Claims of miracle treatments for our health and wellness never seem to end. We are bombarded with ads for fad diets, medicines that cure everything from acne to toe fungus, and supplements that not only make us healthy but also happy. Determining whether claims by purveyors of would-be treatments are credible, however, is very difficult to do without wide-scale testing.
One recent claim is that a familiar metal, copper, could help us beat back the COVID-19 pandemic. There is already some basic science to suggest that it might help in some ways. Copper has natural antibacterial and antiviral properties, which seem to come from copper’s ability to conduct electricity. If a microbe touches a copper surface, the metal carries electrons away from the organism’s outer layer, disrupting its metabolism and destroying it in a matter of minutes to hours.