AN Ateneo de Manila University scientist said he supports clinical trials to study the effectiveness of virgin coconut oil (VCO) in treating coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), calling it a “simple solution” tapping a readily available resource.
In a webinar, Professor Emeritus Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit said that many scientific studies have demonstrated the antiviral properties of VCO and its derivatives when tested against various viruses.
“Coconut oil is not a high-tech cure like drugs and vaccines, but it brings out the power of simple solutions and it has the science to back it up,” Mr. Dayrit said.
During the webinar, Mr. Dayrit said coconut oil derivatives either disintegrate the protective lipid membrane of the virus or inhibit virus mutations or spread within the host.
“In past studies, coconut oil derivatives have been successfully shown to destroy the outer layer of enveloped deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA) viruses like the vesicular stomatitis virus, the herpes simplex virus, and the junin virus,” Mr. Dayrit said.
Mr. Dayrit said the virus which causes COVID-19, formally known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a member of the betacoronavirus group, one of the four groups within the coronavirus family.
“The lipid membrane disintegration or the destruction of the virus’ outer layer is a mechanism by which the virus under the betacoronavirus group can be effectively destroyed,” Mr. Dayrit said.
Mr. Dayrit said lauric acid contained within coconut oil has been shown to stop the spread of various types of viruses.
“What we need to determine is how effective (coconut oil) is against this virus itself and curing the disease — COVID-19 — as therapy or as prophylaxis. And in particular what the best dosage is and what the most effective modes of intake are,” Mr. Dayrit said.
At present, there are several studies being conducted on the use of coconut oil against the virus, funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.
VCO’s effectivity is also being studied in the US and Singapore.
Mr. Dayrit said that the Philippines should look into other applications of coconut oil and other coconut-based products.
“There’s a lot of undiscovered potential in coconuts. I think we should really develop it more. It will benefit our farmers and our country,” Mr. Dayrit said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave