Scientists carrying out research on the impact of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on people with Covid-19 say the oil appears to be a viable treatment for the lung disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
After six months of experiments, scientists in the Philippines found that a diet rich in VCO decreased the coronavirus count by 60% to 90% for mild to moderate cases, said Fortunato dela Pena of the country’s national science department in a radio interview on Oct 19 (2020).
The study is being funded by the department’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and led by the Ateneo De Manila University.
”The results are very promising, as not only does it show that VCO by itself can destroy the virus, but it also has a key mechanism in upregulating the immune response against Covid-19,” PCHRD chief Dr Jaime Montoya said.
In recent years, coconut oil has garnered increasing attention for its apparent broader health benefits, despite its high percentage of saturated fat, and is frequently recommended as part of health trends, such as the ketogenic and paleo diets.
In the Philippines, which exports coconuts and has a high number of Covid-19 cases, VCO is readily available and consumed.
In the study, the scientists also found the oil to improve cell survival, adding to its previous skincare benefits of helping to reduce dryness.
The results of clinical trials on VCO will determine whether it can be used as adjunct therapy for Covid-19 patients.
Dela Pena said that an analysis of the oil as a potential antiviral agent may be out by the second week of November (2020). – dpa
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