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'VCO could strengthen immune system'
By Jess Diaz  (The Philippine Star) Updated May 03, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Virgin coconut oil or VCO could be the country’s weapon against the deadly H1N1 flu virus, a new party-list representative said yesterday.

“This crisis can be turned into a big opportunity for our coconut farmers and processors. The high lauric content of virgin coconut oil is known to strengthen the human immune system against microbes and viruses,” said former agriculture secretary Leonardo Montemayor.

“Research and development on the possible use of VCO against (the H1N1) flu should be accelerated,” he said.

Montemayor is one of 25 new party-list representatives sworn in by Speaker Prospero Nograles on Tuesday. He represents ABA-AKO, which he said is made up of farmers and fishermen.

In Resolution 1121, Montemayor urged the House to immediately inquire into the government’s preparedness against the H1N1 flu, which he said has caused 150 deaths in Mexico and has been detected in the United States, Canada, Britain, Spain, Israel, and New Zealand.

Aside from Montemayor, others who are advocating the consumption of VCO as an antidote to H1N1 flu are Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, vice chancellor for research at the University of the Philippines’ College of Medicine and former health secretary; Dr. Fabian Dayrit, dean of the School of Science and Engineering and chemistry professor at the Ateneo de Manila University; Cory Quirino, health and wellness advocate; Danilo Coronacion, president and chief executive officer of the Coconut Industry Investment Fund-Oil Mills Group and former administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority; Tess Santos, president of the Virgin Coconut Oil Producers and Traders Association Inc.; Cesar Villariba, executive director of the Katipunan ng Katutubong Kalakalan ng Quezon; Gerardo Natividad, vice president for operations of the Maria Makiling Coconut Resources Corp.; Maria Socorro Hernandez, managing director of ICONS Management Consultancy Services; Len Ang-Isleta, general manager of MARICOR Ads Inc; and Bayani Nito of A-Curve Alternative Advocacy.

“Congress should also inquire if local governments and defense authorities are prepared to meet local outbreaks,” Montemayor said.

“If H1N1 flu should infect residents of a community, how will government stop its spread to other areas?” he asked.

He urged the House, through its committees on health, agriculture and food, and other committees to determine whether anti-flu vaccines and other remedies are readily available, or need to be quickly developed and prepositioned in sufficient quantities to ensure the people’s health and safety

More atical - Fight the Swine Flu with Virgin Coconut Oil


Microorganism  and virgin coconut oil

Antibiotics still work for most bacterial infections; viruses, however, are another matter. They are all, in a sense, supergerms because there are no drugs that can effectively kill them. Antibiotics are only useful against bacteria, not  viruses.  To date , no grugs have been developed that can effectively eradicate viruses and cure the illnesses they cause. Antiviral drugs may reduce the severity of the infections but do not eliminate them completely. That is why there is no cure for the common cold – a viral infection. Whwen you get aviral infection such as a cold, flu, herpers, or mononucleosis, there is little the doctor can do for you. The doctor’s only option is to help you feel a little more confortable by reducing the severity of the symptoms while your body fights the infection.

The most effective weapons  against viruses are vaccines, but tese are used to prevent disease, not treat it. Vaccines used dead or weakened viruses that are injected into the body. The body recognizes a vaccine as a viral infection and mounts a feverish attack by producing its own “antiviral” compounds, called antibodies. These vaccines, however, have the potential to cause infections and other illnesses, so they aren’t completely safe. Viruses are continually mutating and new strains emerging, so vaccines for most of them aren’t available. The only real protection against viral infections is our body’s own natural defenses.

Because they is no cure for viral infections, they can become deadly, especially individuals with depressed immunity. Many children and elderly die each year from flu that ordinarily would not be fatal. One of the most hideous outbreaks in modern times is AIDS, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and the latest is H1N1 . Particularly the HIV virus attacks the cells of the immune system, leaving the person vulnerable to infection by any number of opportunistic organism. Infection by these organism eventually causes the victim’s death. As yet, none of the antiviral drugs can stop it.

