Virgin coconut oil improves hepatic lipid metabolism in rats--compared with copra oil, olive oil and sunflower oil

Indian J Exp Biol. 2012 Nov;50(11):802-9.


Effect of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on lipid levels and regulation of lipid metabolism compared with copra oil (CO), olive oil (OO), and sunflower oil (SFO) has been reported. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed different oils at 8% level for 45 days along with synthetic diet. Results showed that VCO feeding significantly lowered (P < 0.05) levels of total cholesterol, LDL+ VLDL cholesterol, Apo B and triglycerides in serum and tissues compared to rats fed CO, OO and SFO, while HDL-cholesterol and Apo A1 were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in serum of rats fed VCO than other groups. Hepatic lipogenesis was also down regulated in VCO fed rats, which was evident from the decreased activities of enzymes viz., HMG CoA reductase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, isocitrate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme. In addition, VCO significantly (P < 0.05) increased the activities of lipoprotein lipase, lecithin cholesterol acyl transferase and enhanced formation of bile acids. Results demonstrated hypolipidemic effect of VCO by regulating the synthesis and degradation of lipids.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins / metabolism
  • Bile Acids and Salts / analysis
  • Cholesterol / metabolism
  • Coconut Oil
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Lipogenesis / drug effects
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils / isolation & purification
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sterols / analysis
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Apolipoproteins
  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Lipoproteins
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils
  • Sterols
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Coconut Oil