The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to conduct a study seeking to explore whether or not the virgin coconut oil (VCO), known for its antiviral and antimicrobial properties can prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development Executive Director Jaime C. Montoya said they will look at the effectivity of the VCO in blocking the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV- 2), the virus which causes COVID-19.
“‘Yan po ay kailangan tingnan pa ng iba pang study, pero may basehan naman po sinabi natin na pinapatay nya yung virus lalo na pag kakaunti lamang at nagsisimula pa lang (That needs to be looked at by other studies, but there is a basis for us to say that it kills the virus, especially when it is only few and just starting),” he said in an interview with DZBB when asked if taking VCO as a food supplement could prevent the individuals from being infected with COVID.
The in-vitro study conducted by Dr. Fabian Dayrit and his team from the Ateneo De Manila University showed that VCO compound can decrease the amount of virus by 60 to 90 percent in mild cases.
“So it makes sense na baka puwede syang for prevention pero may iba pong klaseng study na gagawin sila at gagawin din natin pero ang disensyo po nya ay iba kasi kailangan kukunin na volunteer na wala pang COVID pero maari na-expose o nasa isang lugar na maraming COVID at titingnan natin kung sila ay magkakaroon (So it makes sense that maybe it can be used for prevention, but there are other kinds of studies that they will conduct,and we will also do it, but the design is different because we need to tap volunteer who is not infected with COVID, but may be exposed or staying in a COVID high risk area, and we will see if they will catch the virus),” Montoya said.
“At usually ito po ay ginagawa, at ito lang po ay iniisip ko na kasi isa pong disenyo ito na ia-apply sa ilong o sa bibig kasi doon po unang pumapasok ang virus (And usually this is done, and this is what I think because it’s one design— that will be applied in the nose or mouth because that’s where the virus first enters),” he said.
Montoya also clarified that like tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta), VCO is an approved food supplement.
“Lilinawin ko lang itong VCO at tawa-tawa these are approved food supplement pero po hindi po ito…for COVID… para mapalakas ang katawan. Pero ito po ay kung maganda po ang magiging resulta at aaprubahan ng FDA ay mabibigyan na siya ng what we call limited indication for COVID-19 (I’ll just clarify this VCO and taw-tawa, these are approved food supplements but it’s not… for COVID…this is to make you healthier. But if the results of the clinical trials yield positive results, and will be approved by the FDA, it will be given what we call a limited indication for COVID-19,” he said.