26 June 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – To join the celebration of National Coconut Day in the United States, the Philippine Embassy, through the Office of the Agriculture Attaché, is raising awareness particularly of the uses of virgin coconut oil, including where it can readily be available such as Trader Joe’s, a neighborhood grocery store in the United States.
Dr. Josyline C. Javelosa, the Philippine Agriculture Attaché to the United States and the Americas said that this occasion is also a good opportunity to show appreciation for the service of frontliners amid this COVID-19 pandemic.
VCU Health, located in Richmond, the State of Virginia’s capital, warmly welcomed the Embassy’s modest gesture to provide Trader Joe’s virgin coconut oil sourced from the Philippines to its personnel. Personnel of VCU hospital may use the VCO as skin moisturizer to help protect their skin from viruses and bacteria or add this to their coffee for added energy, among other uses. VCO is also suitable for cooking and heats well to high temperatures.
Dr. Javelosa also dropped off Philippine VCO gifts for frontline employees at the USPS Fairfax branch and firefighters of the Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.
National Coconut Day is celebrated on June 26 in the United States. The Coconut Coalition of the Americas founded National Coconut Day to celebrate the mighty coconut and increase awareness of its benefits.
For thousands of years, coconut has been an essential part of the diet of people living in the tropics. Coconut meat contains about 20% coconut oil. In the Philippines, coconut oil is even being tested for its efficacy to help treat or prevent COVID-19, given the considerable scientific evidence for the antiviral activity of coconut oil, lauric acid (of which coconut oil has a high proportion of) and its derivatives; its general safety; and the absence of a cure for COVID-19.
Dr. Fabian Dayrit and Dr. Mary Newport explain in a paper published at the Ateneo de Manila University’s website entitled “The Potential of Coconut Oil and its Derivatives as Effective and Safe Antiviral Agents Against the novel corona virus (nCov-2019), that when coconut oil is ingested into the body, the body’s lipase enzymes release metabolites, which are the active compounds—mainly monolaurin and lauric acid. Monolaurin is used by the food industry as an emulsifier and natural preservative against bacteria and is also the active ingredient in many dermatological preparations, Dr. Dayrit says. Together, monolaurin and lauric acid have the physicochemical property of being able to destroy the membrane of lipid-coated viruses. The antiviral activities of lauric acid and monolaurin were first noted in a 1979 study and later in 1981. Because the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is a lipid-coated virus, coconut oil seems promising, and thus the paper urges that clinical studies be conducted among patients who have been infected with nCoV-2019. Dr. Dayrit and Dr. Newport also recommend that VCO be considered as a general prophylactic against viral and microbial infection.Dr. Dayrit is the president of Integrated Chemists of the Philippines and chemistry professor emeritus at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Dr. Newport is an American medical doctor who became an integral researcher and advocate for using coconut oil, MCT oil, and exogenous ketones to treat Alzheimer’s disease.