KOMPAS.com – Utilizing natural or herbal ingredients is now one of the efforts of researchers to find medicines supporting the treatment of Covid-19. Including using natural ingredients virgin coconut oil (VCO). Pulmonology Expert of Medicine Faculty, Gadjah Mada University (UGM) and Chairman of Airbone Disease Team of RSUP Dr. Sardjito, Dr. Ika Trisnawati said the pilot of VCO study as Covid-19 adjuvant therapy is currently taking place in 4 Yogyakarta hospitals, namely Dr. Sardjito Hospital, RSA UGM, Wonosari Hospital, and Sleman Hospital.
The use of VCO in Covid-19 therapy, she said, is based on VCO content that has been known to have good anti-viral activities such as lauric acid (C12) and monolaurin (ML) and its derivates. "VCO is a medium chain fatty acids (MCA) containing lauric acid converted into monolaurin monoglycerides that have antiviral effects by destroying the lipid membranes of viruses," she explained in a webinar on Clinical Trials and Handling of Covid-19 organized by the Center for Herbal Medicine FKKMK UGM, as summarized from UGM website. VCO works just like soap, able to damage cell membranes in viruses. "When VCO enters the body will be converted into monolaurin which when interacting with the cell membrane of the virus and will damage the lipid layer in the cell. That way, the cell membrane of the virus becomes damaged and does not work," she said.
In a pilot study at 4 hospitals Ika revealed significant results (p<0.05) of the use of VCO in reducing TNF α in the VCO group compared to placebo. In addition, there was a decrease in inflammatory markers among other types of CR, ferritin, and IL6 although it was not statistically significant. Other findings showed a significant decrease in D Dimer and ferritin (p<0.05) both before and after intervention in the VCO group. Then, there was a decrease in CRP, IL6 and procalcitonin, but it was not significant. "VCO can reduce inflammatory markers in people with Covid-19 so it is expected to prevent the disease worsening," she explained.
Meanwhile, Riri Indriani from BPOM said Indonesia has the potential of natural materials that are quite abundant with more than 30,000 species of plants. Drug and Herbal Medicine Research data records from existing plant species, 2,848 of which are medicinal plants spread across 405 ethnicities in 34 provinces. "The potential of Indonesia's natural ingredients provides a great opportunity to be used as herbal products, as well as standardized herbal medicines and phytopharmaceuticals, including as adjuvant therapy Covid-19," she said.
To date there are 15 studies that utilize natural materials and 2 of them have completed clinical trials. Then, 4 studies are still in the clinical trial stage, 5 research stages of the preparation of clinical test protocols, 1 research stage of preclinical tests, and 3 studies in the preparation stage of preclinical test protocols. For preclinical tests intended as anti-inflammatory, immune, antipyretic and anti-Covid-19. From the research that has been running she said there are some learnings that can be taken. For example, during preclinical tests there was difficulty finding model animals that could describe the pathophysiology of Covid-19 in humans thoroughly.
While the clinical trials are also not easy to do in pandemic conditions because many factors affect the validity of the final results of clinical trials. Other issues encountered such as sample size, subject population, to subject category. In addition, the diverse clinical manifestations of Covid-19 patients require researchers to be more careful in determining operational definitions of clinical symptom improvement. Even so, given the huge potential of Indonesia’s natural ingredients Indonesia, Riri emphasized the discovery and development of herbal medicine to continue to be developed to downstream products. The development needs support and synergy from various parties, including from academics/universities "BPOM will always be present to support efforts to downstream natural medicinal products," she added.
This article has been published on Kompas.com with the title "Pakar UGM: Minyak Kelapa Murni Sebagai Terapi Adjuvan Covid-19”. Writer: Ayunda Pininta Kasih
Original Source: https://www.kompas.com/edu/read/2021/04/16/080309771/pakar-ugm-minyak-kelapa-murni-sebagai-terapi-adjuvan-covid-19