Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Coconut oil


The hypothesis that oral supplementation with virgin coconut oil (Cocos nucifera L.) and exercise training would improve impaired baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and reduce oxidative stress in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) was tested. Adult male SHR and Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) were divided into 5 groups: WKY + saline (n = 8); SHR + saline (n = 8); SHR + coconut oil (2 mL·day(-1), n = 8); SHR + trained (n = 8); and SHR + trained + coconut oil (n = 8). Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was recorded and BRS was tested using phenylephrine (8 μg/kg, intravenous) and sodium nitroprusside (25 μg·kg(-1), intravenous). Oxidative stress was measured using dihydroethidium in heart and aorta. SHR + saline, SHR + coconut oil, and SHR + trained group showed higher MAP compared with WKY + saline (175 ± 6, 148 ± 6, 147 ± 7 vs. 113 ± 2 mm Hg; p < 0.05). SHR + coconut oil, SHR + trained group, and SHR + trained + coconut oil groups presented lower MAP compared with SHR + saline group (148 ± 6, 147 ± 7, 134 ± 8 vs. 175 ± 6 mm Hg; p < 0.05). Coconut oil combined with exercise training improved BRS in SHR compared with SHR + saline group (-2.47 ± 0.3 vs. -1.39 ± 0.09 beats·min(-1)·mm Hg(-1); p < 0.05). SHR + saline group showed higher superoxide levels when compared with WKY + saline (774 ± 31 vs. 634 ± 19 arbitrary units (AU), respectively; p < 0.05). SHR + trained + coconut oil group presented reduced oxidative stress compared with SHR + saline in heart (622 ± 16 vs. 774 ± 31 AU, p < 0.05). In aorta, coconut oil reduced oxidative stress in SHR compared with SHR + saline group (454 ± 33 vs. 689 ± 29 AU, p < 0.05). Oral supplementation with coconut oil combined with exercise training improved impaired BRS and reduced oxidative stress in SHR.

Concepts: Better, Hypertension, Blood pressure, Cortisol, Saturated fat, Coconut, Coconuts, Coconut oil


Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst Malaysian women. Both the disease and its treatment can disrupt the lives of the woman and adversely affect all aspects of life and thus can alter a woman’s quality of life. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on the quality of life (QOL) of patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Effect, Estrogen, Affect, Woman, Coconut, Coconut oil


We evaluated the protective efficacy of the polyphenolic fraction from virgin coconut oil (PV) against adjuvant induced arthritic rats. Arthritis was induced by intradermal injection of complete Freund’s adjuvant. The activities of inflammatory, antioxidant enzymes and lipid peroxidation were estimated. PV showed high percentage of edema inhibition at a dose of 80mg/kg on 21st day of adjuvant arthritis and is non toxic. The expression of inflammatory genes such as COX-2, iNOS, TNF-α and IL-6 and the concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substance were decreased by treatment with PV. Antioxidant enzymes were increased and on treatment with PV. The increased level of total WBC count and C-reactive protein in the arthritic animals was reduced in PV treated rats. Synovial cytology showed that inflammatory cells and reactive mesothelial cells were suppressed by PV. Histopathology of paw tissue showed less edema formation and cellular infiltration on supplementation with PV. Thus the results demonstrated the potential beneficiary effect of PV on adjuvant induced arthritis in rats and the mechanism behind this action is due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Concepts: Inflammation, Protein, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Polyphenol, Coconut, Reactive arthritis, Coconut oil


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic skin disease characterized by defects in the epidermal barrier function and cutaneous inflammation, in which transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is increased and the ability of the stratum corneum to hold water is impaired, causing decreased skin capacitance and hydration. This study investigated the effects of topical virgin coconut oil (VCO) and mineral oil, respectively, on SCORAD (SCORing of Atopic Dermatitis) index values, TEWL, and skin capacitance in pediatric patients with mild to moderate AD, using a randomized controlled trial design in which participants and investigators were blinded to the treatments allocated. Patients were evaluated at baseline, and at 2, 4, and 8 weeks. A total of 117 patients were included in the analysis. Mean SCORAD indices decreased from baseline by 68.23% in the VCO group and by 38.13% in the mineral oil group (P < 0.001). In the VCO group, 47% (28/59) of patients achieved moderate improvement and 46% (27/59) showed an excellent response. In the mineral oil group, 34% (20/58) of patients showed moderate improvement and 19% (11/58) achieved excellent improvement. The VCO group achieved a post-treatment mean TEWL of 7.09 from a baseline mean of 26.68, whereas the mineral oil group demonstrated baseline and post-treatment TEWL values of 24.12 and 13.55, respectively. In the VCO group, post-treatment skin capacitance rose to 42.3 from a baseline mean of 32.0, whereas that in the mineral oil group increased to 37.49 from a baseline mean of 31.31. Thus, among pediatric patients with mild to moderate AD, topical application of VCO for eight weeks was superior to that of mineral oil based on clinical (SCORAD) and instrumental (TEWL, skin capacitance) assessments.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Skin, Pharmaceutical industry, Clinical research, Coconut, Atopic dermatitis, Coconut oil


Effects of virgin coconut oil (VCO) at various levels (0-25%) on the properties of croaker surimi gels were studied. As the levels of VCO increased up to 15%, breaking force continuously decreased. No differences in breaking force, deformation and fracture constant were noticeable when VCO of 15-25% was incorporated. Based on texture profile analysis, hardness and chewiness decreased as the level of added VCO increased up to 10%, while no marked changes were observed with the addition of 10-25% VCO. Addition of VCO had no profound impact on springiness, cohesiveness and resilience. No remarkable change in protein pattern among all surimi gel samples was noticed, regardless of VCO levels. Lower elastic (G') as well as loss moduli (G″) of surimi paste were observed when VCO was added, compared to the control. Nevertheless, there was no marked difference in the moduli among samples containing VCO at all levels. Whiteness of surimi gel increased, whereas expressible moisture content decreased as VCO levels increased. Microstructure study revealed that VCO droplets were distributed uniformly in gel network. Overall likeness of surimi gel was also increased for gel added with VCO. Therefore, VCO addition directly affected textural properties and improved the whiteness as well as sensory property of surimi gel.

