Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Europhysiology 2018 (London, UK) (2018) Proc Physiol Soc 41, PCB116

Poster Communications

Gastric ulcer healing effects of virgin coconut oil in experimental animals

O. S. Adeniyi1, E. U. Eru1, J. J. Oloche2, R. Vhirterhire3

1. Physiology, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria, Makurdi, Benue, Nigeria. 2. Pharmacology, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria, Makurdi, Benue, Nigeria. 3. Anatomical Pathology, Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria, Makurdi, Benue, Nigeria.


Gastric ulcer is the most prevalent gastrointestinal disease ever known, accounting for an estimated 15 mortality out of every 15,000 complications yearly worldwide. This disease is mainly treated using western medicine, but these drugs posses side effects and the ulcer often recurs. Therefore, the use of natural products has gained the interest of many researchers, and virgin coconut oil (VCO) is promoted as healthy oil with several health benefits. Consequently, this study was carried out to investigate the effects of VCO on the healing of gastric ulcer in experimental animals. Male albino Wistar rats weighing 150 - 200g were divided into 5 groups: control without ulcer, and the others groups were ulcerated rats treated with 1 mL/kg normal saline (NS), 5 mL/kg VCO, 10 mL/kg VCO and 20 mg/kg omeprazole respectively. Gastric ulcer was induced by application of acetic acid using the gastric kissing model in animals anaesthetized with 50mg/kg thiopentone sodium (i.p). All treatments was done daily using oral route for 9 days, and the assessment of ulcer healing was done on day 3 and 9 after ulcer induction by macroscopic measurement of ulcer area. Lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase activity and histological assessment of the stomach tissue were also carried out. Values were expressed as mean ± SEM and compared by ANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc test, n = 5 and difference was considered significant when P < 0.05. By day 3, there was no significant difference in the macroscopic area of ulcer among the rats with ulcer. By day 9 however, the percentage area healed in NS treated (66.15%) was significantly lower than in 5 mL/kg VCO treated (84.67%), 10 mL VCO treated (83.59%) and omeprazole treated (80.41%). By day 9, lipid peroxidation in NS treated rats (1.60 ± 0.06 µmol/MDA/mg protein) was significantly higher than in 5 mL/kg VCO treated (1.20 ± 0.04 µmol/MDA/mg protein) and 10 mL/kg VCO treated rats (1.13 ± 0.02 µmol/MDA/mg protein). Superoxide dismutase activity was significantly higher in VCO treated than in NS treated rats. Furthermore, re-epithelization and clearing of inflammatory cells was greater in VCO treated than in NS treated, omeprazole treated and control animals. We conclude that VCO accelerated gastric ulcer healing by facilitating musosal re-epithelization, increasing antioxidant activity, and reducing oxidative stress.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements