Virgin Coconut Oil is Non-Mutagenic and Anti-Mutagenic Results of Ames Test and Comet Assay Investigators‡: Buenafe FMA, Cabrera N, Calderon J, Campos EM, Canoy IC, Capili C, Carasco MAA, Cielo PM, Co ML, Collantes PA, Concepcion FA, Concha JS, de la Cruz RA, Delgado G Advisers: Dr. Nemencio Nicodemus‡Dr. Evangeline Amor◊‡College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila ◊Institute of Chemistry, College of Science, University of the Philippines Diliman
ii ABSTRACT Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is currently one of the most popular and widely used natural oils here in the Philippines. Considered by Dr. Dayrit as a “Drugstore in a Bottle”, it may be used as an energy supplement, anti-microbial agent, HIV treatment, etc. However, VCO safety assessment appears to be limited providing ground for the group to investigate its mutagenicity. Anti-mutagenic potential was also studied, due to claims that VCO shows anti-carcinogenic activity. This study determined the mutagenic and anti-mutagenic potential of VCO using randomized-controlled trials of Ames Salmonella mutagenicity assay using Salmonella typhimuriumTA98 and S. typhimuriumTA100 and alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay using 60 Swiss Webster ICR mice lymphocyte DNA. Results showed that VCO was non-mutagenic in vitroand in vivo, regardless of dose. Moreover, VCO appeared to be anti-mutagenic at high dose in both Ames test (TA98 and TA100) and comet assay. Low dose VCO exhibited anti-mutagenicity in TA98 and comet assay, but not in TA100. Dose dependence was observed in vivousing comet assay. Moreover, Ames test using TA100 also shows higher (but not statistically significant) anti-mutagenic capability of a higher dose of VCO. No dose dependent relationship was however found from the Ames test using S. typhimurium TA98. In summary, Ames test and comet assay show that VCO is non-mutagenic and anti-mutagenic. The results of this study could lead to further studies involving the therapeutic use of VCO as an anti-cancer agent.
iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Several people provided helping hands at just the right moments to make the research project possible. We would like to acknowledge, with utmost gratitude, those people: 1. Dr. Isidro Sia and Prof. Suzie Sio of the Department of Pharmacology – for leading us to a research topic and serving as our bridge with experts in the field. 2. Research Assistants at the UP Institute of Chemistry, most especially Danica Dimaya and Rachel – for providing training and assistance and sharing their experience with us. 3. Kuya Edcel and members of the Institute of Human Genetics staff – for training and assisting us in comet slide analysis. 4. Kuya Nonoy and Ma’am Emma of Biochemistry Lab – for providing the proper storage for our slides.