Concepts: Saturated fat, Gel, Coconut, Coconut oil


The immature fragile skin of preterm infants represents an inadequate protective barrier. The emollient and anti-infective properties of coconut oil make it a potentially beneficial topical agent for this population.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Coconut, Preterm birth, Coconut oil


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of 8% virgin coconut oil (VCO) combined with different percentages of egg yolk in Tris extender on the quality of chilled and frozen-thawed bull semen. A total of 24 ejaculates from four bulls were collected using an electroejaculator. Semen samples were diluted with 8% VCO in Tris extender which contained different concentrations 0% (control), 4%, 8%, 12%, 16% and 20% egg yolk. The diluted semen samples were divided into two fractions: one was chilled and stored at 4°C until evaluation after 24, 72, and 144h; the second fraction was processed by chilling for 3h at 4°C to equilibrate, then packaged in 0.25ml straws and frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen at -196°C until evaluation after 7 and 14 days. Both chilled and frozen semen samples were then thawed at 37°C and assessed for general motility using computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA), viability, acrosome integrity, and morphology (eosin-nigrosin), membrane integrity (hypo-osmotic swelling test) and lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS)). The results indicate treatments with 8%, 12%, 16% and 20% egg yolk with 8% VCO had greater sperm quality (P<0.05) as compared with the control. The treatment with 20% egg yolk had the greatest sperm quality (P<0.05) among the treated groups for both chilled and frozen-thawed semen. In conclusion, the use of 8% VCO combined with 20% egg yolk in a Tris-based extender enhanced the values for chilled and frozen-thawed quality variables of bull sperm.

Concepts: Sperm, Egg, Semen analysis, Semen, Saturated fat, Coconut, Egg yolk, Coconut oil


It is well established that the consumption of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) can increase satiety and reduce food intake. Many media articles promote the use of coconut oil for weight loss advocating similar health benefits to that of MCT. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of MCT oil compared to coconut oil and control oil on food intake and satiety. Following an overnight fast, participants consumed a test breakfast smoothie containing 205kcal of either (i) MCT oil (ii) coconut oil or (iii) vegetable oil (control) on three separate test days. Participants recorded appetite ratings on visual analogue scales and were presented with an ad libitum lunch meal of preselected sandwiches 180min after consumption of the breakfast. The results showed a significant difference in energy and macronutrient intakes at the ad libitum meal between the three oils with the MCT oil reducing food intake compared to the coconut and control oil. Differences in food intake throughout the day were found for energy and fat, with the control having increased food intake compared to the MCT and coconut. The MCT also increased fullness over the three hours after breakfast compared to the control and coconut oils. The coconut oil was also reported as being less palatable than the MCT oil. The results of this study confirm the differences that exist between MCT and coconut oil such that coconut oil cannot be promoted as having similar effects to MCT oil on food intake and satiety.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Fat, Food, Difference, Lipid, Appetite, Coconut oil


The coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis (Acari: Eriophyidae), is a major tropical pest of coconut. Here, we assessed the chemical profiles and the potential use of babassu, degummed soybean, and coconut oils to control A. guerreronis as well as their side-effects on the predatory mite Neoseiulus baraki (Acari: Phytoseiidae), a key natural enemy of the coconut mite. Babassu and coconut oils had similar fatty acids chemical profiles. All vegetable oils showed toxicity to A. guerreronis; degummed soybean oil exhibited the highest toxicity (LC50 = 0.15 µL/cm(2)). Although all oils were less toxic to N. baraki, their potential to attract/repel this predatory mite differed. Whereas N. baraki females were unresponsive to coconut oil at both concentrations (i.e., LC50 and LC99 estimated for A. guerreronis), irrespective of exposure period (i.e., 1 or 24 h), the babassu oil repelled the predator, independent of exposure period, when applied at its LC99 (1.48 µL/cm(2)). Intriguingly, this oil also exhibited attractiveness to N. baraki 24 h after exposure when applied at its LC50 (0.26 µL/cm(2)). A similar attractiveness pattern was recorded 24 h after N. baraki was exposed to degummed soybean oil at both concentrations tested (LC50 = 0.15 µL/cm(2); LC99 = 1.39 µL/cm(2)). However, N. baraki was repelled by degummed soybean oil at its LC50 after 1 h of exposure. Therefore, the present study demonstrated that all the vegetable oils used here had higher toxicity to the coconut mite and considerable selectivity to the predator N. baraki, indicating they are promising tools that can potentially be included in management programs to control A. guerreronis in commercial coconut plantations.

Concepts: Predation, Fat, Toxicity, Acari, Coconut, Biological pest control, Vegetable oils, Coconut oil


Coconut oil is commonly used as herbal medicine worldwide. There is limited information regarding its effects on the developing embryo and infant growth.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Essential fatty acid, Omega-3 fatty acid, Fat, Saturated fat, Coconut, Coconut oil