The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will conduct a clinical study to assess the possible benefits of virgin coconut oil (VCO) if given to patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 in addition to the drugs being assessed in the clinical trials.
In a statement posted on his Facebook account and subsequently shared with the media, DOST Secretay Fortunato dela Pena said that the research is planned to have two arms: one hospital-based and one community-based.
For the hospital based, the study entitled, “Virgin Coconut Oil and Omega-3a Adjunctive Therapy for Hospitalized Patients with COVID 19” will be conducted at the Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) and will be led by Dr. Marissa Alejandria. The VCO will serve as a supplement to the daily treatment regimen of the COVID-19 positive patients. The study aims to assess the possible benefits of VCO if given to patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 in addition to the drugs being assessed in the clinical trials. This arm may possibly run for a minimum of one month or until the minimum number of patients have been achieved. This is in cooperation with the DOST and the UP-PGH Clinical COVID-19 Research Group and the Metro Manila Health Research and Development Consortium of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST PCHRD).
Parallel to this will be the research for the COVID-19 Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) which will be conducted at isolation facilities in communities and hospitals in National Capital Region and Region IV-A in collaboration with DOST CALABARZON and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).
The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) will take the lead in the community-based study and will incorporate VCO in the food provided to the PUIs. The study aims to assess the possible benefits provided by VCO for patients with COVID-19 as well as contacts and other high-risk groups. The project team is planning to conduct the same to their previous intervention studies and the dietary supplementation may possibly run for at least 4 weeks. The study will be done in cooperation with the DOST-PCHRD and the Philippine Coconut Authority.