have
been widely explored and investigated due to their
antimicrobial potentials. The large concentration of
medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) including lauric acid
(LA) and its monoglyceride form, monolaurin makes VCO
effective in their mode of actions against pathogenic
microorganisms. Thus, VCO could be used as a daily
supplement or an alternative remedy against microbial
infections. We review and discuss the current state of
knowledge of VCO studies and focus on its antibacterial,
antifungal, and antiviral activities aiming to unravel the
underlying mechanisms of VCO inhibition of these
pathogenic microorganisms.
Keywordsvirgin coconut oil, medium chain fatty acids,
antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral
Cocos nucifera, a vital member of the family
Arecaceae (palm family) popularly known as coconut,
coco, coco-da-bahia, or coconut-of-the-beach [1], is
being produced and exported by India, Sri Lanka,
Malaysia, and Indonesia [2]. Often referred to as the
“tree of life”, every part of the coconut tree can be
either consumed by humans or animals or converted
into other products such as brushes from the coir, spoon
and ladle from the shell, food wrapper from the weaved
leaves, and house furniture from the trunk. Not only
known for providing meat alternative, juice, and milk,
coconut is also a good source of oil [3].
Derived from copra, coconut oil is colourless to the
pale brownish yellow dried kernel or „meat‟ of coconut.
The Malays in the Peninsular Malaysia refer to coconut
oil as true oil and in India, it has been recognised as the
healthiest oil in Ayurvedic medicine, a teaching based
on the Veda (circa 1,500 BC) [4]. Also, coconut was
valued as a medicinal plant for centuries in the Thai
traditional medicine [5]. Records also show that in the
United States, coconut oil has been one of the major
sources of dietary fats, prior to the introduction of
American edible oil (soybean and corn) in the mid-
1940s [6].
Unlike palm oil, coconut oil can be routinely
homemade, easily available oil that is natural and free
from chemical treatment. Coconut oil has a low
oxidation point where oxidation process only takes
place after two years of storage, making it very stable
due to high presence of saturated fat [7]. Usage of
coconut oil as frying and cooking oil has been well
known, but its uses as a cheaper alternative to relatively
expensive butterfat in filled milk, filled cheese, and ice
cream makings may need more public awareness and
promotion. The non-food application of coconut oil is
acknowledged in the production of soaps, rubbers,
elastomers, and also derivatives such as alkanolamides
[8]. Generally, coconut oil is available in three major
forms, which are refined coconut oil (RCO), copra oil
(CO), and virgin coconut oil (VCO) [9,10].
International Dental Conference of Sumatera Utara 2017 (IDCSU 2017)
Copyright © 2018, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license (
Advances in Health Science Research, volume 8
A. Virgin coconut oil
The Asian Pacific Coconut Community in 2003
defines VCO as the oil resulting from the fresh and
mature kernel (or solid endosperm or meat) of the
coconut through mechanical and natural means, either
with the presence of heat or not, without any alteration
or transformation of the oil [11]. In essence, VCO is
produced by wet extraction process of the fresh
endosperm of the coconut [12] while CO is obtained by
dry extraction process of the dried endosperm of the
coconut fruit [13]. The extraction process of VCO does
not involve the use of thermal or chemical and also
exposure to very high temperatures or UV treatments,
making it more beneficial with all of the natural active
components such as antioxidants, vitamins, and
polyphenols are being retained [14,15]. On the other
hand, RCO is produced by the extraction of the oil from
dried coconut flesh, followed by chemical refinement,
bleaching, and deodorization processes [16]. Due to the
refining process, the RCO lacks the taste and fragrance
of coconut while VCO, which never undergo any
refining process, has a distinct coconut flavour and
aroma compared to CO and [10].
VCO has been acknowledged as the healthiest crop
oil and can be extensively used in various fields such as
food, beverage, medicinal, pharmaceutical,
nutraceutical, and cosmetics [17]. The incredible health
benefit of VCO is due to the unique type of saturated
fats presents in the oil. Therefore it is considered the
healthiest of all dietary oils [18]. Since its first
commercial introduction by the Western establishments,
VCO has caught the interest of vast majority of public
and researchers alike. The beneficial medicinal
properties of the oil are fast spreading although
testimonials may outnumber real laboratory data.
