The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that their study revealed that virgin coconut oil (VCO) could help in treating the early stages of COVID-19 infection.
Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), said the study showed that virgin coconut oil was at least “helpful during the early stages of infection.”
The study was funded by DOST and was conducted by Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and Duke University-National University of Singapore (DU-NUS).
“It may indicate that VCO may be helpful during the early stages of the infection when the amount of the virus is (still) low, or in asymptomatic infections, where the amount of virus is also low,” Montoya explained to The STAR.
“But we have to correlate this (to) the results of the clinical trials because what happens in the lab is not necessarily what happens in the body,” he added.
The DOST-PCHRD is also supporting two other research and development (R&D) projects on virgin coconut oil. One at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital on full-blown COVID-19 cases and another at the Santa Rosa Community Hospital and the Santa Rosa, Laguna COVID-19 facility.
DOST study: Virgin coconut oil helpful during early stages of COVID-19
DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, the VCO study results, brings hope for an alternative to a COVID-19 vaccine.
“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,” Dela Peña said in a statement.
After six months of experiments, the researchers led by ADMU professor Fabian Dayrit found that compounds from coconut oil and VCO could decrease coronavirus count by 60 percent to 90 percent at a low viral load.
The experts also discovered that virgin coconut oil compounds were observed to improve cell survival.
However, further experiments are needed to know whether higher concentrations of these compounds will further reduce the virus’s replication rate.
Coconut is one of the most important crops in the Philippines, with the country being the second largest coconut producer in the world.