The Aronia berry is considered a superfood. And maybe it even helps against SARS-CoV-2: German researchers have discovered that Aronia juice could protect against coronaviruses. But is that cause for hope?
A team of scientists – including the Institute for Molecular Virology at the University Hospital Ulm – wanted to find out to what extent tannins in food act against different types of viruses. Naturopathy knows them as antiviral. The question now was whether, for example, Aronia juice can protect against coronaviruses.
To do this, the researchers examined four foods that contain a lot of tannins and that anyone can buy: Aronia juice, pomegranate juice, elderberry juice, and green tea. The effect on SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and adenovirus type 5, which were brought together with the liquids in the test tube, was analyzed.
The result: the adenovirus type 5 is completely unimpressed. The influenza A viruses, on the other hand, reacted sensitively to all substances, which is interesting for the flu season. Even more exciting, however, was the realization that the infection potential of the coronavirus could also be reduced: by using Aronia juice – SARS-CoV-2 did not react so clearly to the other foods.
The scientists concluded that gargling with Aronia juice, similar to what was previously recommended with mouthwashes, could reduce both the risk of infection and the spread of the coronavirus in the body. At the same time, however, they also pointed out that this study “in vitro”, i.e. in the test tube, first had to be checked “in vivo” – on the living organism.
With Aronia juice against Corona: gargle and swallow
The scientist Prof. Dr. dr Bernhard Uehleke, an expert in naturopathy, considers the results to be plausible: “It is conceivable that the tannins in Aronia juice inactivate the contact points in the mouth and throat where the viruses dock, so that the viruses cannot penetrate there.” He recommends the following Proceed:
- Gargle regularly – morning and evening or several times a day; spread a small glass of Aronia juice in the mouth for one minute so that all mucous membranes are reached.
- Then swallow the juice – this way the effect can be continued in the stomach and intestines.
Prof. Uehleke estimates that the protective effect lasts about one to two hours.
Consumer advocates warn of false security
In an interview with t-online.de, Armin Valet from the Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg e.V. points out that the results of the study are only basic research – as the authors have also emphasized. He warns against gargling with Aronia juice and believing that you are protected: “What is suggested here cannot simply be transferred to humans without conducting clinical studies. Efficacy has not been proven at this time.” So the security is deceptive.
In general, one should be skeptical when a superfood or dietary supplement is touted as a miracle against Corona. According to Valet, this could not only be ineffective, it could even be harmful, such as a product called MMS (Miracle Mineral Supplement), also known as CDL (chlorine dioxide solution), which is said to work against Corona: This is a disinfectant for bleaching Textiles.
Therefore, only vaccination and protective measures currently offer reliable protection. But even if Aronia juice does not protect against coronaviruses, it can certainly be used as an accompaniment – after all, the berry also contains many vitamins.