Is VCO an effective adjunct therapy for hospitalized COVID-19 patients?

Published October 17, 2021, 10:59 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Sunday, Oct. 17, that the results of the virgin coconut oil (VCO) trial at Philippine General Hospital (PGH) which aims to determine the safety and efficacy of VCO as adjunctive therapy for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases may be out by end of the month or early November.


DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development (R&D) Rowena Cristina Guevara said the clinical trial at the PGH is already completed, and that the data is being analyzed by the project team.

The VCO study involved COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe conditions at PGH.

“Natapos na nila ang kanilang paggawa ng clinical trial, nag aanalayze na lang. By the end of the month or early November, magrereport kami sa public ng tungkol duon sa hospital trial (They already completed the clinical trial, they are just analyzing the data. By the end of the month or early November, we will report to the public the result of the hospital trial),” Guevara said in an interview over DZBB on Sunday.

The project team is led by Dr. Marissa M. Alejandria of the University of the Philippines-Manila National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH).

Guevara also cited the in-vitro study conducted by Dr. Fabian Dayrit and his team from the Ateneo De Manila University showing that VCO compound can decrease the amount of the virus by 60 to 90 percent in mild cases.

The DOST has invested P8.4 million to determine the safety and efficacy of VCO as adjunctive therapy for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and to evaluate its beneficial effect for probable COVID-19 patients who are quarantined in a center or hospital.


The DOST said its Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) allocated the amount to explore the use of VCO as “life-saving solution to fight COVID-19.”

Of the amount, P4.8 million was given to the project, “Virgin Coconut Oil as Adjunctive Therapy for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients”.

The DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) conducted last year a VCO trial in Santa Rosa, Laguna. Based on the VCO study in Santa Rosa, Laguna, meals mixed with VCO could reduce COVID-19 symptoms in suspect and probable cases, thus, possibly preventing the progression or severity of the disease.

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.