Filipino experiments revealed evidence that virgin coconut oil may be a means to defeat 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,” said Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña.
After six months of experiments, results showed that compounds from coconut oil and virgin coconut oil, or VCO, a readily available commodity in the Philippines, decreased coronavirus count by 60-90% at low viral load.
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," said Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).
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.
Aside from facilitating the eventual conduct of the WHO vaccine clinical trials in the Philippines, the DOST-PCHRD is also supporting projects under its initiatives on Repurposing of Existing Drugs, Supplements and other Formulations, and Clinical Trials of Candidate Drugs to find viable treatment options against COVID-19.
- Written by Christine Jane Gonzalez
- Published: 05 October 2020