Coconut industry stakeholders welcomed recent trials showing the strong potential of coconut oil in fighting COVID-19 that could boost the industry and the Philippine economy as a whole.
United Coconut Associations of the Philippines executive director Marco Reyes said in a statement over the weekend virgin coconut oil’s antiviral and anti-bacterial properties are unleashed inside the body once it metabolizes into a derivative called monolaurin, a property that can also be found in other coco-based products from cooking oils to more concentrated volume in products like Laurin MCT oil.
Reyes said VCO is not a vaccine but “it is like having a fierce guard dog, the moment COVID-19 or any virus gets in, you can be sure it is taken care of at the onset.”
According to UCAP, VCO is under the bracket of the consumer-rich food, health, and wellness segment that has an estimated $1.8 trillion-dollar global market.
Locally, the industry employs an estimated 3.5 million Filipino farmers.
Meanwhile, the Department of Science and Technology thru the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development recently revealed that VCO compounds not only reduced the coronavirus count by up to 90 percent but also improved cell survival of patients with COVID-19. The findings were made after six months of initial trials.
Ateneo de Manila Science Professor Emeritus Dr. Fabian Dayrit, who is part of the team that pushed to study and test coconut’s efficacy against COVID-19 is upbeat about the initial results.
“This is one, but an important piece of the puzzle, in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dayrit.
Dayrit also conducted research trials using coconut oil as an alternative treatment supplement for patients living with HIV in the late 90s and early 2000s.
He said patients’ viral count significantly went down, while antibody count increased after being administered with a controlled daily dosage of coconut oil and monolaurin.
“Coconut oil-derived products are functional food; it is the same as taking vitamin supplements daily,” Dayrit said.
Other test results are expected to be released by November.
Dayrit is positive of VCO’s efficacy, a product that is indigenous and readily available for Filipinos.
“Just a daily dose and you are secure in the know, you have it in your system when needed,” he said.