THE Department of Science and Technology (DoST) will be conducting clinical trials on the effectiveness of virgin coconut oil as a food supplement for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.

In a Laging Handa briefing on Friday, DoST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Pena said they have been given the go signal by the National Ethics Committee to conduct a clinical study on VCO, which is said to help patients fight the virus.

He said that this was also based on a study made by the late doctor Conrado Dayrit, called the “Father of VCO” and “Dr. Coconut” due to his extensive research on the oil’s anti-viral effects due to its lauric acid.

Ang hangarin po namin ay maipakita na mas mabilis ang recovery noong mga magti-take ng VCO dahil mayroon po tayo namang mga scientific publications at even earlier researches noon pang panahon pa noong si Dr. Conrado Dayrit. (Our goal is to show that there is faster recovery for those who take the VCO because there are scientific publications and even earlier research on this done by Dr. Conrado Dayrit),” Mr. De la Pena said.

The DoST Secretary said it is important to study the possible benefits of VCO for COVID-19 patients as this is accessible and affordable in the Philippines. If the results show effective results as a supplement, the DoST can conduct further trials so it can be registered as a medicine.

The DoST said they will ask for the consent of patients in the Philippine General Hospital in Manila and the Sta. Rosa Community Hospital in Laguna to participate in the trial.

There have been reports that some patients who recovered from the COVID-19 consumed VCO along with their daily meals although there is no scientific proof that VCO was responsible for their recovery. — Gillian M. Cortez