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International Journal of Inflammation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8741851, 11 pages
Research Article

Does Inhalation of Virgin Coconut Oil Accelerate Reversal of Airway Remodelling in an Allergic Model of Asthma?

1Regenerative Medicine Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 13200 Kepala Batas, Penang, Malaysia
2Department of Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia
3School of Chemical Science and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to B. Yahaya

Received 23 January 2017; Revised 18 April 2017; Accepted 30 April 2017; Published 4 June 2017

Academic Editor: Jian-Dong Li

Copyright © 2017 N. A. Kamalaldin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Many studies have been done to evaluate the effect of various natural products in controlling asthma symptoms. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is known to contain active compounds that have beneficial effects on human health and diseases. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of VCO inhalation on airway remodelling in a rabbit model of allergic asthma. The effects of VCO inhalation on infiltration of airway inflammatory cells, airway structures, goblet cell hyperplasia, and cell proliferation following ovalbumin induction were evaluated. Allergic asthma was induced by a combination of ovalbumin and alum injection and/or followed by ovalbumin inhalation. The effect of VCO inhalation was then evaluated via the rescue or the preventive route. Percentage of inflammatory cells infiltration, thickness of epithelium and mucosa regions, and the numbers of goblet and proliferative cells were reduced in the rescue group but not in preventive group. Analysis using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry found that lauric acid and capric acid were among the most abundant fatty acids present in the sample. Significant improvement was observed in rescue route in alleviating the asthma symptoms, which indicates the VCO was able to relieve asthma-related symptoms more than preventing the onset of asthma.