After 6 months of experiments, Filipino scientists found that virgin coconut oil (VCO) decreases the coronavirus count by 60 to 90% for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.
VCO is readily available in the Philippines, a coconut-exporting country that is also one of Southeast Asia's laggards in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Science Secretary Fortunato de la Peña noted in a TeleRadyo interview on Monday, October 19, that an analysis of VCO is expected to be released by the first week of November.
"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 Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), in an October 5 statement posted on Department of Science and Technology (DOST) website.
Montoya said that they "look forward to the results of clinical trials on the various uses of VCO as an adjunct for the treatment of COVID-19."
In their study, the scientists also found VCO to improve cell survival. They cautioned, however, that more studies are needed to "determine whether higher concentrations of these compounds will further reduce the replication rate of the virus."
"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," De la Peña said.
In April, the DOST said it was conducting clinical studies on the possible benefits of VCO for COVID-19 patients.
To date, there is still no cure for COVID-19 approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), but there are a number of clinical trials worldwide being done for a potential COVID-19 vaccine.