Evaluation of the use of coconut to treat chronic diarrhea in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

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Chronic diarrhea can be challenging to manage in captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) leading to ongoing diagnostics, medications, monitoring, and potential euthanasia. Coconut has been used as a dietary supplement for people with inflammatory bowel disease, with anecdotal reports of decreased diarrhea following the dietary addition. A dietary trial in rhesus macaques was initiated to evaluate the hypothesis that dietary coconut decreases symptoms of chronic diarrhea in rhesus macaques.


Ten rhesus macaques with chronic diarrhea were selected for the trial. Five of the subjects were fed coconut macaroons and five of the subjects were fed a sham cookie. Stool consistency was monitored daily for both groups.

Results and conclusions

Data of chi-squared analysis obtained from eight rhesus macaques with chronic diarrhea showed that the use of coconut macaroons as a dietary supplement did not have a statistically significant effect on their diarrhea.

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