Coconut products alleviate hyperglycaemic, hyperlipidimic and nephropathy indices in streptozotocin-induced diabetic wistar rats

Saudi J Biol Sci. 2021 Aug;28(8):4224-4231. doi: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2021.06.060. Epub 2021 Jun 25.


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic and one of the most common metabolic diseases affecting large proportion of world population. Diabetes-induced changes in lipid and renal parameters are major risk factors contributing to diabetic complications such as diabetic nephropathy and cardiovascular diseases. Due to adverse effects associated with pharmacological intervention in the T2DM treatment, there is an increased interest in the research focussing on identifying novel plant based therapeutic agents. Here we report the effects of various coconut products on diabetic, lipid and renal parameters in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rat model. Diabetic rats demonstrated a significant increase in serum glucose, and glycated haemoglobin levels (HbA1c). Lipid parameters including triglycerides, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-cholesterol) were found to be significantly increased, while high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) was significantly declined in diabetic rats. Diabetic rats also displayed increased serum and kidney creatinine, urea, and total protein levels and increased urine glucose, urea, albumin and creatinine levels. Contrastingly, treatment with virgin and filtered coconut oils, coconut water and coconut milk resulted in a significant reversal in the levels of above studied parameters in diabetic rats. Further, these coconut products markedly prevented diabetes induced histopathological changes in kidney tissue. Collectively, the data demonstrate the antidiabetic, hypolipidemic and renal protective properties of various coconut products and underscore the importance of regular consumption of plant based medicinal products in the treatment of T2DM and its complications.

Keywords: Coconut milk; Coconut products; Diabetes; Filtered coconut oil; Inflammation; Kidney; Virgin coconut oil.