We are in the age of supergerms, and our environment is teaming with microorganisms. They are in the air, we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink, and they even live on our skin. Many of these germs cause disease. Some have become drug-resistant supergerms.  Medications can’t be relied on to protect us against all infectious organisms.. Fortunately , nature has provided us a number of medicinal plants to help protect us from attack by these harmful pests. Coconut is one of these. We need something more to boost our immune system and help us fight these troublesome invaders – a super antimicrobial, virgin coconut oil.

Virgin coconut oil : A super antimicrobial

When coconut oil is eaten,  the body transforms its unique fatty acid into powerful antimicrobial powerhouse capable of defeating some of the most notorious disease-causing microorganisms. Even the supergerms are vulnerable to these lifesaving coconut derivatives. The unique properties of coconut oil make it, in essence, a natural antibacterial, anti viral, antifungal and antiprotozoal food.

Most bacteria and viruses are encased in a coat of lipid (fats). The fatty acids that make up this outer membrane or skin enclose the organism’s DNA and other cellular materials. But, unlike our skin, which is relatively tough, the membrane  of these microorganisms is nearly fluid. The fatty acids in the membrane are loosely attached, giving the membrane a remarkable degree of mobility and flexibility. This unique property allows these organism to move, bend, and squeeze through the tiniest opening.

Lipid coated viruses, such as Human immunodeficiency virus HIV-1 or HIV+ , Influenza virus, Herpes simplex virus-1 &2 and many others  and lipid coated bacteria, such as listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and many others are easily killed by MCFAs, which primarily destroy these organism by disrupting their lipid membranes. Medium-chain fatty acids, being similar to those in the microorganism’s membrane, are easily attracted to and absorbed into it. Unlike the other fatty acids in the membrane, MCFAs are much smaller and therefore weaken the already nearly fluid membrane to such a degree that it disintegrates. The membrane literally splits open, spilling its insides and killing the organism. Our white blood cells quickly clean up and dispose of the cellular debris. MCFAs kill invading organisms without causing any known harm to human tissues.

However, there is evidence from some recent studies that one antimicrobial effect of monolaurin is related to its interference with signal transduction in cell replication.





2009 A(H1N1) pandemic

In the 2009 flu pandemic, the virus isolated from patients in the United States was found to be made up of genetic elements from four different flu viruses – North American Mexican influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza, and swine influenza virus typically found in Asia and Europe – "an unusually mongrelised mix of genetic sequences." This new strain appears to be a result of reassortment of human influenza and swine influenza viruses, in all four different strains of subtype H1N1.

Preliminary genetic characterization found that the hemagglutinin (HA) gene was similar to that of swine flu viruses present in U.S. pigs since 1999, but the neuraminidase (NA) and matrix protein (M) genes resembled versions present in European swine flu isolates. The six genes from American swine flu are themselves mixtures of swine flu, bird flu, and human flu viruses. While viruses with this genetic makeup had not previously been found to be circulating in humans or pigs, there is no formal national surveillance system to determine what viruses are circulating in pigs in the U.S.

On June 11, 2009, the WHO declared an H1N1 pandemic, moving the alert level to phase 6, marking the first global pandemic since the 1968 Hong Kong flu.



The various types of influenza viruses in humans. Solid squares show the appearance of a new strain, causing recurring influenza pandemics. Broken lines indicate uncertain strain identifications.


Influenza A virus strains are categorized according to two proteins found on the surface of the virus: hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). All influenza A viruses contain hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, but the structures of these proteins differ from strain to strain, due to rapid genetic mutation in the viral genome.

Influenza A virus strains are assigned an H number and an N number based on which forms of these two proteins the strain contains. There are 16 H and 9 N subtypes known in birds, but only H 1, 2 and 3, and N 1 and 2 are commonly found in humans.



Structure of the influenza virion. The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) proteins are shown on the surface of the particle. The viral RNAs that make up the genome are shown as red coils inside the particle and bound to Ribonuclear Proteins (RNPs).

