Manila, Oct 19 (efe-epa).- Virgin coconut oil helps destroy the COVID-19 virus so it can be used as an antiviral against the disease, according to the preliminary experiments of a research in the Philippines.
The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) said it studied the effects of coconut oil against COVID-19 for months in the experimental phase and has already begun clinical trials with 56 patients.
“The results are very promising, as not only does it show that the VCO, by itself, can destroy the virus, but it also has a key mechanism in upregulating the immune response against COVID-19,” Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the PCHRD, said in a statement.
According to research funded by the Philippine Department of Science and Technology, virgin coconut oil compounds decrease coronavirus count by 60-90 percent at low viral load while also improving cell survival, which means they contribute to strengthening the immune system’s response.
However, the PCHRD said further experiments are needed to determine whether a higher concentration of coconut oil compounds can further reduce the replication rate of the virus that causes respiratory COVID-19 disease.
Fortunato de la Peña, secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, said in a Monday interview with a local radio that the initial analysis of the virgin coconut oil as a possible antiviral agent could be available by the second week of November.
De la Peña said good results have been achieved in clinical trials with 56 patients at Laguna Hospital but added that they were patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms.
This month, the Philippine General Hospital began a parallel clinical trial to test the effects of coconut oil among COVID-19 patients with more severe symptoms.
The Philippines, which has been overtaken by Indonesia as the Southeast Asian country with the most COVID-19 infections, has 356,618 infections, including 39,800 active cases and 6,652 deaths. EFE-EPA