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Enrollment ongoing for participants in VCO vs COVID-19 study in Laguna: DOST chief


Enrollment is ongoing for patients at a community hospital in Laguna who are suspected to have COVID-19 for a government study on the benefits of virgin coconut oil in fighting the infectious disease, an official said Thursday.

Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said they aim to have 45 participating patients who will have virgin coconut oil incorporated into their meals and another 45 who will not, so researchers will be able to compare results.

The study will be conducted for 28 days at the Santa Rosa Community Hospital in Laguna, whose personnel completed training for the research last Tuesday. The Food and Nutrition Research Institute provided the menus that will be executed by a caterer picked by the DOST, Dela Peña said at the Laging Handa briefing.

The Philippine Coconut Authority supplied the unbranded virgin coconut oil to be used in the research, he said.

The official said a similar study at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila is awaiting ethics board approval.

He also shared the DOST has sent samples of virgin coconut oil derivatives to a testing facility abroad that has specimens of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19, to see whether the material could weaken the infectivity of the virus.

Earlier this month, the DOST announced that it will conduct both a hospital-based and a community-based study into the benefits of virgin coconut oil for COVID-19 patients.

In the PGH study, virgin coconut oil will serve as a supplement to the daily treatment regimen of patients. In the community-based study, virgin coconut oil will be incorporated in the food provided to persons under investigation.

President Rodrigo Duterte told Congress  this week that the DOST will hold "clinical trials" to test the efficacy of virgin coconut oil to improve the condition of confirmed and probable COVID-19 patients. —AOL, GMA News
 

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