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Pharm Biol. 2017 Dec;55(1):825-832. doi: 10.1080/13880209.2017.1280688.

Enhanced memory in Wistar rats by virgin coconut oil is associated with increased antioxidative, cholinergic activities and reduced oxidative stress.

Author information

1
a Collaborative Drug Discovery Research (CDDR) Group , Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Community of Research, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) , Shah Alam , Selangor Darul Ehsan , Malaysia.
2
b Faculty of Applied Sciences , Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) , Arau , Perlis , Malaysia.
3
c Faculty of Pharmacy , Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) , Selangor Darul Ehsan , Malaysia.
4
d Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Pharmacy , Qassim University , Buraidah , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has been reported to possess antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-stress properties.

OBJECTIVE:

Capitalizing on these therapeutic effects, this study investigated for the first time the potential of VCO on memory improvement in vivo.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Thirty male Wistar rats (7-8 weeks old) were randomly assigned to five groups (n = six per group). Treatment groups were administered with 1, 5 and 10 g/kg VCO for 31 days by oral gavages. The cognitive function of treated-rats were assessed using the Morris Water Maze Test. Brains were removed, homogenized and subjected to biochemical analyses of acetylcholine (ACh) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE), antioxidants [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GRx)], lipid peroxidase [malondialdehyde (MDA)] as well as nitric oxide (NO). α-Tocopherol (αT; 150 mg/kg) was also included for comparison purposes.

RESULTS:

VCO-fed Wistar rats exhibited significant (p < 0.05) improvement of cognitive functions [reduced escape latency (≥ 1.8 s), reduced escape distance (≥ 0.3 m) and increased total time spent on platform (≥ 1 s)]. The findings were accompanied by elevation of ACh (15%), SOD (8%), CAT (≥ 54%), GSH (≥ 20%) and GPx (≥ 12%) and reduction of AChE (≥17%), MDA (> 33%) and NO (≥ 34%). Overall, memory improvement by VCO was comparable to αT.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

VCO has the potential to be used as a memory enhancer, the effect of which was mediated, at least in part, through enhanced cholinergic activity, increased antioxidants level and reduced oxidative stress.

KEYWORDS:

Nutraceutical; neuroinflammation; neuroprotective

PMID:
28118770
PMCID:
PMC6130622
DOI:
10.1080/13880209.2017.1280688
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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