Novel coconut sap powder shows cardiovascular benefits: Study
“Blood pressure and arterial stiffness are important predictors of cardiovascular health with aging,” wrote researchers from Ball State University and the University of Kentucky. “The results of the present pilot study demonstrate CSP lowers brachial systolic blood pressure (SBP) and common carotid artery (CCA) mechanical stiffness after eight weeks, indicating a potential cardioprotective effect in middle-aged and older adults.”
The study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, was funded by Akay Natural Ingredients (part of Oterra Group) to evaluate the effects of its Cocozen-branded ingredient.
The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial recruited 19 healthy Caucasian adults (primarily women) with an average age of 55 years. Over eight weeks, participants consumed either 1.5 g a day of coconut sap powder (CSP) or an aspartame placebo. Measures of brachial and carotid blood pressure and arterial stiffness were taken before and after the test period for comparative analysis.
“Our data demonstrate that CSP lowers brachial SBP by ~7.7 mmHg (~7% improvement), which is clinically relevant as a ~10 mmHg decrease in SBP reduces the risk for CVD-events and all-cause mortality by 20% and 13%, respectively,” the researchers highlighted. “This is important to note as CSP (3 g/day) did not have an effect on BP in a younger adult cohort.”
They also noted that supplementation did not affect inflammatory or antioxidant biomarkers, suggesting that CSP may provide BP-lowering effects via alternate mechanisms to those hypothesized.
As such, the study called for further research to explore the underlying mechanisms; the effects in a larger sample size and in subjects diagnosed with high blood pressure; and optimal dosage and treatment duration.
Cocozen: a novel coconut sap powder
Akay Natural Ingredients, a supplier of spices and extracts from the Indian state of Kerala (which translates to “land of coconuts” in the region's Malayalam language), provided the unfermented coconut inflorescence sap used in the study. Trademarked and patented as Cocozen, the ingredient is not yet commercially available, pending further substantiation of its full nutritional potential, applications and traceability.
“Based on our studies so far, the ingredient has been shown to possess immense potential in the area of sports performance and endurance,” Emmanuel Nambusseril, chief marketing officer at Akay Natural Ingredients, told NutraIngredients-USA. “It is also showing great potential for the aged population. It is sweet, water soluble, low glycemic index and also a source for various vitamins and minerals.”
Previous research has shown that Cocozen lowers and reverses oxidation-induced alterations in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, increases circulating antioxidant biomarkers in young healthy adults and reduces oxidative and inflammatory markers associated with kidney disease in preclinical animal models.
Source: Journal of Applied Physiology
“Coconut sugar derived from coconut inflorescence sap lowers systolic blood pressure and arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older adults: a pilot study”
Authors: Nicholas A. Carlini et al.