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Direct intake of a predetermined dose of virgin coconut oil (VCO) resulted in the faster resolution of mild to moderate symptoms and brought down the level of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker for inflammation, among confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. This is one of the highlights of the recently concluded DOST-FNRI’s virtual presser titled, “VCO in the Fight Against COVID-19: Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil in the Mild and Moderate Cases of COVID-19” held on January 21, 2022.

The VCO trial of the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), which was undertaken at the Valenzuela Emergency Hospital, is a sequel of the Sta Rosa study.

The results of this study were presented by DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña. One of the highlights of his presentation is the decreasing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as early as Day 2 among patients who took VCO. On day 14, all patients who took VCO demonstrated total resolution of signs and symptoms. Meanwhile, all patients in the control group (non-VCO) experienced total resolution of signs and symptoms at Day 26.

On the other hand, the CRP levels of VCO group normalized by Day 14 and continued to decrease until Day 28. The CRP of control group (non-VCO) normalized only at the endpoint (Day 28).

After Sec. de la Peña’s presentation, Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Alexei B. Nograles gave a message of support.

Meanwhile, panel of reactors who provided further insights in the results of the study included Philippine Coconut Administration Administrator Mr. Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr., DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, DOST-NCR Regional Director Jose B. Patalinjug, III, and the study's co-investigator, Ateneo de Manila University Professor Dr. Fabian Antonio M. Dayrit.

After the panel of reactors and Q&A with the media partners, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara closed the virtual presser by giving the Ways Forward of the study.

According to Undersecretary Guevara, DOST will proceed with the in-depth studies related to the mechanism of action of VCO, specific to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in collaboration with the research team of Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Moreover, these two VCO studies of the DOST-FNRI (Sta. Rosa and Valenzuela) can help facilitate the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the “disease-risk reduction claim” for VCO which is currently ongoing.

This study is one of DOST-FNRI’s collaborative responses with the medical and scientific community on research and development interventions and solutions in preventing and managing the impacts of COVID-19.

For almost two years now, the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the socio-economic progress, as well as the health and nutritional condition of the population. VCO provides a safe, effective and affordable food supplement to combat COVID-19.

This development can also help boost the VCO industry and provide other livelihood options for coconut farmers.

With these studies, the DOST system will continue its scientific initiatives and plans to further mitigate and manage the impacts of COVID-19.

Indeed, R&D makes things happen. And that Science is For Change and For the People.

This was a collaborative study with:

Department of Science and Technology – National Capital Region, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), Philippine Coconut Authority (DA-PCA), and the Ateneo de Manila University, in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Valenzuela City.

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