A WhatsApp message claiming bacteria present in buttermilk can fight Covid-19 effectively is false and has no scientific evidence to back up the claim.
By Tej Kumar
A message shared on WhatsApp claims that 12 hours fermented butter milk has bacteria which can kill coronavirus and can cure people. It also claims that “a virologist named MSN Reddy, who was nominated for Noble Prize ten times, has said that the bacteria present in buttermilk and iron present in fermented rice will kill Covid-19 and can cure people”.
The claim in the message is false.
The message in Telugu translates to English as:
Prepare curd at home and churn it into buttermilk, keep it for fermentation (not in the fridge) for 12 hours. It will turn into sour buttermilk and have it. This sour buttermilk has bacteria that fight against coronavirus. Also, take fermented rice and add buttermilk to it. The iron present in the fermented rice will increase the immunity system, and bacteria present in buttermilk fight against coronavirus. These two works very effectively against coronavirus
Dr. MSN Reddy
Ten times noble prize winner”
Google search for a virologist named MSN Reddy did not yield any result. Also, keyword searches on the Google Scholar database found no research or study supporting the claim.
Dr. Pallavali Roja Rani, a virologist and specialist in microbiology, VRDL lab, Kurnool Government Medical College said, “there is no scientific evidence that bacteria in buttermilk can kill coronavirus”.
“They are some instances that virus stays on bacteria since it is a living cell and it can replicate, but there is no evidence or study saying that a bacteria can kill the virus”, she explained.
The bacteria present in buttermilk cannot kill the Covid-19 causing coronavirus.
Harvard Medical School in 2021 published a list of potential Covid-19 treatments and the list does not mention anything about buttermilk, or fermented rice or about any bacteria which can kill viruses.
It is a known fact that “lactose bacteria present in buttermilk can enhance immunity, but there is no evidence that it can provide instant immunity against coronavirus” Dr. Roja Rani further added.
This is not the first of false cures for Covid-19 circulating in regional languages in India. First Checked has debunked several claims including “Lemon as a cure”, “concoction of pepper, honey and ginger” and “inhaling hot water vapours” as purported cures.