Feeding coconut kernel along with coconut oil in human volunteers has been found to reduce serum total and LDL cholesterol when compared to feeding coconut oil alone. This effect of the kernel was also observed in rats. Since many plant proteins have been reported to exert a cholesterol lowering effect, a study was carried out on the effect of isolated kernel protein in rats. Feeding kernel protein resulted in lower levels of cholesterol, phospholipids and triglycerides in the serum and most tissues when compared to casein fed animals. Rats fed kernel protein had (1) increased hepatic degradation of cholesterol to bile acids, (2) increased hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis, and (3) decreased esterification of free cholesterol. In the intestine, however, cholesterogenesis was decreased. The kernel protein also caused decreased lipogenesis in the liver and intestine. This beneficial effect of the kernel protein is attributed to its very low lysine/arginine ratio 2.13% lysine and 24.5% arginine.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Rajamohan T, Kurup PA (1996) In: Study on the effect of consumption of coconut kernel and coconut oil on the serum lipid profile. Project report submitted to the Coconut Development Board, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
Stamler J, Pick R, Kats JN (1958) Effect of dietary proteins, methionine and vitamins on plasma lipids and atherogenesis in cholesterol fed cockerels. Cir Res 6: 442–446.
Sugiyama Kimio, Okawa Setsuko, Muramatsu Keeichiro (1986) Relationship between amino acid composition of diet and plasma cholesterol levels in growing rats fed a high cholesterol diet. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 32(4): 413–423.
Muzukami Taiko, Ito Aki, Utsunomiya Kae, Nishino Akiko, Horikawa Ranko (1988) Effect of soybean isolate, casein and their mixtures in lipid levels in rat plasma and liver. Kaseigaku kenkyu 34(2): 98–106.
Sugano Michihiro, Tanaka Kazunari, Ideda Ikuo, Imaizumi Katsumi (1984) Hypocholesterolemic effect of soy protein isolates in rats. Daizy Tanpakushitsu Eiyo Kenkyuka Kaishi 5(1): 75–78.
Huff MW, Hamilton RMG, Carroll KK (1977) Plasma cholesterol levels in rabbits fed low fat, cholesterol free, semipurified diets: Effects of dietary proteins, protein hydrolysates and amino acid mixture. Atherosclerosis 28: 187–195.
Kritchevsky D, Tepper SA, Czarnecki SK, Klurfeid DM, Story JA (1981) Experimental atherosclerosis in rabbit fed cholesterol free diet, Part 9: Beef protein and textured vegetable protein. Atherosclerosis 39: 169–175.
Hamilton RMG, Carroll KK (1976) Plasma cholesterol levels in rabbits fed low fat, low cholesterol diets: Effect on dietary protein, carbohydrates and fiber from different sources. Atherosclerosis 24: 47–62.
Carroll KK, Giovannetti PM, Huff MW, Moase O, Robert DCK, Wolfe BM (1978) Hypocholesterolemic effect of substituting soybean protein for animal protein in the diet of healthy young women. J Nutr Sci Vitamino 32(4): 413–423.
Saraswathi Devi K, Kurup PA (1972) Hypolipidemic activity of Phaseolus mungo(Blackgram) in rats fed a high-fat-high cholesterol diet. Indian J Exp Biol 15: 223–230.
Leelamma S, Menon PVG, Kurup PA (1978) Nature and quality of dietary protein and metabolism of lipids in rats fed normal and atherogenic diet. Indian J Exp Biol 16(1): 36–42.
Sreedhara N (1988) In: Studies on oil palm (Elaneis guineensis) kernel protein as affected by processing condition. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Mysore, India.
Rajamohan T, Kurup PA (1997) Lysine:arginine ratio of a protein influences cholesterol metabolism, Part 1: Studies on sesame protein having low lysine:arginine ratio. Indian J Exp Biol 35: 1218–1223.
Folch J, Lees N, Sloane Stanley (1957) A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipids from animal tissues. J Biol Chem 226: 497–509.
Abraham A, Kurup PA (1988) Mechanism of hypercholesterolemia produced by biotin deficiency. J Bio Sci 12: 187.
Warnick RC, Alberts JT (1978) A comprehensive evaluation of the heparin-manganese precipitation procedure for estimating high density lipoprotein cholesterol. J Lipid Res 19: 65–76.
Zilversmit DB, Davis AK (1950) Microdetermination of phospholipids. J Lab And Clin Med 35: 155.
Okishio T, Nair PP, Gordon M (1967) Studies on bile acids: The microquantitative separation of cellular bile acids by gas liquid chromatography. Biochem J 102: 654.
Grundy SM, Ahrens EHS, Miettinen TA (1965) Quantitative isolation and gas liquid chromatographic analysis of total faecal bile acids. J Lipid Res 6: 397–410.
Palmer RH (1969) The enzymatic assay of bile acids and related 3 hydroxy steroids: Its application to serum and other biological fluids. In: Clayton RB (ed), Methods in Enzymology, 15: 280. New York/London: Academic Press.
Rao AV, Ramakrishnan S (1975) Indirect assessment of hydroxymethyl glutaryl-CoA reductase (NADPH) activity in liver tissue. Clin Chem 21(10): 1523–1525.
Kornberg A, Horecker BL (1955) Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase. In: Colowick SP, Kaplan NO (eds), Methods in Enzymology, 1: 323–324. New York/London: Academic Press.
Ochoa S (1955) Malic enzyme from pigeon liver and wheat germ. In: Colowick SP, Kaplan NO (eds), Methods in Enzymology, 1: 739–741. New York/London: Academic Press.
Kurt Randerath (1964) Translated by DD Libman In: Thin Layer Chromatography: 121.
Snedecor WR, Cochran WG (1967) In: Statistical methods, 6th edn. Ames, IA: The Iowa State University Press.
Rajamohan T, Kurup PA (1986) Lysine:arginine ratio of protein and its effect on cholesterol metabolism. Indian J Biochem Biophys 23: 294–296.
Soma M, Izumi Y, Watanabe Y, Kanmatsue K (1966) A nitric oxide synthesis inhibitor decreased prostaglandin production in rat mesenteric vasculature. Prostaglandins 51(3): 225–232.
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Padmakumaran Nair, K., Rajamohan, T. & Kurup, P. Coconut kernel protein modifies the effect of coconut oil on serum lipids. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 53, 133–144 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008078103299
- 14C acetate incorporation
- Faecal excretion of bile acids and neutral sterols
- Hepatic bile acids
- HMG CoA reductase
- Lipogenic enzymes