B. Fatty acids composition of vco
While the other common plant edible oils usually
consist of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), VCO is an
exception to this rule by containing both short chain
fatty acids (SCFAs) and MCFAs, the latter thus
classified as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).
MCTs are MCFAs esters of glycerol, and edible MCTs
oils are normally gained through lipid fractionation
from edible fats such as coconut oil and milk [19].
MCTs were originally produced in the late 1940s by Dr
Vigen Babayan of the Drew Chemical Company in an
effort to find uses for the top fractions of coconut oil
fatty acids, thus became commercially available in 1955
[20]. Although they are categorised as saturated fats,
MCTs outshine the other saturated fats and oils due to
their distinctive properties of having shorter chain
length and smaller molecules making them more
quickly absorbed and metabolised by the body [20,21].
Due to these distinctive properties, MCTs have been
used in the treatment of various malabsorption ailments.
Being a type of saturated fat, MCTs are readily
digestible, while LCTs, although it is saturated, are
difficult to digest [22].The term MCFAs refers to a
mixture of saturated fatty acids which commonly
consists of 612 carbons chain [19,23]. The MCFAs of
VCO consists of caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8),
capric acid (C10), and lauric acid (C12). The LCFAs of
VCO consist of myristic acid (C14), palmitic acid
(C16), palmitoleic acid (C16:1), stearic acid (C18),
oleic acid (C18:1), linoleic acid (C18:2), and linolenic
acid (C18:3) [24].
In 2007, Department of Standards Malaysia has
affirmed that the composition of VCO‟s fatty acids falls
within the range as specified in Table I. VCO naturally
contains a 3:1 ratio mixture of MCFAs and LCFAs [25]
where the saturated MCFAs comprises two-thirds of
coconut oil‟s fatty acids, the saturated LCFAs are less
than one-third, and the unsaturated fatty acids are less
than a tenth of its fatty acids [26]. Coconut oil is about
90% saturated fatty acids and is highly saturated oil
[27]. Remarkably, coconut oil has the major amount of
caprylic acid, capric acid and LA among the palm oils
and can be considered as the most saturated oil
compared to palm, soybean, and corn oils and animal
fats [8]. Coconut oil is hence a unique vegetable oil
because it is the only oil where approximately 50% of
the fatty acid composition is LA [22,28].
Common name
Carbon number
Composition (%)
Caproic acid
C 6:0
0.80 0.95
Caprylic acid
C 8:0
8.00 9.00
Capric acid
C 10:0
5.00 7.00
Lauric acid
C 12:0
47.00 50.00
Myristic acid
C 14:0
17.00 18.50
Palmitic acid
C 16:0
7.50 9.50
Palmitoleic acid
C 16:1
Stearic acid
C 18:0
2.50 3.50
Oleic acid
C 18:1
4.50 6.00
Linoleic acid
C 18:2
0.70 1.50
Linolenic acid
C 18:3
Dayrit [22] attributed many of the advantages of
coconut oil to the existence of LA. Similarly,
DebMandal & Mandal [29] and Marina et al. [30]
declared that the most abundant and powerful MCFAs
in VCO is LA which comprises nearly 50% of
coconut‟s fat content. Previously, Santoso et al. [31]
also reported that the fatty acid composition of lipid
from kopyor (mature coconut) meat was dominated by
LA. Interestingly, studies had shown that human breast
milk and VCO share similar fat content. Kabara [4] and
Hayatullina et al. [32] highlighted that 60% of VCO
MCFAs is similar in composition to human breast milk.
LA and linoleic acids amount to 5% and 15%,
respectively, of total fatty acids in human milk that
function as determinants of anti-infective activity [33].
Also, Koletzko et al. [34] reported that major part of the
lipids of the mother‟s milk is composed of the saturated
fatty acids (C12C18).
Our body converts LA into monolaurin, a
monoglyceride composed of a glycerol unit and it is
present in many animals and plants [35]. Monolaurin
has been identified by many researchers to be the
protective substance that keeps infants against viral and
Advances in Health Science Research, volume 8
bacterial infections [36]. Even though there is no patent
data pertaining to how much monolaurin is actually
formed from LA in the human body, nevertheless, there
is evidence that some are formed. MCFAs have a
number of unique properties which give them
advantages over the most common LCFAs. At the level
of the mitochondrion, MCFAs can increase oxidative
metabolism in muscle.
While most LCFAs are stored in the adipocytes
[37], MCFAs are far less likely to be stored in
adipocytes and because of this; MCFAs have been
reported to suppress fat deposition [27] through
improved thermogenesis and fat oxidation in animal
and human subject [19]. The fact that MCFAs are less
efficiently stored than other fatty acids and are highly
prone to oxidative metabolism once ingested, implies
that they have a short half-life and are unlikely to
promote obesity via direct storage in adipocytes [38].
Moreover, in contrast to LCFAs, MCFAs can prevent
the induction of oxidative stress that usually arises due
to excess lipid intake [39].
It was not a very long time ago that many
epidemiological and nutritional studies suggested that
the consumption of high amounts of saturated fat and
cholesterol [40] led to high blood cholesterol which
ultimately left VCO at a disadvantage and received a
bad reputation. However, the tides have turned for VCO
where recent clinical studies have shown multiple
positive outcomes offering counter arguments
recognising them as highly valuable and healthy oils
[30]. Studies have shown that the use of VCO in diet
can regulate blood fats and increase the HDL
cholesterol level while decreasing the LDL significantly
[15] thus disproving the myth that coconut oil increases
cholesterol in the body.
C. Antimicrobial activities of virgin coconut oil
The high potentials of coconut oil as medicine were
ascertained by Kabara in the 1970s, who found coconut
oil‟s antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activities
were exerted by its MCFAs [41]. The recognition of
coconut oil antimicrobial activities was also reported by
Hierholzer and Kabara [42] which focused on virucidal
effects of monolaurin RNA and DNA viruses. Recently,
experimental outcomes from many studies discovered
that monolaurin had not only antimicrobial activity
against various gram-positive and gram-negative
bacterial cells [1,3,43] but also antifungal and antiviral
properties [44,45,46,47,48]. Manohar et al. [49] showed
that coconut oils, when used as food flavouring agents,
exhibited a wide range of antimicrobial activities.
Among MCFAs, LA and its derivatives were found to
be the most effective antimicrobial agents for foods and
cosmetics [46,50]. The antimicrobial effects of fatty
acids are additive and their total concentration is vital
for bacterial growth inhibition [35].
D. Antibacterial action of coconut oil
MCFAs with 6 to 12 carbons, possessed significant
yet skewed activity against gram-positive bacteria, but
not against gram-negative bacteria. McKellar et al. [51]
reported that MCFAs and LCFAs could not actually
inhibit the growth of gram-negative bacteria. However,
in a current study, ample inhibition was observed for
the gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli and
Salmonella enteritidis [7]. Via diffusion agar method,
Sihombing et al. [52] found that VCO was more
effective against Bacillus cereus, a gram-positive
bacterium compared to E. coli due to the presence of
MCFAs and its monoglyceride form especially
monolaurin. Widiyarti et al. [53] showed that the
antibacterial activity of LA was very potent and was
effective against Staphylococcus aureus.
Similarly, the effect of LA on the growth of bacteria
was investigated and it was evident from the study that
LA was the most effective inhibitor against S. aureus
[54] and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common
opportunistic bacterium that causes infection in
immunocompromised individuals [55]. Further,
Verallo-Rowell et al. [56] found that VCO was useful in
the treatment of atopic dermatitis caused by S. aureus.
Wang and Johnson [57] examine the effectiveness of
monolaurin on the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, a
human foodborne pathogen. A transmission electron
scanning (TEM) analysis was done to observe the
morphological changes in the bacteria cells. Results of
their study showed that cytoplasmic content of treated
bacteria cell appeared to separate from cell envelope.
Breakage of the cell envelope also was observed.
Moreover, studies on medium-chain saturated and
long-chain unsaturated monoglycerides added to
supplement infant formula established that both can
effectively inactivate a gram-negative bacterium,
Haemophilus influenzae [58] while Thaweboon et al.
[43] reported that coconut oil exhibited antimicrobial
activity against Streptococcus mutans by evaluating its
effect on biofilm models formed on salivary-coated
microtitre plates. It has been also reported that fatty
acids extracts obtained after the hydrolysis of coconut
fat showed high antimicrobial potential against gram-
positive bacteria, B. cereus and L. monocytogenes and
gram-negative bacteria, E. coli and S. enteritidis [7].
