Virgin coconut oil maintains redox status and improves glycemic conditions in high fructose fed rats

J Food Sci Technol. 2016 Jan;53(1):895-901. doi: 10.1007/s13197-015-2040-8. Epub 2015 Sep 22.


Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), extracted from fresh coconut kernel possess similar fatty acid composition to that of Copra Oil (CO), a product of dried kernel. Although CO forms the predominant dietary constituent in south India, VCO is being promoted for healthy life due to its constituent antioxidant molecules. High fructose containing CO is an established model for insulin resistance and steatohepatitis in rodents. In this study, replacement of CO with VCO in high fructose diet markedly improved the glucose metabolism and dyslipidemia. The animals fed VCO diet had only 17 % increase in blood glucose level compared to CO fed animals (46 %). Increased level of GSH and antioxidant enzyme activities in VCO fed rats indicate improved hepatic redox status. Reduced lipid peroxidation and carbonyl adducts in VCO fed rats well corroborate with the histopathological findings that hepatic damage and steatosis were comparatively reduced than the CO fed animals. These results suggest that VCO could be an efficient nutraceutical in preventing the development of diet induced insulin resistance and associated complications possibly through its antioxidant efficacy.

Keywords: Copra oil; Hepatosteatosis; High fructose diet; Insulin resistance; Oxidative stress; Virgin coconut oil.