The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has clarified that its sponsored study on the effectiveness of virgin coconut oil (VCO) in treating Covid-19 patients does not signify VCO can cure someone from the disease.
DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development executive director Jaime Montoya said the study is “designed to have VCO as an adjuvant, to be given on top of what is the standard of care.”
Montoya explained that basically, “the study would like to see if VCO can help make the patients feel better and if it could help them shorten their stay in hospitals or in quarantine facilities.
Another DOST-funded study on VCO, done in an overseas laboratory, showed that VCO may be very useful against the virus. “Based on the laboratory experiment, it can actually kill the virus such as SARS-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19. This finding, however, may not be as significant as to when you put the VCO inside the body,” Montoya pointed out.
He added that the study done abroad showed that VCO is helpful in the early stages of infection, as it was found to reduce the viral load by at least 60%. He also shared that the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) has started screening patients that can be part of the hospital-based study on VCO.
“We need 74 patients, half of them will be given the VCO for 14 days.” he said, adding that all hospital-based study participants should be moderate Covid-19 patients.
Last May 1, the DOST started a community-based trial on VCO in Laguna and targeted 90 participants. Half of them would be provided with VCO in their three meals, and compare their performance with the other 45 individuals who would not be given VCO.
Enrollee in the community-based study must undergo the regimen for 28 days. Montoya said there are 57 active subjects, 49 of them have already completed the regimen while eight are still taking the intervention.
“Right now, we cannot speak yet about the percentage or number of participants who had a short stay at the center,” he said.