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Message suggesting that ‘alkaline foods can kill SARS-CoV-2 virus’ is fake

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A message is being widely shared on social media with a claim that, according to a research paper in the Journal of Virology (April 1991), eating alkaline foods, which have a pH level above 8.5, can kill the latest Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, which cause COVID-19). Let’s try to analyze the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be found here

Claim: Eating alkaline foods of pH level above 8.5 can kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Fact: The research paper published in 1991 talks about the MHV4 virus, not about the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Some of the pH levels given in the post are not correct. Also, there is no scientific evidence to prove that eating alkaline foods can kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.   

The 1991 research paper mentioned in the post can be found here. It can be read that it mentions about the ‘Mouse Hepatitis Virus type 4 (MHV4)’, not about the SARS-CoV-2 virus (which was first reported only in 2019).

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. But, in the post, it can be seen that the pH levels of some foods are above 14. Also, the pH of lemon is around 2, not 9.9.

Neither WHO nor the Government of India has suggested any alkaline-based diet to kill Coronavirus. In the Africa Check article, it can be read that Oyewale Tomori (Virology Professor with the WHO) said, “Coronavirus has nothing to do with the stomach, so how do these ‘alkaline foods’, like lemon, lime, avocado, and garlic, beat the virus? This claim should be ignored”.

To sum it up, a message suggesting that ‘alkaline foods can kill SARS-CoV-2 virus’ is fake.

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