Young Coconut Water Ameliorates Depression via Modulation of Neurotransmitters: Possible Mechanism of Action

Metab Brain Dis. 2016 Oct;31(5):1165-70. doi: 10.1007/s11011-016-9866-2. Epub 2016 Jul 5.


In the current era, plants are frequently tested for its antidepressant potential. Therefore young coconut water, a commonly used plant based beverage, was selected to explore its antidepressant potential. Rodents were selected for this study and forced swim test was conducted to explore antidepressant activity. Analysis of brain biogenic amines using high performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection and potentiation of noradrenaline toxicity model were also incorporated in this study to demonstrate probable antidepressant mechanism of action. Coconut water was administered orally at the dose of 4 ml/100 g. Young coconut water showed highly significant increase in struggling time (p < 0.001) in forced swim test. This suggests antidepressant effect of young coconut water. In noradrenaline toxicity model, it was observed that young coconut water is not a good adrenergic component as its lethality percentage in this test was observed 0 % unlike imipramine which showed lethality of 100 %. High performance liquid chromatography-electrochemical detection of rodent's brain revealed decline in 5-hydroxytryptamine, noradrenaline and dopamine, with concomitant decline in metabolites 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, homovanillic acid and increase in 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid/5-hydroxytryptamine ratio. Findings from the exploration of monoamines suggest antidepressant effect of young coconut water via homeostasis of monoamines synthesis.

Keywords: 5-hydroxytryptamine; Coconut water; Depression; High performance liquid chromatogray-electrochemical detection; Homeostasis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cocos*
  • Depression / diet therapy*
  • Depression / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Rats


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Plant Extracts