The National Institutes of Health (NIH) just launched a new trial of a common vitamin being used in some hospitals to treat the coronavirus, COVID-19. One of the potentially deadly complications of this coronavirus is severe acute respiratory infection, or pneumonia. NIH is looking to find out if intravenous vitamin C may play a significant role in fighting it.
High-dose IV vitamin C was being tested in China as a possible treatment for COVID-19. The findings of the study have not been released. However, we might assume that something positive has come from the early part of the study because New York hospitals have begun to use vitamin C as part of their treatment for COVID-19. They are presently using the same regimen of treatment in New York by administering 1,500 mg of vitamin C intravenously, 3 or 4 times a day. Patients in New York are also receiving other types of medications, along with vitamin C.
Early reports are showing that people who receive vitamin C do much better than those who do not. One theory is that vitamin C levels in patients with the COVID-19 virus drop when they suffer sepsis, which is an inflammatory response that occurs when their bodies begin to overreact from the infection.
Intravenous vitamin C is also being used in several other hospitals around the country right now to help the lungs fight back. Vitamin C suppresses something called the “cytokine storm,” where these cytokines go to the small air sacs in the lungs and inflame them, making it very hard to transfer oxygen into the blood. This is why people need to be on ventilators under pressure, to force oxygen across those membranes. If that inflammation can be decreased, then patients will be able to breathe more easily. The dosage that is needed is still being determined and does vary by hospital protocol.
Clinical trials are in the early stages, and there is no documented proof yet that vitamin C can successfully treat COVID-19. PLEASE NOTE: Oral vitamin C (tablets and capsules) are not the same as intravenous vitamin C, and we are not advocating for anyone to take this high amount of vitamin C at home. The IV dosages of vitamin C are based on the severity of the virus, and far exceed the present recommended daily amounts. A dose this high cannot be administered outside of a controlled environment.
While we don’t know yet if vitamin C can help cure the COVID-19 virus, we are glad to see this clinical trial in place, as we support the use of vitamin C for strengthening the immune system. Both the trial in China and the recent use of IV vitamin C in New York show early promise. There is well-documented evidence that vitamin C can effectively reduce the effects of sepsis and support the sensitive capillaries of the lungs, protecting them from bacterial diseases and reducing fluid accumulation. Vitamin C works by neutralizing viral toxins and stopping the formation of new viral units.
There is also documented evidence that supports the daily use of regular vitamin C – through diet or supplementation – to shorten the duration of the common cold. Vitamin C increases the body’s immune response and helps reduce its reaction to stress and inflammation. It is also a vital nutrient in the production of collagen, and supports healthy gums and good heart health. And, vitamin C deficiency is related to the increased risk and severity of influenza infections.
Photo from here, with thanks.