Virgin coconut oil, rich in antioxidants, was shown to attenuate hypertension. This study aimed to investigate the effects of virgin coconut oil on blood pressure and related parameters in kidneys in rats fed with 5-times-heated palm oil (5HPO). Thirty-two male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into 4 groups. Two groups were fed 5HPO (15%) diet and the second group was also given virgin coconut oil (1.42 mL/kg, oral) daily for 16 weeks. The other 2 groups were given basal diet without (control) and with virgin coconut oil. Systolic blood pressure was measured pre- and post-treatment. After 16 weeks, the rats were sacrificed and kidneys were harvested. Dietary 5HPO increased blood pressure, renal thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS), and nitric oxide contents, but decreased heme oxygenase activity. Virgin coconut oil prevented increase in 5HPO-induced blood pressure and renal nitric oxide content as well as the decrease in renal heme oxygenase activity. The virgin coconut oil also reduced the elevation of renal TBARS induced by the heated oil. However, neither dietary 5HPO nor virgin coconut oil affected renal histomorphometry. In conclusion, virgin coconut oil has a potential to reduce the development of hypertension and renal injury induced by dietary heated oil, possibly via its antioxidant protective effects on the kidneys.
Keywords: heme oxygenase; huile vierge de coco; hypertension; hème oxygénase; kidney; nitric oxide; oxyde nitrique; rein; virgin coconut oil.