Coconut water alters maternal high fat diet induced changes in hormones and pup morphometry of Wistar rats

Afr J Med Med Sci. 2015 Jun;44(2):133-44.


Background: Maternal high fat diet (HFD) during gestation adversely programmes foetal metabolism and cardiovascular function for the development of obesity and its related cardiovascular diseases in adult life. The hypolipidemic actions of coconut water (CW) in the presence of HFD have been reported. This study examined the effects of oral administration of CW on lipid panel, hormone profile, pup and placental morphometry of dams fed HFD during gestation.

Methods: Twenty-four pregnant Wistar rats were assigned to four groups (n = 6) and treated daily from gestation day (GD) 1 to 21 as follows; Group 1: 1 ml/100g b.wt. distilled water; Group 2: 1ml/100g b.wt. CW; Group 3: HFD (70% standard rat feed plus 30% butter); Group 4: HFD + 1 ml/100g b.wt. CW. Animals were sacrificed on GD 21. Random blood glucose was measured using tail blood. Caesarean section was performed to remove the pups and their placentas which were immediately measured. Oxidative stress status of the placentas; serum lipid and hormone profiles of dams were assessed.

Results: HFD+CW resulted in significant (P < 0.05) reductions in pup weight and morphometric indices when compared with pups from HFD. These changes were accompanied by significant improvements in maternal serum lipid profile, alterations in hormone levels and higher placental lipid peroxidation.

Conclusion: These results suggest that coconut water is protective against maternal high fat diet-induced changes. Further studies are on-going to determine the actions of coconut water of maternal high fat diet induced foetal programming of adult health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight
  • Cocos*
  • Diet, High-Fat*
  • Female
  • Hormones / blood*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Organ Size
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Placenta / anatomy & histology
  • Placenta / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal / blood*
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hormones
  • Lipids