Only recently, Odel et al. [59] further proved that LA
could hinder the maturity of S. aureus, B. cereus, E.
coli, and Salmonella thypimurium, but the inhibition
was still lower than the Ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic
used to treat a number of bacterial infections. Khor et
al. [25] concluded that the acidic pH nature of VCO
between 2.52 and 4.38 may be an important attribute to
its microbial inhibitory action. The antibacterial activity
of MCFAs has been summarized in Table II.
E. Antifungal action of coconut oil
Presently, VCO and its MCFAs have been used
broadly against fungi and most of the researches were
focusing on Candida albicans, the most common and
frequently isolated fungus from the human body. An in
vitro study by Arnfinnsson et al. [60] showed that
capric acid and LA had the strong ability to inhibit the
growth of C. albicans. The result reported that even at
Advances in Health Science Research, volume 8
low concentration, LA was able to inhibit the yeast cell
but still, it required a longer than usual incubation time.
The reduction in infectivity titers suggested some
fungicidal activity by capric acid and LA. Huang et al.
[61] stated that different kinds of fatty acids displayed
different patterns of inhibition against oral bacteria.
Their study demonstrated that MCFAs had a significant
anti-Candida activity while SCFAs and LCFAs showed
limited bioactivity against oral fungal species.
According to the report of Ogbolu et al. [62], C.
albicans, C. glabrata, C. tropicalis, C. parapsilosis, C.
stellatoidea, and C. krusei that had been isolated from
the surrounding environment of Ibadan, Nigeria were
sensitive to coconut oil. An agar well diffusion
technique was used to test the susceptibilities of
Candida species to coconut oil and the results revealed
that at 100% concentration of coconut oil, all the
Candida species were sensitive to coconut oil while at
the lowest concentration (0.79%), only 35% of Candida
species were affected by coconut oil. Among all the
species tested, C. albicans showed the highest
susceptibility to coconut oil while C. krusei
demonstrated the utmost resistance to coconut oil.
Antifungal activity of coconut oil also has been
studied by Winarsi and Purwanto [63] where a vaginal
candidiasis patient was successfully treated with zinc-
enriched VCO that might have acted as an
immunostimulants. Haematological test by Micros-OT
was done on a part of the blood and using ELISA, the
level of Interleukin-2 (IL-2) and immunoglobuline-G
(IgG) were tested with the use of plasma. Results
showed that enriched VCO retained neutrophil and
natural killer cells numbers in the body, but improved
number of T-cytotoxic and T-helper cells. The enriched
VCO also increased the level of IL-2 while the level of
IgG changed from equivocal to negative. Latest, in
comparison with ketoconazole, antifungal activity of C.
albicans isolated from children with early childhood
caries was tested using coconut oil [64] and it was
validated that coconut oil had comparable antifungal
activity with ketoconazole. The antifungal activity of
coconut oil against C. albicans was also found to be
higher than probiotic, a live microorganism that grants a
health benefit on the host when administered in
adequate amounts. Fungal activity of coconut oil and its
MCFAs have been summarized in Table II.
F. Antiviral action of coconut oil
The antiviral activity of monolaurin was tested
against many enveloped human RNA and DNA viruses
and the results concluded that all viruses were reduced
in infectivity at 1% concentration of the monolaurin
additive [42]. In the presence of LA, Hornung et al.
[45] indicated that the replication of vesicular stomatitis
virus (VSV) was inhibited by several orders of
magnitude where the inhibitory effect was reversible.
They reported that the quantity of matrix protein, one of
the five functional proteins encoded by the virus placed
in the plasma membrane, was found to be noticeably
decreasing after the treatment with LA. Similarly, in the
same year, a study on inactivation of visna virus (VV),
VSV, and herpes simplex virus (HSV) by free fatty
acids and monoglycerides was done. With the uses of a
series of antiviral activity assays and electron
microscopy, Thormar et al. [65] reported that MCFAs
could inactivate VV and other enveloped viruses
causing more than a 3,000- to 10,000-fold reduction in
virus titer.
