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. 2015 Jan;9(1):39-42.
doi: 10.3892/etm.2014.2045. Epub 2014 Nov 3.

Antistress and Antioxidant Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil in vivo

Free PMC article

Antistress and Antioxidant Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil in vivo

Swee Keong Yeap et al. Exp Ther Med. .
Free PMC article


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.

Keywords: antioxidant; depression; medium-chain fatty acids.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Antistress effect of VCO during the forced swim test. (A) Mice fed with 10 ml/kg body weight VCO exhibited reduced immobility time during the forced swim test; (B) Serum SOD and MDA levels post-forced swim test. *Significant difference (P<0.05) compared to the untreated controls. VCO, virgin coconut oil; SOD, superoxide dismutase; MDA, malondialdehyde.

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