Filipino research probing virgin coconut oil (VCO) as a potential antiviral agent against the COVID-19 virus has yielded promising results.
The VCO test results after six months of experiments show that compounds from coconut oil and virgin coconut oil decreased coronavirus count by 60-90% at low viral load, according to the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) report published on October 5, 2020.
The DOST-funded study led by Dr. Fabian Dayrit of Ateneo De Manila University also indicated that compounds were observed to improve cell survival.
Dr. Dayrit studied the potential of VCO to prevent or reduce COVID-19 infection. More experiments 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,” said Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the PCHRD.
“We look forward to the results of clinical trials on the various uses of VCO as an adjunct for the treatment of COVID-19,” Montoya continued.
Locally available virgin coconut oil is currently undergoing clinical trials at the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) to test out its capability to boost the immune system of novel coronavirus positive patients. Results from the ongoing VCO Clinical trials will determine whether VCO can be used as an adjunct therapy for the patients.
VCO clinical trials are also being conducted in Laguna.
The Filipino-developed virgin coconut oil derivative was also tested in Singapore.
The VCO trials are among the DOST initiatives to explore alternative solutions to vaccines against COVID-19.
Other local research initiatives are giving hope to Filipinos.
DOST is funding studies for traditional herbs Tawa-tawa and Lagundi as treatments for patients with the novel coronavirus.
Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) has also started its clinical studies on Convalescent Plasma Transfusion as a treatment for COVID-19 patients. The experimental treatment involves the use of plasma taken from the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients for transfusion to patients in the hopes that these contain neutralizing antibodies against the disease to help boost immune systems to fight off infections.