The virion is pleomorphic, the envelope can occur in spherical and filamentous forms. In general the virus's morphology is spherical with particles 50 to 120 nm in diameter, or filamentous virions 20 nm in diameter and 200 to 300 (-3000) nm long. There are some 500 distinct spike-like surface projections of the envelope each projecting 10 to 14 nm from the surface with some types (i.e. hemagglutinin esterase (HEF)) densely dispersed over the surface, and with others (i.e. hemagglutinin (HA)) spaced widely apart.

The major glycoprotein (HA) is interposed irregularly by clusters of neuraminidase (NA), with a ratio of HA to NA of about 4-5 to 1.

Lipoprotein membranes enclose the nucleocapsids; nucleoproteins of different size classes with a loop at each end; the arrangement within the virion is uncertain. The nucleocapsids are filamentous and fall in the range of 50 to 130 nm long and 9 to 15 nm in diameter. They have a helical symmetry.


Viruses of this family contain 7 to 8 segments of linear negative-sense single stranded RNA.

The total genome length is 12000-15000 nucleotides (nt). The largest segment 2300-2500 nt; of second largest 2300-2500 nt; of third 2200-2300 nt; of fourth 1700-1800 nt; of fifth 1500-1600 nt; of sixth 1400-1500 nt; of seventh 1000-1100 nt; of eighth 800-900 nt. Genome sequence has terminal repeated sequences; repeated at both ends. Terminal repeats at the 5'-end 12-13 nucleotides long. Nucleotide sequences of 3'-terminus identical; the same in genera of same family; most on RNA (segments), or on all RNA species. Terminal repeats at the 3'-end 9-11 nucleotides long. Encapsidated nucleic acid is solely genomic. Each virion may contain defective interfering copies.


For an in-depth example, see H5N1 genetic structure.

The following applies for Influenza A viruses, although other influenza strains are very similar in structure:

The influenza A virus particle or virion is 80-120 nm in diameter and usually roughly spherical, although filamentous forms can occur. Unusually for a virus, the influenza A genome is not a single piece of nucleic acid; instead, it contains eight pieces of segmented negative-sense RNA (13.5 kilobases total), which encode 11 proteins (HA, NA, NP, M1, M2, NS1, NEP, PA, PB1, PB1-F2, PB2). The best-characterised of these viral proteins are hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, two large glycoproteins found on the outside of the viral particles. Neuraminidase is an enzyme involved in the release of progeny virus from infected cells, by cleaving sugars that bind the mature viral particles. By contrast, hemagglutinin is a lectin that mediates binding of the virus to target cells and entry of the viral genome into the target cell. The hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N) proteins are targets for antiviral drugs. These proteins are also recognised by antibodies, i.e. they are antigens. The responses of antibodies to these proteins are used to classify the different serotypes of influenza A viruses, hence the H and N in H5N1.

  Life cycle

Invasion and replication of the influenza virus. The steps in this process are discussed in the text.

Typically, influenza is transmitted from infected mammals through the air by coughs or sneezes, creating aerosols containing the virus, and from infected birds through their droppings. Influenza can also be transmitted by saliva, nasal secretions, feces and blood. Infections occur through contact with these bodily fluids or with contaminated surfaces. Flu viruses can remain infectious for about one week at human body temperature, over 30 days at 0 °C (32 °F), and indefinitely at very low temperatures (such as lakes in northeast Siberia). They can be inactivated easily by disinfectants and detergents.


The viruses bind to a cell through interactions between its hemagglutinin glycoprotein and sialic acid sugars on the surfaces of epithelial cells in the lung and throat (Stage 1 in infection figure). The cell imports the virus by endocytosis. In the acidic endosome, part of the haemagglutinin protein fuses the viral envelope with the vacuole's membrane, releasing the viral RNA (vRNA) molecules, accessory proteins and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase into the cytoplasm (Stage 2). These proteins and vRNA form a complex that is transported into the cell nucleus, where the RNA-dependent RNA transcriptase begins transcribing complementary positive-sense vRNA (Steps 3a and b). The vRNA is either exported into the cytoplasm and translated (step 4), or remains in the nucleus. Newly-synthesised viral proteins are either secreted through the Golgi apparatus onto the cell surface (in the case of neuraminidase and hemagglutinin, step 5b) or transported back into the nucleus to bind vRNA and form new viral genome particles (step 5a). Other viral proteins have multiple actions in the host cell, including degrading cellular mRNA and using the released nucleotides for vRNA synthesis and also inhibiting translation of host-cell mRNAs.

