VCO in the time of COVID-19
From a Reuters report: “The surge of infections outside mainland China triggered steep falls in Asian share markets and Wall Street stock futures as investors fled to safe havens such as gold. Oil prices tumbled and the Korean won fell to its lowest since August.”
That, folks, is what a microorganism, namely COVID-19, has done, and that is not straight out of a sci-fi scenario. It is for real.
There have been instances of panic buying, hoarding, changes in daily routines and social engagements and behaviors. (No “beso-beso.”) Businesses have been greatly affected, notably the travel industry.
But raking profits are the manufacturers of face masks, alcohol, disinfectants, sanitizers, and even Vitamin C. Shelves became empty of these items after the World Health Organization raised the classification of the outbreak to something of international concern. But it is not yet a pandemic, folks, health officials could well announce with their faces hidden behind face masks even as the number of positive cases changes for the higher every day and so does the death count.
But to cut to the chase… Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is making a ripple, if not a splash again, during this time when the COVID-19 outbreaks outside of mainland China where it originated, are becoming more pronounced. There is news about a research proposal on the use of VCO in the treatment of COVID-19 infections. In 2005, when the bird flu hit, there was a proposal, too, to study the effectiveness of VCO. I did write about it.
It has been more than a decade since VCO became news, thanks to the efforts of the late Dr. Conrado Dayrit and Bruce Fife. Dayrit wrote the book “The Truth About Coconut Oil: The Drugstore in a Bottle” (Anvil, 2005) with a foreword by Fife, himself an author and VCO advocate.
In 2005, I wrote an Inquirer magazine cover story on Dayrit and his VCO advocacy. Dayrit was an eminent pharmacologist-internist, cardiologist, author, professor, and unrelenting medical researcher. He helped put back coconut oil in its rightful place in the realm of food and medicine.
Behind all that was the fact that saturated fats, coconut oil in particular, were being blamed for increased cholesterol levels that led to heart disease. This was the gist of the so-called Lipid Diet-Heart Theory propounded by the West. Dayrit bashed that as “brainwashing.”
Attempts to prove the theory wrong were either ignored or suppressed because the American seed oil industry had everything to gain from the downfall of coconut oil. Coconut oil has since regained its good name, thanks to Dayrit and his counterparts in scientific research that have proven that coconut oil, a saturated fat, is a medium-chain fatty acid, not long chain like what is found in animal fats and other oils. “No oil in God’s whole creation can compare with it in its numerous actions,” Dayrit said with pride.
He was then pushing 90 and studying the efficacy of VCO for HIV-AIDS when death overtook him in 2007. Dayrit’s landmark 1998 study had established that coconut oil alone could lower the viral load of HIV-infected patients and improve their overall health.
Dayrit left a treasure trove of research findings that cry out to be pursued further. Present health secretary Francisco Duque III was also the health secretary at that time and knew about the research. Dayrit’s son Manuel later succeeded Duque as health secretary.
It is now Dayrit’s other son, Fabian Antonio Dayrit, professor emeritus of Ateneo de Manila University, and Dr. Mary Newport of Spring Hill Neonatology in the US who are proposing a clinical study of COVID-19 positive patients that would involve the use of VCO.
VCO and its derivatives are cheap, safe and have been proven effective as antivirals. What are we waiting for? The coconut is God’s gift to the Filipino people.
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The “1000 and one malongs” campaign for the Taal volcano evacuees brought generous donations totaling P114,700 in cash which was spent for malongs and underwear. These were brought directly to the evacuees or channeled through the Good Shepherd Sisters and, later, also ARMK. Someone from my long-ago Ateneo days belatedly popped in P50,000 which was channeled through the sisters. Salamat!
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