The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science (DOST-FNRI) has asked the management of the Ospital ng Muntinlupa to allow its hospital to serve as a site for the ongoing study to look into the effectiveness of virgin coconut oil (VCO) as an adjunct therapy for hospitalized coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.
DOST-FNRI) Director Dr. Imelda Angeles Agdeppa, who leads the research team on the “randomized double-blind controlled intervention trial” on VCO, disclosed this at the sidelines of Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña’s weekly report on Friday, May 28.
She said the decision was arrived at, considering that the VCO trial in Valenzuela City will unlikely reach its targeted 120 participants following the declining number of COVID-19 cases.
“it seems that Valenzuela City cannot actually give us the required 120 subjects so we actually coordinated another study site in Ospital ng Muntinlupa. We have coordinated this with the director of Muntinlupa Hospital and we presented this study yesterday,” the FNRI top official said.
“Hopefully, we can get approval of their ethics [panel] too because even though our ethics committee has approved the study already we have to solicit another ethics committee approval in Hospital ng Muntinlupa. We are waiting for their go signal so that we can already recruit subjects in that hospital.”
The VCO trial study among 120 COVID-19 patients in Valenzuela City started in February following the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the City of Valenzuela, DOST-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR), and DOST-FNRI, in collaboration with the DOST- (PCHRD), and Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).
The Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital and Dalandanan National High School Isolation Facility were identified sites for the VCO clinical study.
The FNRI-led VCO clinical trial seeks to evaluate the beneficial effect of virgin coconut oil given to suspect and probable cases of COVID-19 who are quarantined in a center or hospital.
The project is implemented on May 1, 2020 to June 31, 2021.
In December 2020, the FNRI team reported the effectiveness of VCO on 57 probable and suspected cases at the Santa Rosa Community Quarantine Facility and in Santa Rosa Community Hospital.
Results of the FNRI study on VCO as dietary supplement among COVID-19 probable and suspect cases showed that “five of the 29 patients who were served meals with VCO manifested diminishing signs and symptoms as early as the second day, while only one patient served with the same meals but without VCO showed similar improvement.”
The VCO group of patients who were served meals with VCO showed no COVID-19 related symptoms at Day 18, while symptoms persisted in some patients of the Control Group of patients who were served the same meals without VCO until Day 23, it showed.