January 1, 2022 | 00h00
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will work with the country’s leading industry association of coconut processors to get virgin coconut oil (VCO) approved for indications of mild cases of COVID-19 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Rowena Cristina Guevara, Under Secretary for Research and Development, said the DOST research group led primarily by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development will provide technical assistance as well as documentation assistance. of R&D at the VCO Producers and Traders Association of the Philippines Inc. for the project.
“They will ask the FDA for further indications for the VCO that it can be used for mild COVID-19,” Guevara told reporters last Thursday during DOST’s unveiling of the 3D monument to national hero Dr. Jose Rizal at the DOST Plaza in Taguig City.
“It will require a huge amount of paperwork, so it will take time,” Guevara said.
Guevara pointed out that two completed research and clinical studies have shown that OCV is effective in speeding up recovery in COVID-19 patients, or can cure “low viral load” COVID-19.
One of the studies mentioned by Guevara was the clinical trial of OCV as a functional food versus COVID-19 in Santa Rosa, Laguna conducted by the DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute which showed that OCV, when added to meals of probable and suspected COVID-19 cases have shortened their recovery period by at least five days.
The study was published on May 25 in the International Journal of Functional Foods.
The other study, conducted by Ateneo de Manila University and Duke University-National University of Singapore led by Professor Fabian Dayrit, yielded results which showed that VCO was at least “useful during the early stages of infection or low viral load ”.
The Philippines VCO had previously called on the DOST and the Department of Health to support initiatives to gain approval of the VCO as a prophylaxis against COVID-19 and not as a cure.
Engineer Marco Reyes, president of VCO, has pointed out that preventing infection and transmission of COVID-19 is a better strategy in the war against the coronavirus.
“OCV should be studied further as a prophylaxis against this virus. Prevention is an essential strategy ”, declared the leader of the industrial group earlier. “VCO is a natural, sustainable and highly renewable resource in our country, accessible and affordable for all Filipinos.
“We need to remain open-minded, thorough and aggressive in conducting scientific studies on the use of virgin coconut oil against this virus,” Reyes said.