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Effect of Virgin coconut oil on diabetic patients

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Virgin coconut oil (VCO), a source of medium chain fatty acid, has been postulated to improve blood glucose and lipid profile of type 2 diabetics, due to its readyness to provide energy to body cells. A study was conducted to investigate the effects of VCO, integrated in type 2 diabetic dietary regiment, on fasting serum glucose, insulin, triglyceride and ketone concentrations.

A randomized cross-over design study was conducted among 21 out-patient diabetics. Non-obese non insulin user type 2 diabetics, aged 65 years old, with normal liver and renal functions, and good to moderate diabetic control were recruited. Every subject underwent two treatments for three weeks with one week wash out: control group received only diabetic regiment, while treatment group received 3x10mL/day VCO integrated in their diabetic regiment. Data included age, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), food intake using estimated food record method, fasting serum glucose, insulin, triglyceride and ketones concentrations before and after treatment, were assessed.

Subjects’ age ranged 40–64 years, 41% overweight, 64% with low physical activity, 36% moderate diabetic control, and were able to consume 80% of VCO regiment. Gastro intestinal symptoms, especially soft stool and nausea, were experienced by 64% subjects. Majority of subjects consumed less energy, fiber and sucrose compared to dietary recommendation. Treatment group consumed higher energy, fat and saturated fatty acid as compared to control group. No difference of BMI, fasting serum glucose, insulin, triglyceride and ketone concentrations after integration of VCO in diabetic dietary regimen.

VCO did not change BMI, fasting serum glucose, insulin, triglyceride and ketone concentrations in type 2 diabetics, despite higher energy and saturated fatty acid intakes among VCO group as compared to control group.