Lauric acid, derivatives, show efficacy vs COVID-19 virus

Lauric acid and its derivatives, which is found in Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), has shown efficacy against SARS-CoV 2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the initial results of in vitro studies, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Pena has revealed.

"Nakatanggap na kami ng report mula sa Ateneo kay Dr. Fabian Dayrit na natapos na 'yung testing in vitro trials for the efficacy of lauric acid and its derivatives versus SARS-CoV-2 (We have received a report from Ateneo given by Dr. Fabian Dayrit that the in vitro trials for the efficacy of lauric acid and its derivatives versus SARS-CoV-2 has finished)," he said.

The initial results of the study showed that monolaurin and lauric acid exhibited a modest antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 virus in vitro. Dela Pena said that since these compounds are components of food and are generally recognized as safe (GRAS), these experiments justify further studies on the use of VCO as supportive treatment for COVID-19.

DoST has three trials involving VCO.

The first is at the Sta. Rosa Community Hospital where the methodology for the trials is that for 28 days the patients will be given VCO with their three meals. Their conditions would then be monitored from Day 0 as they enter or participate up to Day 14 and Day 28. Under this, 45 patients will undergo the clinical trial while 45 others will not in order to compare the response of the patients to VCO as a supplement.

The second trial is at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), where 50 patients will take VCO while 50 others will not. During the trial, the VCO will serve as a supplement to the daily treatment regimen of the COVID-19 positive patients. The study aims to assess the possible benefits of VCO if given to patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 in addition to the drugs being assessed in the clinical trials.

The third is in Singapore where the study will determine whether certain coconut oil components can diminish or prevent the infectivity of SARS-CoV2, the causative virus of COVID-19.