Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 20, 2018

Diet enriched with fresh coconut decreases blood glucose levels and body weight in normal adults

  • Venugopal Vijayakumar , Nagashree R. Shankar , Ramesh Mavathur , A. Mooventhan EMAIL logo , Sood Anju and NK Manjunath



There exist controversies about the health effects of coconut. Fresh coconut consumption on human health has not been studied substantially. Fresh coconut consumption is a regular part of the diet for many people in tropical countries like India, and thus there is an increasing need to understand the effects of fresh coconut on various aspects of health.


To compare the effects of increased saturated fatty acid (SFA) and fiber intake, provided by fresh coconut, versus monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and fiber intake, provided by a combination of groundnut oil and groundnuts, on anthropometry, serum insulin, glucose levels and blood pressure in healthy adults.


Eighty healthy volunteers, randomized into two groups, were provided with a standardized diet along with either 100 g fresh coconut or an equivalent amount of groundnuts and groundnut oil for a period of 90 days. Assessments such as anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin levels were performed before and after the supplementation period.


Results of this study showed a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar (FBS) in both the groups. However, a significant reduction in body weight was observed in the coconut group, while a significant increase in diastolic pressure was observed in the groundnut group.


Results of this study suggest that fresh coconut-added diet helps reduce blood glucose levels and body weight in normal healthy individuals.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: Coconut Development Board, Kochi, Government of India, India and S-VYASA University, Bengaluru, India.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


[1] Dash B, Sharma R. Caraka Samhita. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, 2009.Search in Google Scholar

[2] Mehta P. Shushrutha Samhita. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India: Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, 1997.Search in Google Scholar

[3] Bakhru HK. The complete hand book of Nature Cure, 5th ed. Delhi: Jaico Publishing House, 2010.Search in Google Scholar

[4] Gala DR, Gala D, Gala S. Nature Cure for common diseases. 17th ed. Ahmadanbad: Navneet publications, 2012.Search in Google Scholar

[5] Sabitha P, Vasudevan DM. Lipid profile and antioxidant enzymes in coconut oil consumers. Indian Coconut J. 2010;72:3–6.Search in Google Scholar

[6] Hu FB, Van Dam RM, Liu S. Diet and risk of Type II diabetes: the role of types of fat and carbohydrate. Diabetologia. 2001;44:805–17.10.1007/s001250100547Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[7] WHO. Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2014. World Health, 2014.Search in Google Scholar

[8] Mohan V, Sandeep S, Deepa R, Shah B, Varghese C. Epidemiology of type 2 diabetes: Indian scenario. Indian J Med Res. 2007;125:217–30.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[9] Nevin KG, Rajamohan T. Beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil on lipid parameters and in vitro LDL oxidation. Clin Biochem. 2004;37:830–35.10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2004.04.010Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[10] Pehowich DJ, Gomes AV, Barnes JA. Fatty acid composition and possible health effects of coconut constituents. West Indian Med J. 2000;49:128–33.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[11] Astrup A, Dyerberg J, Elwood P, Hermansen K, Hu FB, Jakobsen MU, et al. The role of reducing intakes of saturated fat in the prevention of cardiovascular disease : where does the evidence stand in 2010? Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93:684–88.10.3945/ajcn.110.004622Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[12] Kumar PD. The role of coconut and coconut oil in coronary heart disease in Kerala, south India. Trop Doct. 1997;27:215–17.10.1177/004947559702700409Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[13] Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91:535–46.10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[14] Gopalan C, Sastri BVR, Balasubramanian SC. Nutritive value of Indian foods, 1st ed. Hyderabad: National Institute of Nutrition, ICMR. 2012.Search in Google Scholar

[15] Mozaffarian D, Appel LJ, Van Horn L. Components of a cardioprotective diet: new insights. Circulation. 2011;123:2870–91.10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.968735Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[16] Ley SH, Hamdy O, Mohan V, Hu FB. Prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: dietary components and nutritional strategies. Lancet. 2014;383:1999–2007.10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60613-9Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[17] Blundell J, Burley V Satiation, satiety and the action of fibre on food intake Int J Obes. 1987;11:Suppl 1:9–25.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[18] Burton-Freeman B. Do we need to look beyond dietary fat?. J Nutr. 2000;130:272–75.10.1093/jn/130.2.272SSearch in Google Scholar PubMed

[19] Slavin J. Dietary fiber and body weight. Nutrition. 2005;21:411–18.10.1016/j.nut.2004.08.018Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[20] Howarth NC. Dietary fiber & weight regulation. Nutr Rev. 2009;59:129–39.10.1111/j.1753-4887.2001.tb07001.xSearch in Google Scholar PubMed

[21] Delzenne NM, Cani PD. A place for dietary fibre in the management of the metabolic syndrome. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2005;8:636–40.10.1097/01.mco.0000171124.06408.71Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[22] Raghavarao KSMS, Raghavendra SN, Rastogi NK. Potential of coconut dietary fiber. Indian Coconut J. 2008;51:2–7.Search in Google Scholar