Negative-sense vRNAs that form the genomes of future viruses, RNA-dependent RNA transcriptase, and other viral proteins are assembled into a virion. Hemagglutinin and neuraminidase molecules cluster into a bulge in the cell membrane. The vRNA and viral core proteins leave the nucleus and enter this membrane protrusion (step 6). The mature virus buds off from the cell in a sphere of host phospholipid membrane, acquiring hemagglutinin and neuraminidase with this membrane coat (step 7). As before, the viruses adhere to the cell through hemagglutinin; the mature viruses detach once their neuraminidase has cleaved sialic acid residues from the host cell. After the release of new influenza virus, the host cell dies.

Since RNA proofreading enzymes are absent, the RNA-dependent RNA transcriptase makes a single nucleotide insertion error roughly every 10 thousand nucleotides, which is the approximate length of the influenza vRNA. Hence, nearly every newly-manufactured influenza virus will contain a mutation in its genome. The separation of the genome into eight separate segments of vRNA allows mixing (reassortment) of the genes if more than one variety of influenza virus has infected the same cell (superinfection). The resulting alteration in the genome segments packaged in to viral progeny confers new behavior, sometimes the ability to infect new host species or to overcome protective immunity of host populations to its old genome (in which case it is called an antigenic shift).

 Viability and disinfection

Mammalian influenza virus tend to be labile, but can survive several hours in mucus. Avian influenza virus can survive for 100 days in distilled water at room temperature, and 200 days at 17 °C (63 °F). The avian virus is inactivated more quickly in manure, but can survive for up to 2 weeks in feces on cages. Avian influenza viruses can survive indefinitely when frozen. Influenza viruses are susceptible to bleach, 70% ethanol, aldehydes, oxidizing agents, and quaternary ammonium compounds. They are inactivated by heat of 133 °F (56 °C) for minimum of 60 minutes, as well as by low pH <2.




Fight the Swine Flu with Virgin Coconut Oil

MICHELLE OROSA, ABS-CBN News | 05/02/2009 5:29 PM

Two experts say there are a lot of cheap, available means to protect oneself from contracting the deadly H1N1 Influenza A strain, such as consuming coconut products, particularly virgin coconut oil (VCO).

Former Agriculture Secretary and President of the Federation of Free Farmers Rep. Leonardo Montemayor says virgin coconut oil
has natural properties that boost the immune system to avoid catching the strain.

“There is no drug that has been proven to be effective against the virus. Our best cure is prevention. And
VCO helps do that effectively,” he says.

Virgin coconut oil has long been advocated by industry leaders, members of the academe, and loyal consumers as an immune-system boosting product that helps fights several viruses, including even HIV. Aside from stronger immune system, other health benefits of VCO include increase metabolism, prevents weight gain, improves skin and keeps the heart healthy.

Dr. Tess Espino of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños says there is scienfitic basis for the claim, since VCO has lauric acid, a natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal compound. The statement also said, “Monolaurin, a natural derivative of lauric acid, has been proven to be effective as well. Because coconut oil is made up of predominantly of medium-chain triglycerides, it becomes an efficient and non-fattening source of energy”


“The natural derivative of lauric acid, monolaurin, actually breaks down the barriers surrounding the virus’ cells, effectively destroying the virus,” she explains.

Espino says the recommended dosage for VCO to be effective is
3 tablespoons a day. Substituting it as ingredient for cooking would also help.

But Montemayor adds there are also many other ways one can consume VCO or coconut, such as using the oil to cook, or eating directly from a coconut.

