Let us never forget the benefits of Vitamin C!! Especially as we increase our exposure to Covid 19.
Vitamin C IV for bacterial infections made its mark in medicine in the 1940’s and then was put on the back burner to vaccines when the polio vaccine was developed. Interestingly polio patients given IV Vitamin C had better outcomes than those who did not.*
When I was an attending at the Center for Complementary Medicine at UPMC Shadyside, we were told we could not give IV Vitamin C to patients because there was no data showing it was safe to give with other medications. Our argument was, Vitamin C was being given when most other medications came into existence, therefore the burden of proof is with the manufacturers of the new medications to determine any drug interaction with Vitamin C.
When I applied for admitting privileges at UPMC St Margaret’s, I asked them if I would be allowed to order Vitamin C IV for my hospitalized patients. Much to my surprise, the board came back and said yes! Vitamin C being given IV had been in their formulary for 80 years and had never been changed. When I asked what dose I could give, they answered 100,000 mg at one time which is a far cry more than the 5600 mg per day recent studies have found to be beneficial in critically ill patients. What happened that Vitamin C IV stopped being used by main stream medicine until now!? And, thank you Covid 19, for helping Vitamin C make a resurgence.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that humans cannot make. We have to get Vitamin C through food or supplements. 7 percent of the population is deficient in Vitamin C but 47% of patients admitted to the hospital are deficient in vitamin C.** In my practice, I see 7% deficient and approximately 40% low normal.
Case reports of ARDS, the cytokine storm induced by Covid 19 causing lungs to be filled with fluid, describe a fast improvement following Vitamin C given IV, even when the treatment was started in the terminal stages of illness. In every case there was a symptomatic and radiologic improvement in 24-48 hours after the initial dose. In addition, there were no signs of scarring in the lung when discharged**
Marik et. al. found a 30% mortality reduction in septic patients treated with Vitamin C, Hydrocortisone and Thiamine, when compared to patients treated under standard procedures. In addition, the treated group required 50% less blood pressure support than the control group. Another blessing of Vitamin C is it causes few, if any, side effects.***
April 21, 2020, NIH released an article in which the authors concluded, “It is believed that IV Vit-C has been particularly effective by inhibiting the production of cytokine storm due to Corvid19. Covid19 pneumonia is an extremely rapidly developing disease with a high mortality rate. The main pathogenesis is the acute lung injury that causes ARDS and death. Antioxidants should have a role in the management of these conditions. Appropriate clinical studies and reports demonstrate that a timely administration of high dose IV Vit-C improves the outcome of Covid19 infection.”****
In a May 2020 NIH editorial stated, “A pulmonologist and critical care specialist Dr. Andrew G. Weber said that his intensive-care patients with the coronavirus immediately receive 1500 mg of vitamin C, administered intravenously, with that dose repeated three or four times a day. Dr. Weber stated, “The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C.” Since vitamin C levels in the body of coronavirus patients drops dramatically when sepsis develops, Dr. Weber adds “It makes all the sense in the world to try to maintain vitamin C levels in the body.”*****
Listed below are the clinical studies in progress. I am anxious to see the outcomes and will let you know when data becomes available. On another note is the MD raided by the FDA because he submitted to medicare Vit C IV treatments in connection with coronavirus. See the link below.
Ongoing Clinical Trials
- https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04344184 Early Infusion of Vitamin C for Treatment of Novel COVID-19 Acute Lung Injury (EVICT-CORONA-ALI)
- https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04264533Vitamin C Infusion for the Treatment of Severe 2019-nCoV Infected Pneumonia
- https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04357782Administration of Intravenous Vitamin C in Novel Coronavirus Infection (COVID-19) and Decreased Oxygenation (AVoCaDO)
- https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04323514Use of Ascorbic Acid in Patients With COVID 19
- https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04342728Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)- Using Ascorbic Acid and Zinc Supplementation (COVIDAtoZ
- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23183299/ Discovery of VitC
- Schleicher, Rosemary L., et al. “Serum vitamin C and the prevalence of vitamin C deficiency in the United States: 2003–2004.
- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).” The American journal of clinical nutrition 90.5 (2009): 1252-1263.
- Fain, Olivier, et al. “Hypovitaminosis C in hospitalized patients.” European journal of internal medicine 14.7 (2003): 419-425.
- Marik, Paul E., et al. “Hydrocortisone, vitamin C, and thiamine for the treatment of severe sepsis and septic shock: a retrospective before-after study.” Chest 151.6 (2017): 1229-1238.
- Marik, Paul Ellis, and Ashleigh Long. “ARDS complicating pustular psoriasis: treatment with low-dose corticosteroids, vitamin Cand thiamine.” Case Reports 2018 (2018): bcr-2017.
- Kim, C., et al. “Vitamin C infusion for gastric acid aspiration-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).” Pulm Res Respir Med Open J 4.2 (2017): 33-37.
- Fowler III, Alpha A., et al. “Intravenous vitamin C as adjunctive therapy for enterovirus/rhinovirus induced acute respiratory distresssyndrome.” World journal of critical care medicine 6.1 (2017): 85.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7172861/ IVVitamin C for reduction of cytokine storm.
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7205675/ Vit C Editorial