Original Research Article | OPEN ACCESS

Toxicological evaluation of virgin coconut oil extracted from Cocos nucifera L. (Arecaceae)

Tavs Abere

Departments of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, PMB 1154, Benin City, 300001, Nigeria;

For correspondence:-     Email:  eseabere@yahoo.com   Tel:  2348023395616

Published: 17 December 2021

Citation: Abere T. Toxicological evaluation of virgin coconut oil extracted from Cocos nucifera L. (Arecaceae). J Sci Pract Pharm 2021; 8(1):417-424 doi: https://doi.org/10.47227/jsppharm.v8i1.2

© 2021 The author(s).
This is an Open Access article that uses a funding model which does not charge readers or their institutions for access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0) and the Budapest Open Access Initiative (http://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read), which permit unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited..


Purpose: Virgin coconut oil is claimed to have a lot of health benefits, especially in lowering lipid levels in serum and tissues, and the current consumption rate is very high, especially in developing countries. Determination of the toxicological effects on possible organs that are likely to be susceptible to toxicity by virgin coconut oil will provide supportive scientific evidence to consumers, practitioners, and providers.

Methods: Virgin coconut oil was obtained from fresh coconut using wet milling method. LD 50 was determined using mice. Sub-acute toxicity was determined by administering 0.25 ml and 0.5ml of virgin coconut oil to female and male rats respectively for 30 days with normal saline as control. The tissues of the lung, heart, spleen, liver, and kidney (female and male rats); fallopian tube, ovary (female rats); prostate, bladder, testis, and epididymis (male rats) were examined.

Results: Most of the organs in both male and female rats retained normal tissue architecture, however, there was mild Kupffer cell activation in the liver and mild sinus histiocytosis with an otherwise normal follicular architecture in the spleen of both male and female rats.  

Conclusion: Virgin coconut oil could be termed to be relatively safe, but its overall safety profile needs to be further evaluated.



Keywords: Virgin coconut oil, toxicological profile, wet-milling, ethnomedicine

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