Virgin coconut oil (VCO) extracted by wet processing is popular among the scientific field and society nowadays. The present study was carried out to examine the comparative effect of VCO with copra oil (CO), olive oil (OO) and sunflower oil (SFO) on endogenous antioxidant status and paraoxonase 1 activity in ameliorating the oxidative stress in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed different oils at 8% level for 45 days along with the synthetic diet. Results revealed that dietary VCO improved the antioxidant status compared to other three oil fed groups (P < 0.05), which is evident from the increased activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase in tissues. Concentration of reduced glutathione was also found to be increased significantly in liver (532.97 mM per 100 g liver), heart (15.77 mM per 100 g heart) and kidney (1.58 mM per 100 g kidney) of VCO fed rats compared to those fed with CO, OO and SFO (P < 0.05). In addition, the activity of paraoxonase 1 was significantly increased in VCO fed rats compared to other oil fed groups (P < 0.05). Furthermore, VCO administration prevented the oxidative stress, which is indicated by the decreased formation of lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation products like malondialdehyde, hydroperoxides, conjugated dienes and protein carbonyls in serum and tissues compared to other oil fed rats (P < 0.05). Wet processing of VCO retains higher amounts of biologically active unsaponifiable components like polyphenols (84 mg per 100 g oil) and tocopherols (33.12 μg per 100 g oil) etc. compared to other oils (P < 0.05). From these observations, it is concluded that VCO has a beneficial role in improving antioxidant status and hence preventing lipid and protein oxidation.
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