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VCO shows potential vs. COVID-19 —DOST

Experiments have found that compounds from coconut oil and virgin coconut oil (VCO) decreased coronavirus count by 60 percent to 90 percent at low viral load, according to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

This was one of the findings of a study, funded by the department's Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) and led by the Ateneo De Manila University, on the antiviral effects of coconut oil compounds.

The researchers also observed that these compounds helped improve cell survival.

However, they stressed that more experiments are needed to see if higher concentrations of coconut oil compounds will further reduce the replication rate of the virus that causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"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," DOST-PCHRD chief Dr. Jaime Montoya said in a statement.

“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 Secretary Fortunato de la Peña added.

The DOST said it is also working with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the University of the Philippines Manila to explore the capabilities of VCO in upregulating the immune system.

The results of clinical trials on VCO will determine whether it can be used as adjunct therapy for COVID-19 patients. — Julia Mari Ornedo/BM, GMA News