Shared widely on Facebook, a post with the heading “GOODBYE CORONA VIRUS” prescribes a daily regimen of vitamin C, vitamin E, exposure to sunlight, rest, drinking 1.5 liters of water, and consuming eggs and alkaline foods as a cure for COVID-19 ( here ; here ). The information in this post is false.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “No specific treatment for COVID-19 is currently FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved” ( here ).
Reuters recently debunked the claim that Vitamin C alone could cure or treat COVID-19, visible here . While the immune-boosting properties of Vitamin C might help people’s bodies respond to infections and illness, to claim Vitamin C alone can cure or treat COVID-19 is medically unfounded. Studies on its effect on respiratory infections similar to COVID-19 are still under way.
“In addition to its use as an antioxidant, vitamin E is involved in immune function,” according to the National Institutes for Health (NIH) ( here ). However, Reuters could not corroborate the claim that Vitamin E was being administered or recommended to COVID-19 patients.
The post’s recommendation that those recovering from COVID-19 expose themselves to sunlight for 15 to 20 minutes daily suggests that either heat or vitamin D helps the body fight the novel coronavirus. Reuters Fact Check has debunked the claim that heat kills the virus here .
Vitamin D does play a role in immune function, according to the NIH ( here ) but Reuters could not confirm that healthcare providers were administering doses of Vitamin D to COVID-19 patients.
Reuters could not corroborate that physicians were advising COVID-19 patients to consume eggs. Harvard Medical School says eggs “contain many healthy nutrients: lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for the eyes; choline, which is good for the brain and nerves; and various vitamins (A, B, and D). In fact, just one large egg contains 270 international units (IU) of vitamin A and 41 IU of vitamin D. One large egg also contains about 6 g of protein and 72 calories” ( here ).
According to WebMD, “Even when you aren’t sick, you need protein to keep your body strong. Your body uses it to build strength and keep what you already have. Lean meat, poultry, fish, legumes, dairy, eggs, nuts, and seeds are good sources… Foods that have [protein] provide nutrients like vitamins B6 and B12, both of which keep your immune system working like it should” ( here ).
Getting plenty of rest is sound advice. According to Healthline, “sleeping when you’re sick is essential. It’s one way your body tells you to slow down and rest, so you can get healthy” ( here ). The Mayo Clinic says that “lack of sleep can affect your immune system”, and that “studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick” ( here ).
1.5 LITER OF WATER DAILY
It is true that it is important to drink liquids when you are sick in order to replenish lost water. According to WebMD, “When you're sick, it's easy to get dehydrated” ( here ).
The Reuters Fact Check Team has debunked the claim that drinking water repels the new coronavirus here . In March 2020, Reuters spoke with Dr. Thomas Nash, an internist, pulmonologist, and infectious disease specialist at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, who said, “drinking excessive amounts of water does not repel germs” ( here ). With the major site of COVID-19 contraction being the nasopharyngeal area, or the nose and sinuses, “drinking water has no impact.” Nash advised to “drink water if you’re thirsty,” but emphasized that it “doesn’t have anything to do with boosting your immune system.”
ONLY EAT WARM FOODS
As stated in a Reuters fact check article in March, neither drinking hot liquids nor eating cold foods will have a bearing on the body’s core temperature, so eating warm foods would not affect one’s chances of fighting off the virus ( here ).
The Reuters Fact Check Team has debunked the claim that an alkaline diet helps prevent coronavirus infection here .
The post provides a list of “alkaline” foods that are in fact acidic, not alkaline.
With the exception of turmeric, the pH levels given for the listed foods are inaccurate. Lemon is acidic, with a pH level of 2.00-2.60, not 9.9; lime is acidic, with a pH level of 2.00-2.80, not 8.2; mango is acidic, with a pH level of 5.80-6.00, not 8.7; pineapple is acidic, with a pH level of 3.20-4.00, not 12.7; garlic is acidic, with a pH level of 5.80, not 13.2; orange is acidic, with a pH level of 3.69-4.34, not 9.2; tangerine is acidic, with a pH level of 3.32 - 4.48, not 8.5. The pH of avocado is 6.27-6.58 (slightly acidic) ( here ; here ). The pH level given for dandelion, 22.7 is impossible (the highest number on the pH scale is 14).
The health benefits of turmeric are undetermined. As per the NIH, “Claims that curcuminoids found in turmeric help to reduce inflammation aren’t supported by strong studies. Preliminary studies found that curcuminoids may…reduce the number of heart attacks bypass patients had after surgery,” “control knee pain from osteoarthritis as well as ibuprofen did,” and “reduce the skin irritation that often occurs after radiation treatments for breast cancer” ( here ).
While some of these tips might contribute to a healthy lifestyle and help the immune system, there is currently no known cure for COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) explains on its website: "While some western, traditional or home remedies may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19, there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19. However, there are several ongoing clinical trials that include both western and traditional medicines. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings are available." ( here )
False: While some of these tips might provide immune-boosting properties, this is not a medically approved cure for COVID-19
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .
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