Coconut industry stakeholders are upbeat that recent trials that show coconut oil having strong potential in fighting COVID-19 may provide a much-needed boost to the industry as well as the Philippine economy as a whole.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), thru the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, recently revealed that coconut and virgin coconut oil compounds not only reduced the Coronavirus count by up to 90 percent, it also improved cell survival of patients with Covid-19. These findings came after six months of initial trials.
Monolaurin found in coconut oils, VCO and MCT oils like Laurin are said to be effective not only against SARS-COV-2, but also with majority of viruses and bacteria which are Lipid-coated.
The United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP), the country’s leading coco advocacy group, said that, beyond being a good potential for alternative cure, VCO will also help lift the country’s economy.
VCO is under the bracket of the consumer-rich food, health and wellness segment. It has an estimated $1.8 trillion-dollar market.
Coconuts remain the Philippine’s number one export, generating north of $2 billion yearly to the Philippine economy, while employing an estimated 3.5 million farmers in the country.
“If further research and trials prove positive for VCO as Covid-19 alternative treatment, this will undoubtedly have impact not only for patients, but a needed boost for coconut farmers and the industry as a whole,” the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said.
PCA explained that even before onslaught of the Covid 19 pandemic, they have long been advocating the health benefits of virgin coconut oil.
With the renewed interest in VCO and the indigenous coconuts, UCAP, PCA and other stakeholders hope this will spark empowerment and change, while enticing younger generations to support and re-energize the country’s greying coconut industry.
Ateneo Professor Emeritus of Science, Dr. Fabian Dayrit, one of those who pushed for the research and testing of VCO against Covid-19, said a daily dose of coconut oil “is a good precaution to take” against COVID-19.
In the late 90’s and early 2000, Dr. Dayrit was also part of the research team which administered controlled dosage of coconut and monolaurin oils to persons living with HIV.
Dayrit noted the patients’ viral count significantly went down, while antibody count increased after being administered with a controlled daily dosage of coconut oil and monolaurin.
“Coconut oil-derived products are functional food; it is the same as taking vitamin supplements daily,” Dr. Dayrit explained.
The United Coconut Associations of the Philippines’ (UCAP) Marco Reyes says VCOs antiviral and anti-bacterial properties are unleashed inside the body once it metabolizes into a derivative called monolaurin, a property that can also be found in other coco-based products, from cooking oils to more concentrated volume in products like Laurin MCT oil.
Other test results are expected to be released by November. This early, Dr. Dayrit is positive of VCO’s efficacy, a product that is indigenous and readily available for Filipinos.