Correspondingly, by having coconut oil in the daily
diet, Dayrit [66] stated that the viral load of HIV
patients could be reduced, showing that it has an
antiviral effect. According to Enig [67], the AIDS
organisation, Keep Hope Alive, has documented several
HIV/AIDS patients whose viral load reduced to
undetectable levels when they added coconut oil to their
daily diet or their anti-HIV medication. The positive
antiviral action was seen not only with the
monoglyceride of LA but with coconut oil itself
indicating that coconut oil was metabolised to
monoglyceride forms of caprylic acid, capric acid, and
LA to which it must owe its antipathogenic activity. A
year later, Enig [68] claimed that monolaurin could
inactivate viruses including HIV, measles virus, HSV,
VSV, VV, and cytomegalovirus (CV) to some extent.
In addition, Arora et al. [69] stated that coconut oil
was very effective against various viruses with lipid
capsules, such as VV, CV, and also Epstein-Barr virus.
Yuniwarti et al. [70] investigated the effect of VCO on
lymphocyte and CD4 (cluster of differentiating), a
surface protein on T lymphocyte, in chicken which had
been vaccinated against the avian influenza virus. The
study which applied the completely randomised
factorial design method concluded that fatty acids of
VCO were able to boost the amount of lymphocyte and
CD4 on vaccinated or unvaccinated broiler chicken
showing that VCO was potentially acting as an
immunomodulator which therefore could increase
chicken immunity and in combating a viral infection.
The antiviral activity of VCO and its MCFAs has been
summarised in Table II.
G. Action mechanism of coconut oil against pathogenic
The exact mechanism by which VCO exerts its
antimicrobial effects is still largely unknown. Of the
coconut derived metabolites, LA may have the most
antimicrobial activity [71]. According to DebMandal
and Mandal [29], LA and its monoglyceride found in
coconut oil are effective in obliterating a wide variety
of lipid-coated bacteria by disintegrating their lipid
membranes. The MCFAs in coconut oil principally
destroy microbial organisms by disturbing their
membranes, thus interfering with virus assembly and
maturation [69]. Besides, monolaurin is known to
produce highly ordered membranes, which is thought to
disrupt membrane function by affecting signal
transduction due to blockage of promoters, uncoupling
of energy systems, altered respiration state, and altered
amino acid uptake [72].
Advances in Health Science Research, volume 8
Lauric acid
and linoleic
Wang &
Bergsson et
al., 2002
Coconut oil
et al., 2011
Lauric acid
Bacillus cereus
et al., 2014
Widiyarti et
al., 2009
Lauric acid
Kitahara et
al., 2004
coconut oil
Silalahi et
al., 2014
Rowell et
al., 2008
Escherichia coli
and Salmonella
Parfene et
al., 2013
Lauric acid
and capric
et al., 2001
Coconut oil
Candida sp.; C.
C.tropicalis, C.
parapsilosis, C.
stellatoidea, and
C. krusei,
coconut oil
Candida sp.
Winarsi &
Coconut oil
et al., 2011
coconut oil
Lima et al.,
human RNA and
DNA viruses
& Kabara,
Lauric acid
stomatitis virus
Hornung et
al., 1994
Lauric acid
HIV virus
Enig, 1997
coconut oil
Avian Influenza
et al., 2012
Monolaurin had been reported to cause a constant
increase in leakage of cell membranes of S. aureus [35,
73]. Several researchers suggested that VCO was
needed to be metabolised by enzymes prior to releasing
its antimicrobial components of MCFAs, caprylic acid,
capric acid, and LA. A particularly intriguing and
unresolved mystery of the VCO actions concerns the
actual mechanism by which fatty acids are bactericidal
to pathogens. Although largely unknown, some
disruption of the lipid membranes of the susceptible
organisms by VCO or its metabolites cannot be entirely
overruled [58]. Hierholzer and Kabara [42] suggested
that a key factor in the virucidal activity of monolaurin
was associated with a generalised disintegration of the
cell envelope signifying that solubilisation of the lipids
and phospholipids in the cell envelope had occurred.
The viral envelope was found to be affected by fatty
acids, causing leakage and at even higher
concentrations, a complete disintegration of the
envelope and the viral particles occurred [65].
Recent electron microscopic evidence of several
microbes after being exposed to fatty acids suggested
that the cell membranes of Clostridium perfringens,
Chlamydia trachomatis, Streptococcus agalactiae, C.
albicans, and S. aureus were disrupted with subsequent
lysis of the bacteria [71]. Similarly, Warth [74] and
Voegas and Correia [75] also supported that
micromolar concentrations of fatty acids have a direct
effect on the cellular membranes enzymatic activities.
