Results of state-funded clinical trials on virgin coconut oil (VCO) in Santa Rosa, Laguna, which showed it was an effective “functional food” to help treat probable and suspect cases of COVID-19, has been published in an international journal. Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said the randomized, double-blind, controlled intervention study on VCO by Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute, was published on May 25 in the Journal of Functional Foods.
“It is important to have this published in a scientific journal,” Dela Peña said in his weekly Bayanihan report last Friday.
The DOST-FNRI clinical trials covered 57 adults at the Santa Rosa Community Hospital, and the Santa Rosa, Laguna COVID-19 Quarantine Facility in Canossa Institute, who were admitted or isolated for being suspect or probable coronavirus cases.
The main finding of the study declared that VCO had shortened the recovery period for patients by at least five days.
Of the 57 suspected and probable patient-participants, a total of 37 tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 37 confirmed SARS-CoV-2 positive paticipants, 19 were in the group given meals mixed with VCO, and 18 in the placebo group.
Rowena Cristina Guevara, undersecretary for research and development and chairperson of the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection, said with the publication in the international journal, the clinical trials and fundings can be reviewed by the world’s top scientists.
“Being published in the international medical journal means being peer-reviewed and having other scientists affirm that your scientific finding is sound,” Guevara said. “Being reviewed by other scientists is enough. It affirms what DOST has been saying all the time.”
The DOST is also supporting an expansion clinical trials on VCO in Valenzuela and Muntinlupa cities in Metro Manila, which is hoped to wrap up by July.
The clinical trials had earlier faced difficulties in enrolling participants in the Valenzuela City COVID-19 Quarantine Facility and the Valenzuela City Emergency Hospital in the past months since they started the study late last January.
Fortunately, the Muntinlupa City government and the administration of Muntinlupa City’s Ospital ng Muntinlupa agreed to help out.