MANILA, Philippines — Experiments have shown evidence that virgin coconut oil (VCO) may act as a potential antiviral agent against COVID-19.
“There are still alternative solutions against COVID-19 aside from vaccines. Although further investigation is needed before we develop a possible prevention or treatment option, we aim to give Filipinos hope through our ongoing local research initiatives,” Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said in a statement.
The VCO test results after six months of experiments showed that compounds from coconut oil and virgin coconut oil decreased coronavirus count by 60-90% at low viral load, according to the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) report.
Researchers also discovered that said compounds were observed to improve cell survival. More experiments, however, are needed to determine whether higher concentrations of these compounds will further reduce the replication rate of the virus.
“The results are very promising, as not only does it show that the VCO, by itself, can destroy the virus, but it also has a key mechanism in upregulating the immune response against COVID-19. Indeed, we look forward to the results of clinical trials on the various uses of VCO as an adjunct for the treatment of COVID-19.”Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).
The DOST-funded study led by Dr. Fabian Dayrit of Ateneo De Manila University also indicated that compounds were observed to improve cell survival.
Funded by the DOST-PCHRD, the research led by Dr. Fabian Dayrit of Ateneo De Manila University sought to investigate if coconut oil compounds are effective antiviral agents to prevent or reduce COVID-19 infection, following reports of previous research that VCO compounds are effective at killing other viruses.
With the lack of available vaccine for COVID-19, DOST seeks to intensify the thrust for alternative solutions to the increasing cases of COVID-19 by all means supporting Filipino research and innovations. Currently, the DOST, together with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the University of the Philippines – Manila, is already exploring the capability of VCO to upregulate the immune system. Results from these ongoing VCO Clinical trials will determine whether VCO can be used as adjunct therapy for COVID-19 patients.
Locally available virgin coconut oil is currently undergoing clinical trials at the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) to test out its capability to boost the immune system of novel coronavirus positive patients. Results from the ongoing VCO Clinical trials will determine whether VCO can be used as an adjunct therapy for the patients.
VCO clinical trials are also being conducted in Laguna.
The Filipino-developed virgin coconut oil derivative was also tested in Singapore.
Other local research initiatives are giving hope to Filipinos.
DOST is funding studies for traditional herbs Tawa-tawa and Lagundi as treatments for patients with the novel coronavirus.
Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) has also started its clinical studies on Convalescent Plasma Transfusion as a treatment for COVID-19 patients. The experimental treatment involves the use of plasma taken from the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients for transfusion to patients in the hopes that these contain neutralizing antibodies against the disease to help boost immune systems to fight off infections.
If you suspect that you may have the novel coronavirus, stay home and undergo self-quarantine as prescribed by the Department of Health.