Claim: Research made by scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia has proven that bananas improve your immune system and help prevent COVID-19.
A video containing this claim has been making rounds on Facebook, mostly through Messenger. It contained text that said: “Bananas are one of the most popular fruits worldwide. People who follow a high fiber diet have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Bananas contain water and fiber, both of which promote regularity and encourage digestive health. Research made by scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia have proven that bananas improve your immune system due to the super source of vitamins B-6 and helps prevent coronavirus. Having a banana a day keeps the coronavirus away.”
The claim was sent by several readers to Rappler for verification. Posts containing the claim were also flagged by Claim Check, a tool that monitors viral posts with potentially false information.
The facts: The University of Queensland dismissed the claim as false. In an email to Rappler, the university’s communication team said: “The video is fake and we would strongly discourage people from sharing this information. We would suggest you share your concerns with the social media platforms.”
The video spliced together clips from two separate news reports. One clip was from an ABC News Australia report about University of Queensland scientists’ efforts to develop a vaccine for the new strain of coronavirus, while the other was from a Wall Street Journal report.
Moreover, while there have been efforts in different parts of the world to develop a vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its COVID-19 myth busters page that there is still “no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus.”
Bananas are indeed a good source of vitamin B-6, but there is no proof that they alone can boost one’s immune system and prevent the disease caused by coronavirus.
According to health authorities like WHO and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most effective protective measures against the virus are still frequent hand-washing, social distancing, avoiding touching your face, and practicing proper hygiene when you cough or sneeze. – Liana Barcia/Rappler.com
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