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Protective Effect of Virgin Coconut Oil on Osteopenia Induced by High Refined Carbohydrate-Containing Diet in Mice

Published: 11 September 2022
 by  MDPI
 in Foods

Abstract: Background: Obesity leads to chronic low-grade inflammation, promoting detrimental effects on bone. The consumption of virgin coconut oil (VCO) is associated with benefits related to meta-inflammation. We evaluated the effect of VCO supplementation on osteopenia promoted by diet-induced obesity in mice. Methods: Male BALB/c mice were fed a control (C) or highly refined carbohydrate-containing (HC) diet for eight weeks. After that, the HC diet group was supplemented with three doses of VCO for four weeks. Results: The HC diet increased the adiposity and leptin levels associated with augmented systemic inflammatory cells improved with VCO supplementation. The HC diet reduced the trabecular bone in the tibia, lumbar vertebrae, distal and proximal femur, as well as the bone mineral density of the femur and alveolar bone. The VCO supplementation reverted bone osteopenia by increasing the trabecular bone in different sites and improving femur and alveolar bone microarchitecture. Although the reduced number of osteoblasts in the alveolar bone of the HC diet group was not significantly enhanced by VCO supplementation, the reduced Alp expression in the HC diet group was enhanced in the VCO group. These beneficial effects were associated with lowering the Rankl/Opg ratio. Conclusion: VCO supplementation might be an effective strategy to attenuate bone osteopenic effects induced by obesity.
Keywords: virgin coconut oil / high refined carbohydrate diet / obesity / bone loss / alveolar bone / metabolism

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