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No, pineapple juice is not 500% more effective for coughs than cough syrups

A post originally shared on Facebook in Nigeria in February 2021 claims that pineapple juice is 500% more effective in treating coughs than cough syrup. 

The claim was also shared on other Facebook pages.

According to the UK’s National Health Service most coughs are caused by a cold, smoking, heartburn, allergies or infections.

Africa Check has previously debunked claims about the health benefits of pineapples, including a suggestion that pineapple leaves could cure back pain and heal ulcers.

But does pineapple juice soothe coughs better than cough syrups? We checked.


No evidence for claim; see a doctor

“Such cures have not been subjected to the scrutiny of scientific research so should not be recommended to people,” Olusegun Bankole, a doctor at the Alimosho General Hospital in Lagos state in southwest Nigeria, told Africa Check.

Bankole explained that coughs were sometimes caused by an underlying health condition or allergy.

“Imagine recommending that a person who has tuberculosis should take pineapple juice rather than visit the doctor. Lives are at stake and that is why unverified cures should not be bandied around,” he said.

“The correct thing to do when you have had a cough for a prolonged period or have experienced other symptoms is to visit the hospital, let the doctor determine if there is an underlying health condition, and prescribe the tested and established treatment.”

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