Finally, polyunsaturated fatty acids have been
documented to inhibit microorganisms through
autoxidation and formation of peroxides and radicals
[76] and potentially involving bacterial iron [77].
The current findings on the advantageous of VCO
especially on its antimicrobial activity have gathered
many attentions from researchers around the world to
investigate further as control of infections is crucial on
the health agenda of many developing countries, and
the use of VCO could serve as a cheaper alternative
means of controlling infections. Considerably more
studies need to be embarked on especially on the action
mechanisms of VCO. Molecular studies and tests on
VCO‟s mechanism should be done in order to evaluate
its action in detailed particularly on microbe‟s
membrane lipid. It is suggested also that future studies
look into the mechanism involving other parts of the
microbes that might yield novel knowledge and
understanding. New methodologies on how to isolate
the single fatty acids and obtaining its bioactive
compound also need to be explored as it can be used in
the investigation of antimicrobial activity, thus
demonstrating the underlying mechanisms.
Despite many research, some limitations of the
studies on VCO must be acknowledged. We believe
that many researchers are having a great difficulty when
dealing with the process to isolate specific compounds
from VCO. There is no exact method on how to isolate
the compound. Different parameters like temperature,
pressure, and time need to be adjusted according to the
sample types and target compounds involved. Besides,
when running the antimicrobial test, researchers were
having a problem in dissolving or diluting the VCO.
Methanol, ethanol, and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) are
the organic solvents that are being used frequently to
dilute VCO. Nevertheless, these solvents have
antibacterial property as well, making the test results
inaccurate. Until recently, most of the antimicrobial
tests were done directly only between the tested
microorganisms and the extracts itself. Somehow, in
reality, when we are dealing with the microbial
infections in the body, there are actually many systems
involved, cooperating with each other in combating
infections. Hence, a more complex method should be
Advances in Health Science Research, volume 8
considered so that we can create a better environment
for testing the antimicrobial activity.
The information discussed in this review explains
that VCO possesses various types of fatty acids which
have been associated with its biological and medicinal
properties. Based on the summary compiled herein on
the antimicrobial activities of VCO, it is noted that
VCO contains various potent bioactive compounds,
most of which might have bactericidal, virucidal, and
fungicidal benefits with less or no adverse effects.
Above and beyond, the emergence of the microbial
resistance, together with the low availability of
antimicrobial agents which are often opted as the last
resorts have created a threat to the medical community
and practitioners alike, demands for a continuous need
to explore nature in search of new antimicrobial
compounds with novel targets and modes of action. In
this regard, researchers are neither wrong nor weak to
turn their attention towards antimicrobials of the plant
origin. Even though there is much research on coconut
oil, extensive research and investigation on the
antimicrobial potency of VCO are necessary to validate
the use of VCO as a valuable antimicrobial agent and
exploit the oil‟s potential therapeutic benefits to combat
various diseases.
Acknowledgments are addressed to the Ministry of
Higher Education as the expense of this study was
derived from Research Acculturation Grant Scheme
(RAGS 15-062-0125) and Fundamental Research Grant
Scheme (FRGS 16-020-0519).
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... One of the sources of oil that have been given a reasonable consideration in this regard is the virgin coconut oil (VCO). VCO can be defined as "an edible oil obtained from the fresh, mature kernel of coconut by mechanical or natural means, with or without the use of heat, without undergoing chemical refining, bleaching or deodorising, which does not lead to the alteration of the nature of the oil" [6][7][8][9][10]. Coconut is the source of virgin coconut oil. ...
Full-text available
Virgin coconut oil can be a good food supplement due to its high medium-chain fatty acids unlike other cooking oils which contain long-chain fatty acids. This research is to investigate the physiochemical, antioxidant properties, proximate and nutritional values of Virgin coconut oil (VCO). The extract of virgin coconut oil was investigated for its proximate and nutritional composition showed that coconut oil can be good food supplement. The physiochemical parameters showed low iodine, saponification, peroxide, and acid value of 0.5918, 134.50, 1.5 and 0.673 meq/kg respectively. The antioxidant activity was investigated using DPPH free radical scavenging, the result showed that the VCO inhibits in the range of (37.0-61.0) % while Vitamin C (control) inhibits within (93-97) %. The proximate and nutritional values analyses showed that the moisture content, ash content, crude fibre, crude protein, crude lipid, and carbohydrate were 14.28, 1.075, 7.22, 9.255, 39.72 and 28.45 respectively. Minerals found were K, C, Na, Fe, Ca, Zn and P 138.15, 0.015, 58.6, 1.82, 38.55, 5.35 and 0.79 mg/kg respectively.
