VCO may work against COVID-19 — DOST

Published April 30, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Anthony Colina

DAVAO CITY – Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Davao director Anthony Sales said he is optimistic that the clinical trials on the efficacy of virgin coconut oil (VCO) as a cure for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) would yield positive results since the product has been proven to be effective in destroying other types of viruses.

In a virtual press conference, Sales said the previous studies showed that the VCO could kill other types of viruses by destroying their cellular coating, raising hopes that it could also work with patients infected with COVID-19.

“The VCO, based on previous studies, has been shown to degrade or denature the cellular coating of the virus or the viral envelope. Once destroyed, the virus will die as its components will be exposed,” he added.

He added that another reason why the product could help COVID-19 patients recover is that the lauric acid and monolaurin, synthesized by the body when VCO is taken, could inhibit the replication of the viruses.

He said the DOST has provided funding support to the efforts of renowned scientist and VCO advocate Dr. Fabrian Dayrit of Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and Duke-NUS University of Singapore to determine the mechanism on how the VCO could work against the virus.

“The next step of Ateneo is to do clinical trials. It will be tested on humans because it was previously only done on animal models. It was proven effective for animals because it has been used commercially for animals like chicken to prevent against avian influenza virus,” he added.

Once completed, he said, the VCO might require approval from the Food and Drug Administration as a “supplement” when clinical trials prove the product’s efficacy in battling the virus.

In “The Potential of Coconut Oil and its Derivatives as Effective and Safe Antiviral Agents Against the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV-2019) published on ADMU’s website, Dr. Dayrit and another scientist, Dr. Mary T. Newport, explained “that lauric and monolaurin, its derivative, have been known for many years to have significant antiviral activity.”

“Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid which makes up about 50% of coconut oil. Monolaurin is a metabolite that is naturally produced by the body’s own enzymes upon ingestion of coconut oil and is also available in pure form as a supplement. Sodium lauryl sulfate, a common surfactant that is made from lauric acid, has been shown to have potent antiviral properties. Lauric acid, monolaurin, and sodium lauryl sulfate (which is also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate) are used in a wide range of products for their antiviral properties,” the study reads.

As of Wednesday, Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported COVID-19 cases in Davao Region remained at 129 while one patient recovered, which brings the total number of recoveries to 74.