Influence of virgin coconut oil on blood coagulation factors, lipid levels and LDL oxidation in cholesterol fed Sprague–Dawley rats
Published on Feb 1, 2008in E-spen, The European E-journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism
· DOI :10.1016/j.eclnm.2007.09.003
Summary Background aims Experimental and epidemiological studies indicate an association between dietary saturated fatty acids and thrombosis, but the effects of individual fatty acids on haemostasis are still controversial. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the effect of feeding virgin coconut oil (VCO) on blood coagulation factors, lipid levels and in vitro oxidation of LDL in comparison with copra oil (CO) and sunflower oil (SFO) in cholesterol (1%) and oil (10% w/w) fed rats. Methods Rats were given the test oils along with cholesterol for 45 days. After the experimental period, serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thrombotic risk factor levels viz. fibrin, fibrinogen, factor V, 6-ketoPGF1α and prothrombin time were measured. In vitro Cu2+ induced oxidation of LDL, erythrocyte membrane and LDL TBARS content and plasma antioxidant vitamins (A and E) were also evaluated. Results Administration of VCO showed significant antithrombotic effect compared to copra oil and the effects were comparable with sunflower oil fed animals. The antioxidant vitamin levels were found to be higher in VCO fed animals than other groups. LDL isolated from VCO fed animals when subjected to oxidant (Cu2+) in vitro showed significant resistance to oxidation as compared to the LDL isolated from other two groups. Dietary administration of VCO reduced the cholesterol and triglyceride levels and maintained the levels of blood coagulation factors. Results also indicate that VCO feeding can prevent the oxidation of LDL from oxidants. These properties of VCO may be attributed to the presence of biologically active unsaponifiable components viz. vitamin E, provitamin A, polyphenols and phytosterols.