Background: Research studies that holistically investigated the effect of administration of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on diabetic humans or animals are limited in literature.
Objective: To investigate the effect of administration of VCO on lipid profile, markers of hepatic and renal dysfunction, and hepatic and renal antioxidant activities of alloxan induced diabetic rats.
Methods: Twenty-four male albino rats were used, and they were divided into four groups of six rats each. Group 1 (Normal Control, NC) received distilled water (1 mL/kg); Group 2 (VCO Control) received VCO (5 mL/kg); Group 3 (Diabetic Control, DC) received distilled water (1 mL/kg); Group 4 (Test Group, TG) received 5 ml/kg of VCO.
Results: There were no significant differences in blood glucose, body weights, relative liver weights, relative kidney weights, hepatic and renal superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, malondialdehyde (MDA) , albumin, aspartate amino transaminase (AST), alanine amino transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) , urea, creatinine, uric acid, total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) concentrations; significant increases of renal glutathione (GSH), hepatic catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and GSH but significant reduction of renal GPx and catalase activities of VCO control group compared with NC group. There were significant increases in blood glucose, relative liver and kidney weights, hepatic GPx, hepatic and renal MDA concentration, ALP, AST, ALT, urea, creatinine, uric acid, triacylglycerol, total cholesterol, LDL and VLDL concentrations; significant decreases in body weight, hepatic SOD and GSH activities and albumin concentration but no significant differencein hepatic catalase activity of DC group compared with NC group. Administration of VCO to diabetic rats positively modulated these parameters compared with the diabetic control.
Conclusion: The study showed the potentials of VCO in the management of hyperlipidemia, renal and hepatic dysfunctions imposed by hyperglycemia and by oxidative stress in diabetic rats.