By: Jeremiah Morales
Last January 30, 2020, in an article released at Ateneo de Manila University’s website, Dr. Dayrit together with Dr. Mary Newport of Spring Hill Neonatology in Florida, USA, shared how the lauric acid and its derivatives in coconut oil have antiviral properties that may combat the virus. This recommendation was based on a review of several scientific studies which identified three mechanisms by which lauric acid and other coconut oil derivatives can inactivate viruses.
Months after the first positive case of COVID-19 was recorded in the country last January 30, 2020, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Peña announced that the agency will back Dr. Dayrit’s study on Virgin Coconut Oil’s effectiveness against the virus. “Ultimately, we want clinical trials to be done to get approval of VCO as a drug and not just a health supplement,” Dela Peña said in an interview with the Philippine Star.
Furthermore, according to the DOST, the study may run for a minimum of one month, or until it reaches the number of patients required. This is in collaboration with the DOST, University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (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 (PCHRD). Read more here.
The Ateneo Innovation Center (AIC), with support from CCARPH and advice from Dr. Dayrit, is developing a VCO nebulizer as part of Ateneo de Manila’s proactive response to the pandemic through science and technology, alongside the Social Development office mobilization of relief goods to poor communities.