MANILA – Virgin coconut oil can help destroy the novel coronavirus, according to Filipino researchers, following months of experiments on the product as a potential antiviral agent.
"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,” Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), said in a statement.
“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.”
Based on a research funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), compounds from coconut oil and virgin coconut oil decreased coronavirus count by 60 to 90 percent at low viral load.
Researchers also discovered that the compounds were observed to improve cell survival, the PCHRD said.
But the agency cautioned that more experiments were needed to determine whether higher concentration of coconut oil compounds would further reduce the replication rate of the virus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19.
In an interview with Teleradyo Monday, Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the first analysis of virgin coconut oil as a potential antiviral agent may be out by the second week of November.
This, after Filipino researchers have finished conducting clinical trials of virgin coconut oil at a hospital in Laguna, which involved 56 participants.
“The fact na sila ay nakauwi at wala namang nag-deterioate ay maganda na ang indication,” he said.
(The fact that they were released from the hospital and [their conditions] didn’t deteriorate is a good indication.)
But De la Peña also cautioned that those involved in the study were suspected and mild COVID-19 cases. The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is conducting a separate clinical trial for virgin coconut oil among severe patients battling with the virus.
The Philippines has so far recorded 356,618 coronavirus infections, with 6,652 fatalities and 310,158 recoveries. Some 39,808 patients are still currently ill with the virus.