Virgin coconut oil supplementation ameliorates cyclophosphamide-induced systemic toxicity in mice

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2016 Feb;35(2):205-12. doi: 10.1177/0960327115578867. Epub 2015 Mar 24.


Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is an unrefined kernal oil, prepared from Cocos nucifera L., having substantial nutritional and medicinal value. Experimental studies have suggested its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunostimulatory and hypolipidemic effects. The present study assesses its effect on formalin-induced chronic inflammation and cyclophosphamide (CTX)-induced systemic toxicity in murine models. Oral administration of VCO effectively reduced formalin-induced paw oedema in mice with more or less similar efficacy as that of diclofenac. The CTX-induced hike in blood urea, creatinine, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and liver marker enzymes in mice was marginally decreased by VCO (8 g/kg body weight) ingestion orally. The liver and kidney catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities, together with cellular glutathione and TBARS levels, were found to be improved in these animals. Overall the study reveals the protective efficacy of VCO against secondary toxicity induced by CTX possibly through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Keywords: Antioxidant enzyme; VCO; chemotherapy; cytoprotection; lipid peroxidation.

MeSH terms

  • Alkylating Agents / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Coconut Oil
  • Creatinine / metabolism
  • Cyclophosphamide / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cyclophosphamide / toxicity*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Edema / pathology
  • Edema / prevention & control
  • Formaldehyde
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances / metabolism


  • Alkylating Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Oils
  • Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances
  • Formaldehyde
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Creatinine
  • Coconut Oil