VCO study in PGH to include COVID-19 patients with comorbidities

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 8) — The clinical trial aimed at testing the efficacy of virgin coconut oil in reducing the severity of COVID-19 symptoms of hospitalized patients now seeks to enroll those with pre-existing medical conditions, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said Friday.

Participants in the study to be conducted at the Philippine General Hospital were initially limited to patients with moderate and severe COVID-19 symptoms. But dela Peña said they recommended that those with co-morbidities be included, too, as proponents still find it difficult to recruit study volunteers due to the low number of COVID-19 patients being admitted at the PGH.

“Amin naring kahilingan na hindi lamang yung moderate and severe cases ang isama sa kanilang trial. Isama narin ang ilang may comorbidities,” DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña told a briefing.

[Translation: We asked them not to limit the trial to moderate and severe cases; to include some with co-morbidities.]

“Iyong severe and moderate cases nitong mga nagdaang linggo at buwan ay bumaba ang numbers ng mga naaadmit na kaya bumabagal ang pagiipon ng mga volunteers” he added.

[Translation: Lower number of severe and moderate cases were admitted in PGH in the past few weeks and months that is why the recruitment of volunteers has slowed down.]

The DOST chief said the study proponents are considering volunteers with high cholesterol levels. He noted not all patients with underlying health conditions could participate to avoid adverse or “bad reaction” from the VCO.

Dela Peña said in June the VCO study proponents were hoping to get 100 volunteers and complete the tests by May this year.

Meanwhile, another study on the impact of virgin coconut oil on suspected COVID-19 patients will be conducted in Valenzuela City, dela Peña disclosed, but he did not elaborate.

This was after the community-based study in Sta. Rosa, Laguna found that virgin coconut oil has helped reduce the severity of symptoms of suspected COVID-19 patients, leading experts to say VCO could be used as a supplement for COVID-19 treatment.