[23] Slavin J, Lloyd B. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Adv Nutr. 2012;3:506–16.10.3945/an.112.002154Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[24] Torre M, Rodriguez AR, Saura-Calixto F. Effects of dietary fiber and phytic acid on mineral availability. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr J. 1991;30:1–22.10.1080/10408399109527539Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[25] Kritchevsky D. Dietary fiber and disease. Bull N Y Acad Med. 1982;58:230–41.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[26] ICMR. Nutrient requirements & recommended dietary allowance for Indians. 2010.Search in Google Scholar

[27] Andre BBV. Medium-chain triglycerides: an update. Am J Clin Nutr. 1982;36:950–62.10.1093/ajcn/36.5.950Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[28] Clegg ME. Medium-chain triglycerides are advantageous in promoting weight loss although not beneficial to exercise performance. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2010;61:653–79.10.3109/09637481003702114Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[29] St-Onge M-P, Jones PJH. Recent advances in nutritional sciences physiological effects of medium- chain triglycerides : potential of obesity. Clin Trials. 2002;132:329–32.10.1093/jn/132.3.329Search in Google Scholar

[30] Krotkiewski M. Value of very low calorie diet (VLCD) supplementation with medium chain triglycerides. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001;25:1393–400.10.1038/sj.ijo.0801682Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[31] Babio N, Balanza R, Basulto J, Bulló M, Salas-Salvadó J. Dietary fibre: influence on body weight, glycemic control and plasma cholesterol profile. Nutr Hosp. 2010;25:327–40.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[32] Lattimer JM, Haub MD. Effects of dietary fiber and its components on metabolic health. Nutrients. 2010;2:1266–89.10.3390/nu2121266Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[33] Brand C. Importance of glycemic index in diabetes3. Am J Nutr. 1994;59:7475–525.10.1093/ajcn/59.3.747SSearch in Google Scholar

[34] Fujii H, Iwase M, Ohkuma T, Ogata-Kaizu S, Ide H, Kikuchi Y, et al. Impact of dietary fiber intake on glycemic control, cardiovascular risk factors and chronic kidney disease in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: the Fukuoka diabetes registry. Nutr J. 2013;12:159.10.1186/1475-2891-12-159Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[35] Kendall CWC, Esfahani A, Jenkins DJA. The link between dietary fibre and human health. Food Hydrocoll. 2010;24:42–48.10.1016/j.foodhyd.2009.08.002Search in Google Scholar

[36] Chanalia M. Beneficial effects of high dietary fiber intake in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med. 2015;342:1392–98.10.1056/NEJM200005113421903Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[37] Salil G, Kg N, Rajamohan T. Coconut kernel-derived proteins enhance hypolipidemic and antioxidant activity in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2013;64:327–32.10.3109/09637486.2012.738646Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[38] Rosa S. Soluble fibre (Plantago ovata husk) reduces plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin. Atherosclerosis. 2010;211:630–37.10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2010.03.010Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[39] Nagao K, Yanagita T. Medium-chain fatty acids: functional lipids for the prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome. Pharmacol Res. 2010;61:208–12.10.1016/j.phrs.2009.11.007Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[40] Shankar NR, Manjunath NK, Mavathur R, Venugopal V, Sreedhar P, Sood A, et al. Impact of fresh coconut on dietary intake: a randomized comparative trial. Int J Educ Res Health Sci. 2016;2:64–68.Search in Google Scholar

[41] Hamsi MA, Othman F, Das S, Kamisah Y, Thent ZC, Qodriyah HMS, et al. Effect of consumption of fresh and heated virgin coconut oil on the blood pressure and inflammatory biomarkers: an experimental study in Sprague–Dawley rats. Alexandria Journal of Medicine. 2015;51:53–63.10.1016/j.ajme.2014.02.002Search in Google Scholar

[42] Beegom R, Singh RB Association of higher saturated fat intake with higher risk of hypertension in an urban population of Trivandrum in south India. Int J Cardiol. 1997 Jan 3;58:63–70.10.1016/S0167-5273(96)02842-2Search in Google Scholar

[43] Lindeberg S, Lundh B. Apparent absence of stroke and ischaemic heart disease in a traditional Melanesian island: a clinical study in Kitava. J Intern Med. 1993;233:269–75.10.1111/j.1365-2796.1993.tb00986.xSearch in Google Scholar

[44] Misra A, Singhal N, Sivakumar B, Bhagat N, Jaiswal A, Khurana L. Nutrition transition in India: secular trends in dietary intake and their relationship to diet-related non-communicable diseases. J Diabetes. 2011;3:278–92.10.1111/j.1753-0407.2011.00139.xSearch in Google Scholar PubMed

[45] DebMandal M, Mandal S. Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.: arecaceae): in health promotion and disease prevention. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011;4:241–47.10.1016/S1995-7645(11)60078-3Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[46] Renjith RS, Chikku AM, Rajamohan T Cytoprotective, antihyperglycemic and phytochemical properties of Cocos nucifera (L.) inflorescence. Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2013 Oct;6:804–10.10.1016/S1995-7645(13)60142-XSearch in Google Scholar PubMed

[47] Fernando WM, Martins IJ, Goozee KG, Brennan CS, Jayasena V, Martins RN The role of dietary coconut for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: potential mechanisms of action. Br J Nutr. 2015 Jul 14;114:1–14.10.1017/S0007114515001452Search in Google Scholar PubMed

Received: 2017-07-24
Accepted: 2018-01-05
Published Online: 2018-02-20

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 4.3.2024 from
Scroll to top button