Industry stakeholders expressed hope the renewed interest in virgin coconut oil (VCO) will spark empowerment and change, while enticing younger generations to support and re-energize the country’s greying coconut industry.
“If further research and trials prove positive for VCO as COVID-19 (new coronavirus disease 2019) alternative treatment, this will undoubtedly have impact not only for patients, but a needed boost for coconut farmers and the industry as a whole,” said the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).
The United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP), a coconut advocacy group, said beyond being a potential alternative cure for COVID-19, “VCO will also help lift the country’s economy, as it is under the bracket of the consumer-rich food, health and wellness segment.”
UCAP said coconuts remain the Philippine’s number one export, generating north of $2 billion yearly to the Philippine economy, while employing an estimated 3.5 million farmers in the country.
In the global health and wellness market alone, VCO commands an estimated $1.8 trillion market, UCAP noted.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, recently revealed that coconut and VCO compounds not only reduced the corona virus count by up to 90 percent, it also improved cell survival of patients with COVID-19. These findings came after six months of initial trials.
Marco Reyes, UCAP president, said “VCOs’ antiviral and anti-bacterial properties are unleashed inside the body once it metabolizes into a derivative called monolaurin,” a property that can also be found in other coco-based products, from cooking oils to more concentrated volume in products like Laurin medium-chain triglycerides oil.