PH looks into efficacy of coconut oil against COVID-19

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2020 03:57 PM

Students, mostly wearing facemasks walk outside the walls of Intramuros in Manila, February 11, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The Philippines is looking into the efficacy of using virgin coconut oil (VCO) to treat the 2019 new coronavirus (COVID-19), a new strain that has affected thousands worldwide.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Monday the Philippines has tapped the National University of Singapore to test the oil’s effectivity to combat the virus.

“We are now preparing sending samples of VCO for testing within the week,” he told reporters in Malacañang.

Over 78,000 have been infected with the COVID-19 which causes flu-like symptoms.

China, the global epicenter of the virus, has the most number of cases at 77,000 followed by South Korea which has over 600 cases.

Using coconut oil as a possible antiviral agent against COVID-19 was first studied by Dr. Fabian Dayrit of the Ateneo de Manila University, and Dr. Mary Newport of Spring Hill Neonatolody, Inc. in their research titled “The Potential of Coconut Oil and its Derivatives as Effective and Safe Antiviral Agents Against the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV-2019)” published on Jan. 31, 2020.

The study proposes an extensive research on the potential of coconut oil as a safe agent against COVID-19 given that it has significant amount of lauric acid which contains elements that have shown to have “potent antiviral properties.”

It added that coconut oil and its derivatives have been shown to be “safe and effective antiviral compounds in both humans and animals.”

“Given the considerable scientific evidence for the antiviral activity of coconut oil, lauric acid and its derivatives and their general safety, and the absence of a cure for nCoV-2019, we urge that clinical studies be conducted among patients who have been infected with nCoV-2019,” the study stated.

“This treatment is affordable and virtually risk-free, and the potential benefits are enormous,” it added.

The Philippines at present has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. It earlier confirmed 3 cases, all foreign nationals who came from the Chinese City of Wuhan. One of the patients died but the 2 others have since recovered.