... One of the sources of oil that have been given a reasonable consideration in this regard is the virgin coconut oil (VCO). VCO can be defined as "an edible oil obtained from the fresh, mature kernel of coconut by mechanical or natural means, with or without the use of heat, without undergoing chemical refining, bleaching or deodorising, which does not lead to the alteration of the nature of the oil" [6][7][8][9][10]. Coconut is the source of virgin coconut oil. ...
Virgin coconut oil can be a good food supplement due to its high medium – chain fatty acids unlike other cooking oils which contain long – chain fatty acids. This research is to investigate the physiochemical, antioxidant properties, proximate and nutritional values of Virgin coconut oil (VCO). The extract of virgin coconut oil was investigated for its proximate and nutritional composition showed that coconut oil can be good food supplement. The physiochemical parameters showed low iodine, saponification, peroxide, and acid value of 0.5918, 134.50, 1.5 and 0.673 meq/kg respectively. The antioxidant activity was investigated using DPPH free radical scavenging, the result showed that the VCO inhibits in the range of (37.0 – 61.0) % while Vitamin C (control) inhibits within (93-97) %. The proximate and nutritional values analyses showed that the moisture content, ash content, crude fibre, crude protein, crude lipid, and carbohydrate were 14.28, 1.075, 7.22, 9.255, 39.72 and 28.45 respectively. Minerals found were K, C, Na, Fe, Ca, Zn and P 138.15, 0.015, 58.6, 1.82, 38.55, 5.35 and 0.79 mg/kg respectively. Keywords: Virgin coconut oil, Iodine value, saponification value, rancidity, peroxides Value. Arabian Journal of Chemical and Environmental Research
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Objective:The aim of this study was to examine the influence of the partial hydrolysis of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on it's antibacterial activity. Methods:The VCO used in this study was the productof UD SinarNias. Hydrolysis was carried out by enzyme and sodium hydroxide. Enzymatic hydrolysis using lipozyme was conducted in four different incubation time namely, 3 hours, 6 hours, 9 hours and 12 hours. Alkaline hydrolysis preformed with 25%, 50% and 75% NaOH calculated from the saponification valueof coconut oil. Acidified hydrolyzed VCO was extracted with n-hexane. Recovered hydrolyzed products were mixed with water (5 g in water to make 10 ml) to form water in oil emulsion (w/o). Antibacterial activity test was conducted against bacteria Pseudomonasaeruginosa (ATCC 25619), Staphylococcusaureus (ATCC 29737), Staphylococcus epidermidis (ATCC 12228) and Propionibacterium acnes (ATCC 6918) by diffusion agar method using the paper disc of 6 mm in diameter. Antibacterial activity of hydrolyzed VCO was compared with tetracycline and ampicillin. Results: Un-hydrolyzed VCO did not show antibacterial activity but hydrolyzed oil did. The longer the incubation time and the higher the amount of NaOH used in the hydrolysis increased antibacterial activity. VCO hydrolyzed by enzyme was more effective than those hydrolyzed by sodium hydroxide. Hydrolyzed VCO were more effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa than other bacteria. Conclusions: Un-hydrolyzed VCO did not inhibit bacterial growth, while VCO after hydrolysis was found to have antibacterial activity. Hydrolyzed VCO by enzyme is more active asantibacterial than VCOhydrolyzed by NaOH. Tetracyclin and ampicillin were more active than those of hydrolyzed VCO.
