No pH Value of COVID-19, Experts Deny Its Link With Alkaline Food

Dr Shaheed Jameel, a leading virologist told The Quint that viruses do not have pH values.

3 min read
No pH Value of COVID-19, Experts Deny Its Link With Alkaline Food
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From messages about tea curing COVID-19 to hot gargles preventing it, there have been all sorts of rumours and fake messages around the novel virus.


Now, a message claims that the pH value of the novel coronavirus ranges between 5.5 and 8.5 and thus, one should consume alkaline food that are above the pH level of the virus so as to prevent its spread. This information is being attributed to a research published in the Journal of Virology.

The message further lists down the pH values of different food items such as lemon, orange, garlic, avocado, among others.

The message is being widely shared on Twitter and Facebook.

The Quint received a query on its WhatsApp helpline number.

(Click here for live updates on COVID-19. Also visit Quint Fit for comprehensive coverage on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.)



The claim is false. Firstly, the study being quoted in the research dates back to 1991 and was published in the Journal of Virology with the title ‘Alteration of the pH Dependence of Coronavirus-Induced Cell Fusion: Effect of Mutations in the Spike Glycoprotein’.

The abstract of the study mentions that it is about coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus type 4 (MHV4). Further, COVID-19 is a new strain of virus which was not even known in 1990s and came to light when the ongoing pandemic began.

“Infection of susceptible murine cells with the coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus type 4 (MHV4) results in extensive cell-cell fusion at pHs from 5.5 to 8.5,” the abstract reads.

The research paper published in 1991 does not talk about the novel coronavirus.
(Photo Courtesy: Journal of Virology/ Screengrab)


pH levels range from 0 to 14, with pH values less than 7 being acidic and more than 7 being basic in nature.

But the message claims that pH values of avocado and dandelion are 15.6 and 22.7 respectively which is not true.


Speaking to The Quint, Dr Shaheed Jameel, a leading virologist said that viruses do not have pH values.

“Viruses do not have pH values. Rather no living organism has pH values. The relation between alkaline foods and the novel coronavirus is totally baseless.”
Dr Shaheed Jameel, leading virologist

Further, Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant – Internal Medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital said that there is no evidence to claim that consumption of alkaline foods can be a cure for the novel coronavirus.

“There is no definite proof to the claim. These are only theories that are being circulating and not only in India but in other countries as well. There is no evidence or data to claim that alkaline foods will cure coronavirus.”

You can read all our fact-check stories on coronavirus here.

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