“Parang Pacquiao match lang yan, para matalo niya si Hatton, he has to train very well, strengthen himself and his body. Ganun din tayo, we have to strengthen our immune system against this very deadly virus,” says Montemayor.

Both Montemayor and Espino clarify that VCO itself is not a cure, but that
if the virus is contracted, then it would still be effective in minimizing the impact of the strain.

”Many regular users of VCO attest to its beneficial effect in terms of decreasing the incidence of sickness. This is consistent with its effects of enhancing the immune system and strengthening the innate capabilities of the body to protect itself against viral attacks. This is precisely the protection that we need against this new flu virus,” they added.


Montemayor plans to ask the World Health Organization to conduct clinical tests to prove the effectiveness of using VCO against epidemics such as swine flu.




Research by Mardi showed that MVCO can destroy bacteria and fungus simultaneously, does not contain steroid and is rich in Vitamin E as well as being easy to penetrate the skin in helping the body to get rid of impurities.

Mardi director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Abdul Rahman said it was aware of the potential of virgin coconut oil and started research on the product in 2006.

"Mardi carried out further studies to produce MVCO which is free from anti-microbes. It has high marketing potential because of its various uses and nutritious qualities," he said. - Bernama



What is the A (H1N1) influenza?
It is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. It regularly causes high flu outbreaks in pigs but with low death rates. There are four main sub-types of the virus, but the most recent isolated influenza viruses from pigs have been H1N1 viruses.


How does it spread?
Influenza A (H1N1) viruses do not typically infect humans though they do occur through close proximity or contact with infected pigs or contaminated areas. Cases of human-to-human spread have been documented.

here to download or view more facts about the Influenza A (H1N1) virus.


What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are similar to those of regular flu:



Runny nose


Sore throat

Lack of appetite

Vomiting and diarrhoea in some cases.


How common is the A (H1N1) flu infection in humans?
In the past reports of about one human A(H1N1) flu virus infection had been received every one to two years in the United States. From December 2005 till February 2009, 12 cases have been reported.


Has this strain of flu been seen before?
No. Flu mutates constantly, so it is common for new strains to emerge. Pigs can also be infected with both human and avian influenza, and the current circulating A (H1N1) flu strain appears to contain genetic elements from all three.


Can the A (H1N1) flu be treated with antiviral drugs and flu vaccine?
The A (H1N1) flu is resistant to two common drugs - Amantadine and Rimantadine. The A (H1N1) flu viruses are very different from human H1N1 viruses. Therefore, vaccines for human seasonal flu would not provide protection. However, a “seed vaccine” has been specifically tailored to this swine flu and will be manufactured if officials deem it necessary.


Can people catch A (H1N1) flu by eating pork?
No. The A (H1N1) influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 70ºC and above kills the swine flu virus.


How long is someone with the A (H1N1) flu considered contagious?
People with the A (H1N1) influenza virus infection should be considered potentially contagious as long as they are symptomatic; possibly for up to seven days following the onset of the illness. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.


What can I do to protect myself from the A (H1N1) flu?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against the A (H1N1) flu.
However, you can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza by:

Covering your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or handkerchief when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the waste basket after you use it.

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also helpful

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

If you get sick with influenza, stay at home and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Consult your nearest healthcare facility if you think you have any of the symptoms.



What precautions are in place in Malaysia?

The Health Ministry’s operations room in Putrajaya has started a 24-hour monitoring of the situation. The public can call 03-8881 0200/300 for enquiries.

Those returning from Latin American countries and found to have flu-like symptoms will be quarantined.

Health Ministry officials are conducting health screenings on passengers arriving from the United States.

Thermal scanners will be placed at international airports to speed up the screening process for A (H1N1) flu.

Public and private medical practitioners have been instructed to report to the district health office any patient with influenza-like illnesses or severe pneumonia symptoms and who had travelled to the affected countries after April 17.

Travel Advisory from the foreign ministry



Where can I get more information?
For more information, go to the Health Ministry (
http://www.moh.gov.my/) or call the Ministry's hotline at (03) 8881-0200/300.



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