Coconut oil, whose health benefits have been proven in the past, will be tested for use as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus infection. “That [VCO] is being looked into,” Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom on Tuesday. “We have heard very good studies with regard to its ability to neutralize the viruses, but for the COVID- 19, it is not clear,” the top health official added. He made the reaction following Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles' announcement Monday that a former academician from one of the country’s top universities proposed to test coconut oil as COVID-19 treatment amid the absence of a specific treatment. In a research proposal published on January 31, Ateneo de Manila University Professor Emeritus Fabian Antonio Dayrit and Dr. Mary Newport of Spring Hill Neonatolody in Florida, United States proposed to conduct a clinical study on patients infected with the COVID-19 involving VCO, saying “this treatment is affordable and virtually risk-free, and the potential benefits are enormous.” Nograles said the National University of Singapore has agreed to test VCO as a prophylactic against the COVID-19. Current evidence suggests coconut oil and its derivatives are safe and effective antiviral compounds in both humans and animals, the researchers noted. “Several in vitro, animal, and human studies support the potential of coconut oil, lauric acid and its derivatives as effective and safe agents against a virus like nCoV-2019 [COVID-19],” they said.
People living in the Philippines, a country of islands not very far off the coast of China, remember all too well the last time a deadly coronavirus epidemic broke out in China. It was 2003 when the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus broke out in China. It infected over 7000 people in China with over 600 recorded deaths. Even with its close proximity to China and large Chinese population in the Philippine nation of about 80 million people, only 14 cases of SARS was reported with two recorded deaths. Canada, many thousands of miles away, had far more cases and more deaths recorded due to SARS infection from China than neighboring Philippine Islands. One of the theories put forward at the time as to why the Filipino people had so few cases, was the country's predominant use of cooking oil: Coconut Oil. The Philippines is the world's largest producer of coconut oil, with about 70% of the world's coconut oil being exported from the country. The medium chain fatty acids of coconut oil, and primarily lauric acid, have been known to destroy enveloped viruses by researchers for many years. Dr. Fabian Dayrit, Ph.D. and Dr. Mary Newport, M.D. have just published a paper regarding coconut oil's potential to also combat the new coronavirus currently infecting people in China.