Objective: Maternal high fat diet adversely affects fertility of offspring. Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) water has hypolipidemic actions in the presence of high fat diets. This study was carried out to determine if coconut water (CW) can protect the reproductive functions of offspring against the effects of maternal high fat diet (HFD).
Methods: Twenty-four pregnant rats were randomly assigned into four groups namely; Control, CW (10 ml/kg coconut water), HFD (30% butter: 70% chow) and HFD+CW and treated from gestation days 1 to 21. They were allowed to litter naturally and nurse their young until Post-Natal Day (PND) 28. Weaned offspring were housed separately according to sex. Estrus cycles were monitored for two weeks before sacrifice in female offspring. Offspring were sacrificed on PND 120, at which time epididymal sperms were analyzed in male offspring. Sex hormones, gonadotropins, gonadal malondialdehyde and interleukin 1β levels were measured in offspring.
Results: Puberty was delayed and reproductive organ weights were reduced in HFD offspring. Sperm counts were reduced in HFD male offspring, with a significant increase in testicular interleukin 1β levels. Female HFD offspring showed reduced luteinizing hormone levels. Architectural alterations were observed in reproductive organs of HFD offspring when compared with the control offspring. These changes were not apparent in HFD+CW offspring.
Conclusion: Coconut water ameliorates the effects of maternal high fat diet on reproductive functions of offspring
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