Research in the Philippines has shown that readily available virgin coconut oil or VCO can help "destroy" the virus that cases COVID-19, officials said, describing it as a treatment option aside from vaccines.
Filipinos have long used VCO as a home remedy and a beauty aid. It's readily available and realtively inexpensive. The Department of Science and Technology's health research arm studied the effectivity of VCO against SARS-CoV-2 as it readies clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine.
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“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,” Science and Technology Sec. Fortunato de la Peña said in a statement on the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development website.
At low viral load, VCO decreased the coronovirus count by 60% to 90%, the PCHRD said, citing six months of experiments. Cells were also observed to have higher chances of survival when VCO is used.
"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 PCHRD Executive Director Jaime Montoya.
The PCHRD funded the VCO research, led by Dr. Fabian Dayrit of Ateneo De Manila University, the PCHRD said. It aims to determine whether VCO can be used as therapy for COVID-19. The Philippines has also trialed Avigan, a Japanese anti-flu drug, and convalescent plasma.