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Recently, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) containing a large fraction of lauric acid (LA) (C12)—about 30%—have been introduced commercially for use in salad oils and in cooking applications. As compared to the long-chain fatty acids found in other cooking oils, the medium-chain fats in MCTs are far less likely to be stored in adipose tissue, do not give rise to ‘ectopic fat’ metabolites that promote insulin resistance and inflammation, and may be less likely to activate macrophages. When ingested, medium-chain fatty acids are rapidly oxidised in hepatic mitochondria; the resulting glut of acetyl-coenzyme A drives ketone body production and also provokes a thermogenic response. Hence, studies in animals and humans indicate that MCT ingestion is less obesogenic than comparable intakes of longer chain oils. Although LA tends to raise serum cholesterol, it has a more substantial impact on high density lipoprotein (HDL) than low density lipoprotein (LDL) in this regard, such that the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol decreases. LA constitutes about 50% of the fatty acid content of coconut oil; south Asian and Oceanic societies which use coconut oil as their primary source of dietary fat tend to be at low cardiovascular risk. Since ketone bodies can exert neuroprotective effects, the moderate ketosis induced by regular MCT ingestion may have neuroprotective potential. As compared to traditional MCTs featuring C6–C10, laurate-rich MCTs are more feasible for use in moderate-temperature frying and tend to produce a lower but more sustained pattern of blood ketone elevation owing to the more gradual hepatic oxidation of ingested laurate.
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. Early childhood caries (ECC) is associated with early colonisation and high levels of cariogenic microorganisms. With C. albicans being one of those, there is a need to determine the effectiveness of various chemotherapeutic agents against it. The study is aimed at isolating Candida species in children with ECC and at studying the antifungal effect of coconut oil, probiotics, Lactobacillus , and 0.2% chlorhexidine on C. albicans in comparison with ketoconazole. Materials and Methods . Samples were collected using sterile cotton swabs, swabbed on the tooth surfaces from children with ECC of 3 to 6 yrs and streaked on Sabouraud dextrose agar (HI Media) plates and incubated in a 5% CO 2 enriched atmosphere at 37°C for 24 hours. Candida was isolated and its susceptibility to probiotics, chlorhexidine, ketoconazole, and coconut oil was determined using Disc Diffusion method. Results . The mean zone of inhibition for chlorhexidine was 21.8 mm, whereas for coconut oil it was 16.8 mm, for probiotics it was 13.5 mm, and for ketoconazole it was 22.3 mm. The difference between the groups was not statistically significant (Chi-square value 7.42, P value 0.06). Conclusion . Chlorhexidine and coconut oil have shown significant antifungal activity which is comparable with ketoconazole.
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Isolation of lauric acid from crude coconut oil (CCO) has been done. Neutralization of CCO using 30% Na2CO3 solution could decrease its acid value from 1.69 to 0.48. Transesterification reactions of neutral coconut oil with methanol and K2CO3 at 55°C in 3hours produced methyl laurate in 52% purity. Methyl laurate with 87% purity could be isolated by fractionatal distillation at 130-140°C. Hydrolysis of methyl laurate with NaOH produced solid lauric acidin 84% yield. Lauric acid at 5% concentration could inhibit the growth of all bacteria tested but it is still lower than Ciprofloxacin.
The word preservative on food product labels seems to evoke a negative reaction from many consumers. Although consumers want natural, fresh products, the ability of the food industry to deliver foods to the marketplace usually depends on adding chemicals to lengthen shelf life. The phrase “chemical additive” does not always mean unnatural or unsafe. One group of chemicals found in nature and considered to have little or no toxicity is the fatty acids and their corresponding esters. Indeed, early records suggest that fatty acids have a long and respected historical record for having antimicrobial activity. In fact, one of the nutritional factors in human milk that both aids infant growth and development (energy source) and acts as a natural antimicrobial is the high level of lauric acid fats. Lauric acid fats provide up to 12% of total fat content in milk and 3.5% to 6.6% of milk calories (Chen et al., 1996). Another high lauric acid fat-containing food is coconut.
Based on biochemical and nutritional evidences, lauric acid (C12) has distinctive properties that are not shared with longer-chain saturated fatty acids: myristic acid (C14), palmitic acid (C16), and stearic acid (C18). Because medium-chain saturated fatty acids C6 to C12 show sufficiently different metabolic and physiological properties from long-chain saturated fatty acids C14 to C18, the term “saturated fatty acid” does not convey nutritionally accurate information and chain length should be specified as “medium-chain” and “long-chain”. Many of the properties of coconut oil can be accounted for by the properties of lauric acid. Lauric acid makes up approximately half of the fatty acids in coconut oil; likewise, medium-chain triglycerides which contain lauric acid account for approximately half of all triacylglycerides in coconut oil. It is, therefore, justified to classify coconut oil as a medium-chain vegetable oil. There is no link between lauric acid and high cholesterol. © 2014, Science and Technology Information Institute. All rights reserved.