Can Vitamin C Help Those Infected with Coronavirus?

The novel coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, is making a lot of people worried. Those with diabetes, those that are immunocompromised, and those that are over 30 have a far higher risk of contracting the potentially deadly disease that is affecting people all over the world.

There is currently no vaccine and no known treatment for this virus, which is why health professionals and government officials are telling people to stay indoors. With that, there may be some evidence that Vitamin C might be beneficial when it comes to helping people recover. 

Vitamin C and Covid-19

Recently it was reported that some hospitals are starting to intravenously administer super high doses of Vitamin C (upwards of 4 times a day) to see if it has any effect on those who have been suffering from Covid-19.  Dr. Andrew G. Weber is one of the people who are pioneering the treatments.

“The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C,” Weber said. “It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it’s not a sexy drug.”

He did say that reports from China and elsewhere seem promising, and that it does seem to reduce the number of people who die from this disease, as it has been somewhat effective when it comes to treating the virus there as well.

Harvard Disagrees

When it comes to more alternative health treatments, the Harvard School of Medicine is not taking any chances. 

“There is no clear or convincing scientific evidence that [Vitamin C] works for COVID-19 infections, and it is not a standard part of treatment for this new infection.”

The school did note that people who took high doses of Vitamin C were less likely to die to when it came to other serious infections such as Sepsis and ARDS. But they made clear that there was, as yet, no evidence that this might be the case when it came to treating, or even preventing, Covid-19. 

They also mentioned that there are risks associated with very high doses of Vitamin C. The average individual dose being administered to Covid-19 patients is 10 or more times as much vitamin C as we require in a day, according to the FDA. Four high doses of Vitamin C per day can come with some serious risk for side effects.

“While standard doses of vitamin C are generally harmless, high doses can cause a number of side effects, including nausea, cramps, and an increased risk of kidney stones.”

Studies are underway

No studies have been completed yet, but many are underway, and should be completed by the fall. One clinical trial started at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China, where this pandemic first started. It is a randomized triple-blind trial that will study 140 participants, but it will take months before it is completed and available for review.

Vitamin C is important because it is an antioxidant. It has been shown that Vitamin C levels can drop when a patient is suffering from Sepsis and other infections, so increasing it can be beneficial to overall health. 

We are still very early in the learning process when it comes to this new coronavirus, all the evidence is not in yet, but it Vitamin C may be good to use alongside other treatments while battling Covid-19. At this point, most doctors and patients would be willing to try anything if it means saving more lives in the process.