Mythbusters: Why No Food or Diet Can Prevent or Cure Coronavirus

The Red Tea Detox

Since the worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), there have been widespread claims on social media that sure meals and dietary supplements can forestall or treatment COVID-19. Even although the World Health Organization (WHO) has tried to dispel such myths surrounding “miracle” meals and coronavirus, misinformation continues to flow into.

Though all of us wish to shield ourselves in opposition to COVID-19, there may be at the moment no proof that consuming sure meals or following sure diets will shield you in opposition to coronavirus. Here are a few of the most typical myths debunked:

Myth 1: garlic

There is a few proof displaying that garlic has antibacterial results, with current research indicating the energetic compounds of garlic (together with allicin, allyl alcohol and diallyl disulfide) are protecting in opposition to some kinds of micro organism like salmonella and staphylococcus aureus. However, analysis investigating garlic’s antiviral properties is proscribed.

Though garlic is taken into account to be a wholesome meals, there’s no proof displaying that consuming it may forestall or treatment COVID-19.

Myth 2: lemons

One viral Facebook video claimed that consuming heat water with lemon slices might fight novel coronavirus. However, there’s no scientific proof that lemon can treatment the illness.

Lemon is an effective supply of vitamin C, which is necessary for serving to immune cells work correctly. However, many different citrus vegetables and fruit include vitamin C.

Myth three: vitamin C

As beforehand acknowledged, Vitamin C is understood to play a task in supporting the conventional functioning of the immune system. Yet, it’s not the one nutrient that maintains the the immune system. Most of the misinformation on vitamin C and coronavirus comes from research which have investigated the hyperlinks between vitamin C and the widespread chilly. Despite claims on-line that vitamin C can forestall and deal with the widespread chilly, the proof in help of this isn’t solely restricted, however conflicting too. There are additionally vital variations between the widespread chilly and coronavirus.

There’s at the moment no sturdy proof that supplementing with vitamin C will forestall or treatment COVID-19.

Most adults will even meet their vitamin C necessities from a weight-reduction plan that features a wide range of vegetables and fruit.

Myth four: alkaline meals

Misinformation unfold on social media suggests the virus might be cured by consuming meals with a pH (stage of acidity) that’s larger than the virus’s pH. A pH under is taken into account acidic, a pH is impartial, and above pH is alkaline. Some of the “alkaline foods” mentioned to “cure” coronavirus have been lemons, limes, oranges, turmeric tea and avocados.

However, many of those on-line sources give incorrect pH values to those meals. For instance, the pH of a lemon was mentioned to be 9.9, when it’s truly very acidic, with a pH of two. There are claims that acidic meals can grow to be alkaline after being metabolised by the physique.

Overall, there’s no proof indicating that meals may even have an effect on the pH ranges of blood, cells or tissues – not to mention treatment viral infections. The physique regulates acidity ranges, whatever the kinds of meals being consumed.

Myth 5: keto weight-reduction plan

The ketogenic (keto) weight-reduction plan, which is a high-fat and low-carbohydrate weight-reduction plan, has been mentioned to be protecting in opposition to COVID-19.

This comes from the concept that it may “boost” the immune system. Though one research confirmed that keto may forestall or deal with the flu, this research used mice fashions. This makes it tough to know if keto would have an analogous impact on people at stopping or treating the flu.

There can also be at the moment no current scientific proof demonstrating ketogenic weight-reduction plan can forestall coronavirus.

Current recommendation

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has acknowledged no particular meals or dietary supplements can forestall an individual from catching COVID-19. Alongside WHO recommendation, the BDA encourages folks to eat a wholesome, balanced weight-reduction plan to help the immune system.

A wholesome and diverse weight-reduction plan containing the 5 predominant meals teams might help present most individuals with the vitamins they want. Most of the vitamins we already get from our common weight-reduction plan (together with copper, folate, iron, zinc, selenium, and nutritional vitamins A, B6, B12, C, and D) are all concerned in sustaining regular immune perform.

People are additionally inspired to take protecting measures in opposition to COVID-19, together with washing palms continuously, sustaining social distancing, and following lockdown orders.

However, the BDA does advise adults residing within the UK to take a day by day complement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D and eat vitamin D wealthy meals, like oily fish, egg yolks, and fortified breakfast cereals to make sure enough vitamin D ranges. This is as a result of our predominant supply of vitamin D is daylight – and due to lockdown measures, many people aren’t getting sufficient daylight publicity.

When it involves on-line misinformation, it may typically be tough to identify what’s and isn’t true. But normally, a declare is prone to be “fake” if it:

  • Recommends consuming a selected meals, drink, or complement (particularly in excessive doses) to treatment and stop coronavirus

  • Encourages proscribing predominant meals teams out of your weight-reduction plan

  • Singles out a sure meals over others to guard or deal with the virus

  • Includes buzzwords – akin to “cleanse”, “cure”, “treat”, “boost”, “detox” or “superfoods” – when recommending a single meals merchandise or complement

  • It’s not offered by a dependable and trusted well being authority or organisation, just like the NHS or WHO.

Social media is a robust and useful gizmo. However, it will also be a catalyst for spreading misinformation. The backside line is that there are not any miracle meals or dietary supplements assured to guard folks from novel coronavirus. In addition, there are not any EU authorised diet and well being claims single meals or complement can battle viral infections, like COVID-19.

The Conversation

Taibat Ibitoye, Registered Dietitian and Doctoral Researcher, University of Reading

This article is republished from The Conversation beneath a Creative Commons license. Read the unique article.

Image: Reuters

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