Immunoprotective Effect of Cocos nucifera Oil on Sheep Red Blood Cell-Induced Immunocompromised Rats

MacDonald Idu, Igori Debby, Benjamin Ogunma Gabriel


The aim of this study is to investigate the immunoprotective effects of cold-pressed coconut oil in immunocompromised rat. Standard procedure was used to perform this research work with a modified method. The effect of immunomodulatory properties of coconut oil was evaluated after challenging the animals with 0.3 ml sheep red blood cells (SRBCs) intraperitoneally and further treated with graded doses (0.25, 0.5 and 1.0 ml/kg i.p) of the oil extract for 21 days. The hematological, CD4, CD8 biochemical and histopathological analysis were evaluated. Result obtained from this study showed a significant increase in hematological indexes (WBC: 11.70; LYM: 9.9 GRAN: 8.0 and HGB: 15.57) across the treated groups, but majorly at lowest dose (0.25 ml/kg). More so a significant increase in CD4 and CD8 Count specifically at 0.25 ml/kg (7.763 and 7.830). Anti-oxidant property of the oil extract at 0.25 ml/kg had a significant reduction in malondialdehyde with an increased in antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT and GPx) when compared with untreated control. The body weight of the animals in the treated groups showed a significant increase at 0.25 ml/kg of the oil extract when compared with the untreated control. Liver function test (ALT, AST and ALP) showed no significant increase in the treatment groups when compared with the controls. The histopathological result reveals a normal physiological structure of the heart, lungs, spleen, liver and kidney in lowest dose of the oil extract. In conclusion, this study validated the ethnomedicinal property of the plant.


Immunoprotective; Cocos nucifera; Sheep red blood cell; Immunocompromised

Full Text:



Aagaard, K. (2016). Una destination, viae diversae: Does exposure to the vaginal microbiota confer health benefits to the infant, and does lack of exposure confer disease risk? EMBO Representation, 17(12): 1679-84.

Adam, S. K., Sulaiman, N. A., Mat, A. G. and Jaarin, K. (2007). Heating reduces vitamin E content in palm and soy oils. MJBMB, 15:76-79.

Adeosun, G. O., Oduola, T. F., Fagbomedo, A. (2014). Suitability of stem latex of Jatropha gossypifolia as a protein precipitant for biochemical analysis. Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, 29(2): 210-212.

Adeoye, B. A., Oyedapo, O. O. (2004). Toxicity erythrophleum guineese stem-bark; role of alkaloidal fraction. African Journal of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 1: 45-54.

Agarwal, S. S., Singh, V. K. (1999). Immunomodulators: A review of studies on Indian Medicinal Plants and Synthetic Peptides. PINSA, 65 (3-4): 179 204.

Assa, R. R., Konan, J. L. (2010). Physicochemical characteristics of kernel during fruit maturation of four coconut cultivars (Cocos nucifera L.). African Journal of Biotechnology. 9(14):2136-2144.

Assuno, M. L., Ferreira, H. S., dos Santos, A. F., Cabral, C. R., Florncio, T. M. M. T. (2009). Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids, 44:593-601.

Bagul, M. S., Niranjan, S. K., Rajani, M. (2005). Evaluation of free radical scavenging properties of two classical polyherbal formulations, Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 43:732-36.

Batta, A. K., Xu, G., Honda, A., Miyazaki, T., Salen, G. (2006). Stigmasterol reduces plasma cholesterol level and inhibits hepatic synthesis and intestinal absorption in the rat. Metabolism, 55: 292-299.

Bolanle, I., Gabriel, O., Makinde, O. (2013), Anti-diabetic and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in alloxan induced diabetic male Sprague Dawley rats. Journal of Diabetes Mellitus 3: 221-226.

Djami, T. A. T., Asongalem, E. A., Nana, P., Choumessi, A., Kamtchouing, P., Asonganyi, T. (2011). Subacute Toxicity Study of the Aqueous Extract from Acanthus montanus. Electronic Journal of Biology 7(1): 11-15

Dosumu, O. O., Duru, F. I. O., Osinubi, A. A., Oremosu, A. A., Noronha, C. C. (2010). Influence of virgin coconut oil (VCNO) on oxidative stress, serum testosterone and gonadotropic hormones (FSH, LH) in chronic ethanol ingestion. Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America, 1: 1126-1132.

