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COVID-19 is a novel and constantly-changing virus, which makes researching it extremely difficult. In order to solve a problem without a known answer, researchers have to ask some pretty strange questions. Like, what if mouthwash could fight COVID?

These questions quickly piled up and some have incredibly interesting answers.

Can Mouthwash Fight COVID?

Because COVID-19 enters the body through the oral cavity via aerosols, some researchers were struck with a bit of inspiration — could mouthwash fight the virus? Certain mouthwash solutions have antiviral properties, so it is not much of a stretch.

The study results were promising, showing that mouthwash could lower transmissions rates, especially in clinical settings like dental work. It is important to remember these were in vitro studies, so additional research is necessary to confirm the real-life applications of mouthwash.

man pouring mouthwash into cap Jae Young Ju / Getty Images

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Does COVID Stink?

One of the main symptoms of COVID-19 is a loss of smell, which some experts attribute to the virus entering the body through the odor-sensing cells in the nose. However, some people are experiencing a much stranger symptom: distorted sense of smell, and smelling odors that are not really there.

This condition, parosmia, appears long after the other symptoms have passed. Most people smell sewage, but others smell rotten meat or eggs, as well as moldy socks.

man covering his nose due to bad odor AndreyPopov / Getty Images

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Does Eating Breakfast Prevent COVID?

The search for a widely available and effective COVID treatment has created some interesting branches of research, including testing the effect of common vitamins and minerals on COVID-19.

A significant amount of evidence supports links between COVID and nutrient deficiencies in zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, and others. Ingesting more of these nutrients to correct these deficiencies could help limit the effects of COVID-19, although more research is needed.

Therapies utilizing and targeting these nutrients have the potential to be used as add-on therapies in the future. Ingesting more of these nutrients could help limit the effects of COVID-19, but probably not in any statistically significant way. Therapies utilizing and targeting these nutrients, however, may be effective treatment options after further research.

woman eating breakfast Westend61 / Getty Images

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Does COVID Cause Muscle Growth?

Among the list of new symptoms the COVID variants introduced was a unique one that made headlines in late 2021. Muscles were growing, rather than shrinking, in some critically ill patients. Type I muscle fibers that support endurance activities grew over 60%, while the quick, powerful movement-supporting type II fibers increased by 30% in a few participants of the study.

Researchers are not sure why this occurred, but their theories don't support actual muscle development, unfortunately. They believe it is due to fluid accumulating in the fibers, causing swelling. If this is the case, it could cause serious long-term muscle damage.

father and son showing biceps fizkes / Getty Images

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What Are COVID Toes?

The phrase “COVID toes” is among the more literal and unusual terms to appear during this pandemic. Many people are developing rashes, skin discoloration, and swelling on their toes and fingers. Some also experience blisters, pain, and accumulations of pus.

While mild cases of COVID toes resolve on their own, some need topical steroids and other treatments to manage the symptoms.

doctor checking toes AndreyPopov / Getty Images

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Can Blood Sugar Tests Find COVID?

During the height of the pandemic, the shortage of COVID-19 tests had researchers scrambling for other options. Experts at Johns Hopkins University, as well as a few other locations, attempted to solve the issue with something millions of people with diabetes use every day: a glucose monitor.

By using the monitors to find a reaction between glucose and COVID-19 antibodies, the researchers could test for COVID quickly and accurately.

 closeup of a hand of a young woman showing a reader after scanning the sensor of the glucose monitoring system beside the sensor placed on her arm Click_and_Photo / Getty Images

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Could CBD Help Manage COVID?

Recently, a study’s results spread like wildfire after claiming that the raw, natural form of cannabidiol, CBDA, inhibited COVID’s ability to reproduce and spread. This compound is easily obtainable from legal hemp and is already present in some cannabidiol products.

Here is the catch: the study used computer models, rather than testing live animals or humans. Are the results promising? Yes. Are they a reason to skip out on other preventative measures in favor of CBD? No.

CBD hemp oil, Hand holding bottle of Cannabis oil in pipette Tinnakorn Jorruang / Getty Images

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Could the Aging Disease Help With COVID?

What if medical experts could use a rare genetic disorder to fight against viruses like Sars-Cov-2? Progeria is a deadly condition that causes premature aging. An enzyme with links to this aging disorder also plays a role in the immune response to viruses.

Experts who have studied this enzyme for the last decade think that it may be able to block viruses like COVID from entering a host cell — essentially, they are researching using one lethal disease to fight another without the side effects of either.

Conceptual photo showing printed text Progeria

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Can Common Sleep Medications Prevent COVID Infection?

Millions of people around the world take melatonin every night to help them sleep. In doing so, they may also be protecting themselves against COVID-19 and boosting the effectiveness of COVID treatments. Models show that melatonin limits inflammation and oxidation from viral infections. Plus, recent research indicates that COVID rates are lower among populations who take regular melatonin supplements.

Woman sleeping in her bed at night, glass on water and pills on the foreground demaerre / Getty Images

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Can Cholesterol Meds Fight COVID?

Many research groups around the world are testing various medications to see if they can repurpose any to fight COVID-19. Among the most promising contenders is a class of medication that millions of people already use: statins.

These medications lower blood cholesterol, decrease the risk of heart disease, and prevent blood clots. Severe COVID infections tend to involve more serious cardiac effects, like blood clotting, so statins could improve COVID-19 outcomes.

Hands of man holding pill bottle with pills on hand outline205 / Getty Images

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.