Davao LGU OKs use of VCO for COVID-19 patients

Published December 22, 2020, 2:26 PM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – The City Government of Davao has allowed the use of virgin coconut oil (VCO) for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients who are willing to volunteer in the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TMMFs).

Treelife’s virgin coconut oil from Carmen, Norh Cotabato. (Keith Bacongco / MANILA BULLETIN)

Mayor Sara Duterte told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that the use of VCO will be on “voluntary” basis after receiving a supply of organic VCO from Cotabato-based TreeLife, owned by businessman Jerry Taray, through William Lima, who is a special envoy to China.

“This is not mandatory. VCO is not endorsed by the City Government of Davao. It is made available by a third party to our patients there in TTMFs. It is accessible to them if they want,” she said.

She said the donor of the VCO was referred to the City Health Office to start the “voluntary use” of the food supplement among the willing COVID-19 patients after the local government was assured that the product has been accredited by the Food and Drugs Administration.

Results of a study funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) showed that compounds from the VCO, a “potential antiviral agent against COVID-19,” decreased coronavirus count by 60-90 percent at low viral load.

The agency added the VCO reportedly helped reduce the symptoms of probable and suspect COVID-19 cases.

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. Fabian M. 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 December 21, Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 11,592 COVID-19 cases in the region, with 1,915 active, 9,219 recoveries, and 458 deaths.

Of the total cases, Davao City reported 8,159, Davao de Oro with 575, Davao del Norte with 1,391, Davao del Sur with 832, Davao Occidental with 122, and Davao Oriental with 513.