Coconut husk fiber found to have antidepressant-like effects

The coconut (Cocos nucifera) plant has been known to contain antidepressant-like effects. In a study published in the Journal of Natural Medicines, it was found that the extract of coconut husk fiber also contains antidepressant-like effects, which may be due to its antioxidant and neurotrophic effects.

  • Researchers from the Federal University of Ceará in Fortaleza, Brazil aimed to determine the effects of coconut husk fiber extract on depression, its antioxidant activity in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and striatum, and on the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in mice.
  • They treated the mice with distilled water or coconut husk fiber extract 50, 100, or 200 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of coconut husk fiber extract, or with 400 mg/kg of vitamin E for a week.
  • An hour after the last treatment administration, the mice were subjected to the open field test, forced swimming test, and tail suspension test.
  • Immediately after the behavioral tests, the researchers studied the mice’ neurochemical determinations.
  • The results revealed that 100 mg/kg of coconut husk fiber extract reduced the immobility time of the mice in the forced swimming test and tail suspension test. This demonstrated an antidepressant-like effect.
  • In addition, the administration of coconut husk fiber extract reduced malondialdehyde levels in all doses and brain areas studied except the dose of 50 mg/kg coconut husk fiber extract in the hippocampus.
  • All doses of coconut husk fiber extract reduced nitrite levels in all brain areas studied.
  • The 100 mg/kg of coconut husk fiber extract also increased the levels of BDNF in the hippocampus of the mice.

Overall, the findings of the study suggest that coconut husk fiber extract can be used for the treatment of depression because it exhibited antidepressant-like effects.

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Journal Reference:

Lima EBC, de Sousa CNS, Vasconcelos GS. et al. ANTIDEPRESSANT, ANTIOXIDANT AND NEUROTROPHIC PROPERTIES OF THE STANDARDIZED EXTRACT OF COCOS NUCIFERA HUSK FIBER IN MICE. Journal of Natural Medicines. July 2016; 70(3): 510-521. DOI: 10.1007/s11418-016-0970-8

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