Coronavirus Hoaxes Regarding Food and Drink

09 June, 2020
There have been several coronavirus hoaxes regarding food and drink that have confused thousands of people, if not millions. It's important to know what's true in order to be able to carry out the correct preventive measures.

A large number of coronavirus hoaxes regarding food and drink have been shared online. Most of them try to convince us that certain food, drink or practices can prevent the spread or development of this disease. The truth of the matter is that we know little about the influence of food on the development of this illness today.

Having said that, some recent scientific articles have defended the benefits of vitamin C and D in fighting COVID-19. Some experts recommend the consumption of foods with anti-inflammatory benefits to prevent pulmonary complications while strengthening the immune system at the same time. Unfortunately, there’s little evidence that this is valid advice at present.

What are the most common food and drink coronavirus hoaxes? In the following article, we’ll look at the most popular ones. Also, we’ll explain why you shouldn’t even consider them.

Coronavirus hoaxes: Does drinking hot water really prevent infection?

Coronavirus hoaxes.
There’s no evidence that consuming hot water or drinks helps to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

A publication by the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that the coronavirus may be sensitive to ultraviolet rays and heat. This same statement has been commented on several times by some experts. As a result of this report, one of the biggest (and most dangerous) coronavirus hoaxes developed: that eating hot food or drinks can stop the spread.

Why is this dangerous?

Because it can lull us into a false sense of security.

First, this claim is completely false. Although there have been comments about the low resistance of the virus to high temperatures, it isn’t true that hot food or drinks can stop the spread of the virus. Nor is it possible that taking a daily sauna session can prevent the development of the disease. There are no scientific papers to support these theories.

The fact is that the virus is spreading worldwide both in countries with cold climates and warm ones. At present, experts aren’t in a position to be able to predict how the virus will behave when the summer season arrives. For these reasons, it’s logical to deduce that it’s useless to consume hot water to defeat this microorganism.

You may be interested in: Common Myths about Coronavirus

Alcohol kills the coronavirus

Another theory that’s currently circulating on social networks is that consuming alcoholic beverages can prevent you from contracting the disease. The principle behind this theory is that alcohol may prevent the replication of RNA-type viruses. However, there’s no solid scientific basis for this claim.

What we do know for sure is that alcohol, apart from promoting inflammatory processes, reduces the efficiency of our immune systems. In fact, scientific literature claims that alcohol consumption inactivates our body’s innate immune capacities, thus weakening its reaction to harmful external microorganisms.

Gargling with salt and vinegar

Some vinegar for gargling.
Gargling with salt and vinegar doesn’t help eliminate the virus that causes COVID-19. Therefore, it isn’t a valid preventive measure against the disease.

The antiseptic properties of salt and vinegar are well known, as shown by scientific literature. They can prevent the proliferation of bacteria and fungi. In our mouths, rinsing with these products helps to mitigate bacterial growth and prevent bad breath.

However, there’s no evidence to show that these products have a protective role against the coronavirus infection. For this reason, we won’t receive any benefits from their consumption in terms of prevention or treatment of this disease.

Other people claim that the intake of garlic or its inclusion in a gargle rinse can have protective qualities. No research backs up this theory, either. Garlic may improve the symptoms of certain lung infections, but no specific studies are linking it to the illness caused by coronavirus. Because of this, we can’t make any scientific conclusions yet about this claim.

Read also: Can Food Be Contaminated by Coronavirus?

Coronavirus food hoaxes: What should we really believe?

The current lack of knowledge about the proliferation and functioning of this virus greatly limits what experts can confirm. Therefore, they still can’t establish any dietary advice regarding the intake of products and COVID-19.

Despite this, and regarding what is currently known about the immune system, what we can emphasize is that a balanced and varied diet helps our bodies’ physiological mechanisms. An adequate supply of vitamins and minerals improves our innate immune mechanisms and can reduce the risk of disease in general.

On the other hand, we must avoid toxic habits such as alcohol consumption. This substance, in addition to causing increased systemic inflammation, hinders the correct functioning of our bodies’ immune response. Thus, it causes the body to become less effective in rejecting external pathogenic microorganisms.

  • Coleman LG Jr., Crews FT., Innate immune signaling and alcohol use disorders. Handb Exp Pharmacol, 2018. 248: 369-396.
  • Yagnik D., Serafin V., J Shah A., Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus and candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Sci Rep, 2018. 8 (1): 1732.