MANILA — A study on the use of virgin coconut oil (VCO) to prevent and manage the novel coronavirus disease yielded "very promising" results, 2 researchers said Tuesday.
VCO, extraced from fresh coconut meat, has antiviral properties, said Prof. Fabian Dayrit, a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University- School of Science and Engineering's chemistry department.
Dr. Jose Mondejar, medical director Equilibrium Integrative Health Clinic, said his group gave VCO to 69 residents of Sitio Luz, Barangay Zapatera, who were among the first COVID-19 patients of Cebu City in April.
They initially took 1 tablespoon of VCO twice a day, which later increased to thrice a day, he said.
Within 2 weeks, 45 of the 69 patients tested negative, while 24 did not develop worse symptoms, he said.
An official involved in the project connected him after to the warden of the Cebu provincial detention center, which needed help in containing coronavirus cases, said Mondejar.
After taking VCO starting May 15, 7 jail workers with the novel coronavirus tested negative for the pathogen within a week. Three other workers tested negative within 8 days, he said.
The jail has not tallied any new case of COVID-19 for the past 6 weeks, he added.
"Nagkaroon ng very promising results and success po... It helped the management sa mga cases," Mondejar told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
VCO did not cause side effects. However, it may cause stomachache among those who are not used to taking it. The oil also has a high calorie count and should be taken moderately, said Dayrit.
Dayrit said his group was waiting for the results of 2 other studies on VCO use by the Philippine General Hospital and by researchers in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
"Mabuti sigurong ma-expand natin ang study kasi mga ilang pasyente lang iyon... Ang kailangan natin, mas malakas na katibayan," he said.
(Perhaps it will be good if we can expand the study because it only has a few patients. We need stronger proof.)