A group of scientists from the Philippines came to a conclusion based on their study that virgin coconut oil has the potential to cure mild to moderate cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. It was discovered, after six months of study and experimentation, that compounds that come from coconut oil and virgin coconut oil, which is a product available in the Philippines, can lower the coronavirus count by 60 to 90 percent with a low viral load. Researchers have also confirmed that coconut oil not only reduces the coronavirus count, but is also capable of improving cell survival.
Dr. Jaime Montoya, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, confirmed in a statement: “The results are very promising, as not only does it show that virgin coconut oil (VCO), by itself, can destroy the virus, but it also has a key mechanism in regulating the immune response against COVID-19. Indeed, we look forward to the results of clinical trials on the various uses of VCO as an adjunct for the treatment of COVID-19.”
Fortunato de la Peña, secretary of the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines, explained that the study consists of a hospital-based component and a community-based component. “There are still alternative solutions against COVID-19 aside from vaccines. Although further investigation is needed before we develop a possible prevention or treatment option, we aim to give Filipinos hope through our ongoing local research initiatives,” said de la Peña via Philippine Daily Inquirer.
This research, which seeks to investigate whether coconut oil compounds are effective antiviral agents to prevent or reduce COVID-19 infections, is spearheaded by Dr. Fabian Dayrit, who is president of Integrated Chemists of the Philippines and chemistry professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, with funding from the Department of Science and Technology.
“Coconut oil is a unique vegetable oil in that it has a high proportion of lauric acid; no other widely consumed vegetable oil has this. When ingested into the body, the body’s lipase enzymes release metabolites, which are the active compounds–mainly monolaurin and lauric acid,” Dayrit explained in a statement.
Dayrit has cited the use of monolaurin in the food industry as a natural emulsifier and preservative against bacterial agents and that it is also the active ingredient in many dermatological preparations. He went on to further explain that the combination of monolaurin and lauric acid can produce a physicochemical property capable of destroying the membrane of lipid-coated viruses. “The science and practical uses of lauric acid are well-known. What is needed now are clinical trials to validate this and to recommend the amount of intake,” said Dayrit.