VCO experiment on COVID turning out to be promising

Published October 7, 2020, 11:53 AM

by Dhel Nazario

A 60 to 90 percent decrease in coronavirus count at low viral load was shown in the result of six months of experimentation done on compounds of coconut oil and Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO).


Funded by the Department of Science Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), the researchers also discovered that the said compounds were observed to improve cell survival.

More experiments, however, are needed to determine whether higher concentrations of these compounds will further reduce the replication rate of the virus.

“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,” DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said.

“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. Indeed, we look forward to the results of clinical trials on the various uses of VCO as an adjunct for the treatment of COVID-19,” said Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the DOST-PCHRD.

The research led by Dr. Fabian Dayrit of Ateneo De Manila University sought to investigate if coconut oil compounds are effective antiviral agents to prevent or reduce COVID-19 infection, following reports of previous research that VCO compounds are effective at killing other viruses.

DOST said that it seeks to intensify its initiative for finding alternative solutions to the increasing cases of COVID-19 by all means supporting Filipino research and innovations, given the lack of available vaccines.

Currently, the DOST, together with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute and the University of the Philippines – Manila, is already exploring the capability of VCO to upregulate the immune system. Results from these ongoing VCO clinical trials will determine whether VCO can be used as adjunct therapy for COVID-19 patients.

Aside from facilitating the eventual conduct of the WHO vaccine clinical trials in the Philippines, the DOST-PCHRD is also supporting projects under its initiatives on repurposing existing drugs, supplements and other formulations, and clinical trials of candidate drugs to find viable treatment options against COVID-19.