The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said on Thursday, December 3, that a study it conducted showed that virgin coconut oil (VCO) helped reduce the symptoms of probable and suspect COVID-19 cases.
In a virtual briefing, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña presented their study on the use of VCO as a supplement for the treatment of COVID-19.
The Food and Nutrition Research Institute under the DOST led the study which involved 57 probable and suspect COVID-19 patients in a quarantine hospital in Sta Rosa, Laguna. Around half of them or 29 were given VCO added to their food for 28 days, while the other half served as the control group.
Dela Peña said that symptoms in the VCO group "significantly declined" on Day 2 and that no symptoms were observed on Day 18. The control group showed improvement on Day 3 and symptoms stopped on Day 23.
"VCO could be used as an adjunct supplement to probable and suspect cases of COVID-19. It could prevent COVID-19 cases from becoming severe," Dela Peña said. (READ: Virgin coconut oil lowers coronavirus load by 60-90% for mild cases – PH study)
Professor Fabian Dayrit of the Ateneo de Manila University, who proposed the study, said that the results of the study suggest that VCO will decrease the symptoms of inflammation as the C-reactive protein (CRP) of the patients they monitored "significantly declined."
CRP is a marker of inflammation in the body.
"It's good protection – protection against the coronavirus. But we have not yet studied it on high viral load," Dayrit added.
The DOST is still waiting for the results of its study on COVID-19 patients at the Philippine General Hospital.
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.
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.
The Philippines' Food and Drug Administration said that the earliest possible availability of a coronavirus vaccine in the Philippines would be by the first quarter of 2021. – Rappler.com