FALSE: Brown sugar cures coronavirus

Claim: Consuming a cup of brown sugar per day can cure COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Facebook user Michael Sandig posted this claim on April 21, where he called for the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte as he proposed a cure for the disease. The post is still circulating as of May 21.

BAKIT HINDI PO NATING SUBUKAN ANG MGA TRADISYUNAL NA GAMOT KAGAYA NLANG PO NG ASUKAL,YES PO ASUKAL PO ANG GAMOT SA COVID 19 AT IYAN PO ANG SINABI NG PANGINOON NA PINARATING SA AKIN MULA SA ISA KONG KAIBIGAN NA MALAPIT SA ATING PANGINOON,” Sandig wrote.

(Why don’t we try traditional medicine like sugar? Yes, sugar is the cure for COVID-19. That’s what the Lord told me, which He coursed through my friend who’s close to Him.)

As of writing, the post had over 3,500 shares, 1,900 reactions, and 3,000 comments. Claim Check, Facebook’s monitoring tool, flagged the post for verification. It was reported at least 73 times on the platform for containing false information.

In another post shared on May 21, Sandig said a COVID-19 patient must only eat a cup of brown sugar in a day and the patient will be healed.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: There is no official cure for COVID-19 as of May 21, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). There are several clinical trials being conducted to test potential cures, but consuming brown sugar is not one of them. (READ: What you need to know: Coronavirus cures, vaccines being tested)

WHO added that there may be some traditional or home remedies that may alleviate symptoms of mild COVID-19, but it warned against self-medication. “WHO does not recommend self-medication with any medicines, including antibiotics, as a prevention or cure for COVID-19,” WHO said in its frequently asked questions page.

There are studies that say sugar has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. But it has been mostly used as dressings on wounds and infections, as well as in food preservation.

The intake of too much sugar may cause tooth decay and weight gain. Being overweight is known to increase the risk of having diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Duterte earlier offered P10 million to any Filipino who develops a vaccine for COVID-19 on April 21, the same day the post was made. He raised it to P50 million on April 24. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

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