DOST: VCO helps treat symptoms of mild, moderate COVID-19 cases

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The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is recommending the use of virgin coconut oil (VCO) to treat symptoms of mild and moderate COVID-19 cases. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 22) — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is recommending the use of virgin coconut oil (VCO) to treat symptoms of mild and moderate COVID-19 cases.

In a briefing on Friday, DOST Secretary Fortunato De la Pena revealed that both the trials conducted in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and Valenzuela City showed encouraging results.

They confirmed that VCO “can significantly lower the C-Reactive Protein or CRP, which is a biomarker for inflammation and infection,” he pointed out.

The CRP value must be lower than 5 milligrams per liter since anything above that would indicate presence of infection.

In the administration of VCO, it was mixed in the meals of participants in the Sta. Rosa study, while the oil was given separately in cups per patient in Valenzuela City.

After the trials, Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, director of DOST’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute, noted that resolution of signs and symptoms of participants from Valenzuela City was even faster compared to those in Sta. Rosa.

“However, ang importante dito sa dalawang studies na ito, nakita po natin na itong VCO ay nakatutulong sa pagbaba ng sintomas as early as two days in both groups. Kahit anong modality, nakakatulong ang VCO,” she explained, adding that fever was first to be eased in COVID-19 patients.

[Translation: However, what is important is that these two studies showed that VCO helped ease symptoms as early as two days in both groups. VCO was able to help in any modality.]

Dr. Fabian Antonio Dayrit, one of the members of the study team, also noted that no patient experienced overdose and the worst side effect they observed was bad stomach.

“The advice is to take VCO while it is still mild or even better if you take VCO every day,” he said.

Dayrit, however, reminded the public that VCO will not replace COVID-19 vaccines since they serve different purposes. He said it will be better to do both to get double protection.

DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said VCO producers are now working on applying to the Food and Drug Administration for additional indication to the product.

Ang VCO ngayon functional food approved by FDA, pero kung gusto natin maisama 'yung indication na 'may be used to relieve symptoms of mild and moderate COVID-19,' kailangan pong mag-apply sila sa FDA,” she said.

[Translation: VCO is currently functional food approved by the FDA, but if we want to include the indication "may be used to relieve symptoms of mild and moderate COVID-19," they need to apply to the FDA.]