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Br J Nutr. 2011 Mar;105(5):738-46. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510004241. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

Young coconut juice, a potential therapeutic agent that could significantly reduce some pathologies associated with Alzheimer's disease: novel findings.

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Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand.


Brains from ovariectomised (ovx) rats can display features similar to those observed in menopausal women with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and oestrogen seems to play a key role. Preliminary studies on young coconut juice (YCJ) have reported the presence of oestrogen-like components in it. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of YCJ on the AD pathological changes in the brains of ovx rats. Rat groups included sham-operated, ovx, ovx+oestradiol benzoate (EB) and ovx+YCJ. Brain sections (4 μm) were taken and were immunostained with β-amyloid (Aβ) 1-42, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) (an intermediate neurofilament of astrocytes) and Tau-1 antibodies. Aβ 1-42, GFAP and Tau-1 are considered as reliable biomarkers of amyloidosis, astrogliosis and tauopathy (neurofibrillary tangles), respectively, which in turn are characteristic features associated with AD. The serum oestradiol (E2) level was measured using a chemiluminescent immunoassay technique. YCJ restored the serum E2 to levels significantly (P < 0·001) higher than that of the ovx group, and even that of the sham group. Aβ deposition was significantly (P < 0·0001) reduced in the cerebral cortex of the YCJ group, as compared with the ovx group and with the sham and ovx+EB groups (P < 0·01). A similar trend was observed in relation to GFAP expression in the cerebral cortex and to Tau-1 expression in the hippocampus. This is a novel study demonstrating that YCJ could have positive future implications in the prevention and treatment of AD in menopausal women.

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