Coconut husk fiber contains compounds with significant leishmanicidal activity. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Leishmanicidal activity of polyphenolic-rich extract from husk fiber of Cocos nucifera Linn. (Palmae).
Res Microbiol. 2004 Apr;155(3):136-43. PMID: 15059625
The available therapy for leishmaniasis, which affects 2 million people per annum, still causes serious side effects. The polyphenolic-rich extract from the husk fiber of Cocos nucifera Linn. (Palmae) presents antibacterial and antiviral activities, also inhibiting lymphocyte proliferation, as shown by our group in previous works. In the present study, the in vitro leishmanicidal effects of C. nucifera on Leishmania amazonensis were evaluated. The minimal inhibitory concentration of the polyphenolic-rich extract from C. nucifera to completely abrogate parasite growth was 10 microg/ml. Pretreatment of peritoneal mouse macrophages with 10 microg/ml of C. nucifera polyphenolic-rich extract reduced approximately 44% the association index between these macrophages and L. amazonensis promastigotes, with a concomitant increase of 182% in nitric oxide production by the infected macrophage in comparison to nontreated macrophages. These results provide new perspectives on drug development against leishmaniasis, since the extract of C. nucifera at 10 microg/ml is a strikingly potent leishmanicidal substance which inhibited the growth of both promastigote and amastigote developmental stages of L. amazonensis after 60 min, presenting no in vivo allergenic reactions or in vitro cytotoxic effects in mammalian systems.