Drury, R. A. B., Wallinton, E. A. (2013). Carletons Histological Technique, 16th Edn, Oxford University Press, London, Pp124-136.

Eleazu, C. O., Iroaganachi, M., Eleazu, K. C. (2013). Ameliorative Potentials of Cocoyam (Colocasia esculenta L.) and Unripe Plantain (Musa paradisiaca L.) on the Relative Tissue Weights of Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats. Journal of Diabetes Research, (160964):8. doi:10.1155/2013/1609640.

Garfinkel, M., Lee, S., Opara, E. C. Akwari, O. E. (1992). Insulinotropic potency of lauric acid: a metabolic rationale for medium chain fatty acids (MCF) in TPN formulation. Journal of Surgical Research. 52 (4): 328-33.

Igbe, I., Eze, G. I. Ojameruaye, O. (2013). Sub-acute toxicity of aqueous fruit pulp extract of Hunteria umbellata Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences, 28(1): 77-82.

Jeffery, N. M., Sanderson, P., Newsholme, E. A., Calder, P. C. (1997). Effects of varying the type of saturated fatty acid in the rat diet upon serum lipid levels and spleen lymphocyte functions. Biochemistry. Biophysics. Act., 1345: 223-236.

Kamalaldin, N. A, Yusop, M. R., Sulaiman, S. A., Yahaya, B. H. (2015). Apoptosis in lung cancer cells inducedby virgin coconut oil. Regenerative Research 4(1):30-36.

Kope?, A., Nowacka, E., Pi?tkowska, E., Leszczy?ska, T. (2011). Charakterystyka i prozdrowotne w?a?ciwo?ci steroli ro?linnych. Zywn-Nauk Technol Ja. 3(76): 514.

Krishna, G. A. G, Raj, G., Bhatnagar, A. J., Prasanth, K. P. K., Chandrashekar, P. (2010). Coconut oil: chemistry, production and its applications a review. Indian Coconut Journal, Pp. 15- 27

Kumar, A. S., Mazumder, A., Saravanan, V. S. (2008). Antihyperlipidemic activity of Camellia sinensis leaves in Triton WR-1339 induced albino rats. Pharmacognosy Magazine, 4:60-64.

Magili, S. T., Bwatanglang, I. B. (2018). Toxicity study of aqueous leaves extract of Jatropha gossypiifolia from Nigerian in albino rats: serum biochemistry and histopathological evaluation. International Journal of Biochemistry and Research Review. 21(3), 112.

Millind, P., Nitin, B. (2005). Feature Article; Natural Product Radiance. Pp. 13-14.

Nevin, K. G., Rajamohan, T. (2006). Virgin coconut oil supplemented diet increases the antioxidant status in rats. Food Chemistry, 99, 260-266.

Nevin, K. G., Rajamohan, T. (2010). Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin compo and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. 23, 6:290-7.

Oduola, T., Adeosun, G. O., Oduola, T. A., Avwioro, G. O. Oyeniyi, M. A. (2005). Mechanism of action of Jatropha gossypifolia stem latex as a haemostatic agent. European Journal of General Medicine, 2:140-143.

Oduola, T., Avwioro, O. G., Ayanniyi, T. B. (2005). Suitability of the leaf extract of Jatropha gossypifolia as an anticoagulant for biochemical and haematological analyses. African Journal of Biotechnology, 4(7): 679-681.

Ogbolu, D. O., Oni, A. A., Daini, O. A., Oloko, A. P. (2007). In vitro antimicrobial properties of coconut oil on Candida species in Ibadan, Nigeria. Journal of Medicina Food. 10, 2:384-7.

Okonkwo, J. E., Iyadi, K. C., Effiong, C. O. (2004). Effect of chronic administration of haematological parameters of rats. Nigeria Journal of Physiological Science, 19(12):1013.

Prades, A., Dornier, M., Diop, N., Pain, J. P. (2012). Coconut water uses, composition and properties: a review. Fruits, 67:87-107.

Richard, A. G., Thomas, J. K., Barbara, A. O. (2003). Kuby Immunology, 5th ed. New York: W.H. Freeman Company, p. 1-5.

