Delayed wound healing (the diabetic ulcer) is one of the major complications of diabetes mellitus (DM), which has shown an increasing trend over previous decades to affect almost 15% of diabetic patients.
Akshat Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is a natural oil rich in vitamins and antioxidants and possesses antimicrobial and antiviral activities. In the current study, we evaluated the effects of topical application of VCO on wound healing in diabetes induced Sprague-Dawley rats. A total of 72 animals were divided into 4 groups:
- (i) non-diabetic non-treated (NN)
- (ii) diabetic non-treated (DN)
- (iii) diabetic treated with VCO (VCO)
- (iv) diabetic treated with silver sulfadiazine cream (SS).
Wounds were inflicted on all groups using punch biopsy needles, and the animals were treated for 14 days. Wound closure rate (WCR) was measured on day 5, 10, and 14. Histological analysis was performed on day 7 and 14. Total protein content and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity were measured on day 1, 7, and 14. WCR in VCO group was higher on all days compared to DN.
Histological analysis revealed that VCO promoted re-epithelialization and increased collagen content of wound tissue. Total protein content in VCO group was higher on day 7 and 14 compared to both DN and SS groups. VCO showed insignificant effects on SOD levels.
In summary, VCO was found to be better than silver sulfadiazine cream in the healing of diabetic wounds via promoting re-epithelialization and collagen synthesise as well as increasing WCR and total protein content.