Philippines Tests Virgin Coconut Oil as COVID-19 Treatment

The Philippine Department of Science and Technology said on April 1 that it will begin testing virgin coconut oil as a possible COVID-19 treatment. Department Secretary Fortunato de la Pena said that the research will be divided into “one hospital-based and one community-based” study. 

Philippines Tests Virgin Coconut Oil as COVID-19 Treatment

The hospital-based study will be titled “Virgin Coconut Oil and Omega-3a Adjunctive Therapy for Hospitalized Patients with COVID 19”. The study will be conducted by researchers under the guidance of Dr. Marissa Alejandria at the Philippine General Hospital.

According to de la Pena, the virgin coconut oil will be given to coronavirus-positive patients as a supplement to their “daily treatment regimen”. By doing this, the researchers hope to determine the benefits virgin coconut oil can offer coronavirus-positive patients “with moderate to severe” symptoms. As a supplement, virgin coconut oil’s benefits will be studied “in addition to the drugs being assessed in clinical trials”.

The Philippine Food and Nutrition Research Institute will be conducting another study in Metro Manila and Calabarzon facilities. The Philippine Coconut Authority will reportedly aid in the research. Patients under investigation for COVID-19 will be given food with virgin coconut oil so that the researchers can determine the benefits the oil offers “contacts and other high-risk groups”. The study is predicted to last around four weeks.

According to health news website Medical News Today, a 2016 survey in the US found that 72% of respondents believed that coconut oil was healthful. In contrast, only 37% of nutritionists agreed. Coconut oil is said to offer a number of health benefits such as the increase of good cholesterol, controlling blood sugar, and reduction of stress. It also supposedly makes hair shinier and teeth and skin healthier. 

Studies suggest that coconut oil could treat candida, prevent liver disease, and reduce asthma symptoms. However, many of these studies were conducted only on animals and not on humans. For instance, the asthma study was conducted on rabbits, who experienced reduced asthma symptoms upon inhaling coconut oil

People have taken coconut oil leaves to feel fuller after eating, however, coconut oil contains more calories than lard and butter, which means that eating it may not result in weight loss. The general consensus is that more research is needed to prove the benefits of daily coconut oil use.

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