Shankar, P., Ahuja, S., Tracchio, A. (2013). Coconut oil: a review. Agro Food Industry Hi Technoogy. 24(5): 62-64.

Shaw, A. S. (2008). How T cells find the right dendritic cell. Nat Immunol., 9(3): 229-30.

Shilling, M., Matt, L., Rubin, E., Visitacion, M. P., Haller, N. A., Grey, S. F., Woolverton, C. J. (2013). Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile. Journal of Medicinal Food. 16, 12: 1079-85.

Shivaprasad, H. N., Kharya, M. D. Rana, A. C., Mohan, S. (2006). Pharmaceutical biology. Journal of Search, 44: 32-34.

Singh, V. K., Sharma, P. K. Dudhe, R., Kumar, N. (2011). Immunomodulatory effects of some traditional medicinal plants. Journal of Chemical and Pharmacy Research, 3: 675-684.

Szponar, L., Mojska, H., O?tarzewski, M. G. (2008). T?uszcze (w:) Normy ?ywienia cz?owieka. Podstawy prewencji oty?o?ci i chorb niezaka?nych. Wydawnictwo Lekarskie PZWL, Warszawa, pp. 91-136.

Tan, M. C. B., Goedegebuure, P. S., Eberlein, T. J. (2010). Chirurgia onkologiczna (w:) Chirurgia Sabistona pod redakcj? Townsens C.M., Beauchamp R.D., Evers B.M., Mattox K.L., Tom 2, Urban & Partner, Wroc?aw, Pp. 297-301.

Tsuji, H., Kasai, M., Takeuchi, H., Nakamura, M., Okazaki, M., Kondo, K. (2001). Dietary medium-chain triacylglycerols suppress accumulation of body fat in a double-blind, controlled trial in healthy men and women. British Journal of Nutrition. 131(11): 2853-2859.

Vala, G. S., Kapadiya, P. K. (2014). Medicinal benefits of coconut oil (A review paper). Internationa Journa of Life S iences, 2(4):124-126.

Villarino, B. J., Dy, L. M., Lizada. M. C. C. (2007). Descriptive sensory evaluation of virgin coconut oil and refined, bleached and deodorized coconut oil. LWT-Food Sci Technol. 40(2): 193-199.

Wilczy?ska, A. and Przyby?owski, P. (2009). Charakterystyka zwi?zkw fenolowych zawartych w miodach. Zeszyty Akademii Morskiej w Gdyni. 61:33-38.

Witthawaskul, P., Ampai, P., Kanjanapothi, D., Taesothikul, N. (2003). Acute and Sub-acute toxicities of the Saponin Mixture isolated from Schejjlera leucantha Viguier. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 89:115-121.

Xue, C., Liu, Y., Wang, J., Zhang, R., Zhang, Y., Zhang, J., Zhang, Y., Zheng, Z., Yu, X., Jing, H., Nosaka, N., Arai, C., Kasai, M., Aoyama, T., Wu, J. (2009). Consumption of medium- and long-chain triacylglycerols decreases body fat and blood triglyceride in Chinese hypertriglyceridemic subjects. Euoropean Journa of Clinitial Nutrition. 63(7): 879-886.

Yakubu, M. T., Akanji, M. A., Oladiji, A. T. (2007). Hematological evaluation in male albino rats following chronic administration of aqueous extract of Fadogia agretis stem, pp. 34(38): 0973-1296.

Yeap, S. K., Beh, B. K., Ali, N. M., Yusof, H. M., Ho, W. Y., Koh, S. P. (2015). Anti-stress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in vivo. Experimental Therapeutic Medicine. 9, 1:39.

Yousefi, M., Nateghi, L., Rezaee, K. (2013). Investigation of physicochemical properties, fatty acids profile and sterol content in Malaysian coconut and palm oil. Annals of Biological Research, 4(4):214-219.

Zieli?ska, A., Nowak, I. (2014). Tokoferole i tokotrienole jako witamina E. Chemik. 68(7): 585-591.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 MacDonald Idu, Igori Debby, Benjamin Ogunma Gabriel

Biology, Medicine, & Natural Product Chemistry
ISSN 2089-6514 (paper) - ISSN 2540-9328 (online)
Published by Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University & Society for Indonesian Biodiversity.

This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC