There are individuals and groups who are doing their part in quiet ways to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, find solutions, or at least ease its ill effects on the frontliners and the rest of the populace who must bear the inconveniences and sufferings during quarantine and lockdown. Not the kind we know about — cyberconcerts, how-to webinars, online Masses and church services, helplines, feeding programs, care for the homeless, etc.—all of them good, aimed to make people feel comforted and connected.
A manufacturing company of virgin coconut oil (VCO) and its partner corporation are complementing whatever the government and scientists are trying to discover in VCO that might turn out to be effective in combating the virus and other ailments. Part-owners of these groups and behind the study are doctors themselves eager to prove the best about VCO.
I will not mention the names of those behind the effort (let me just call them The Team) and their brand lest I’d sound like I am promoting a brand.
The effort took the form of a study “to convince physicians, nurses, and other frontliners that VCO has definite health benefits as being a potent protection for their bodies against COVID and other viruses by boosting their immune system; to increase awareness among medical practitioners that VCO, of which our country has massive raw material supplies, deserve attention as a potential cure for COVID; to support VCO studies by focusing on frontliners instead of patients; to support our country’s fight against COVID by focusing on using VCO as a proactive defense and ward off the virus and not wait until the virus has already entered the body.”
I did write about VCO (“VCO in the time of COVID-19,” Feb. 27, 2020) at the onset of the pandemic, and the groundbreaking research that the late Dr. Conrado Dayrit had done. The column piece was in the context of research proposals on VCO that had not taken off since the bird flu hit in 2005. The Team contacted me to get me interested in their study.
Theirs is not a laboratory study that pokes into molecules and other microscopic minutiae. It is a study on VCO’s effects on people. The interesting thing about this is that the subjects or participants in the study are frontliners, all of them doctors practicing in well-known hospitals in Metro Manila.
There were two batches of participants. Batch 1 (April 22-May 7) had 20 participants and Batch 2 (May 18-June 5) had 21, all with high exposure to COVID-19. Each one was given a bottle of VCO (250 ml.) to take orally, VCO nasal spray with menthol, VCO mouth spray with menthol, and a book by Dr. Bruce Fife, a famous advocate of VCO’s health benefits.
The use of the VCO nasal spray is based on the theory that coating the nostrils with VCO neutralizes the virus that enters. The mouth spray is supposed to have the same effect.
There were protocols to be followed — how much VCO to take orally, when, and how often. Same with the sprays. The participants were asked to be constantly aware of any effect or symptom, desired or undesired. At the end of the duration of the study, they were asked to fill out a survey form and, if they so wished, give testimonials on the effectivity of VCO in helping them cope with their work as health frontliners.
I wish I could quote the doctors and their testimonials, but they could be considered anecdotal for now as the research method was not a controlled, scientific one with control groups and variables considered. Still, it is commendable, something that can complement the ongoing studies of the Department of Science and Technology and other scientific research groups.
VCO is gaining ground in the world market despite its having been badmouthed for so long as unhealthy, its healthy components rediscovered, proven, and promoted. This means sunrise for the Philippines’ coconut industry, if only…