Possible application of high-dose vitamin C in the prevention and therapy of coronavirus infection

J Glob Antimicrob Resist. 2020 Dec:23:256-262. doi: 10.1016/j.jgar.2020.09.025. Epub 2020 Oct 13.


Coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza viruses increase oxidative stress in the body leading to cellular and tissue damage. To combat this, administration of high-dose vitamin C (ascorbic acid or ascorbate), in addition to standard conventional supportive treatments, has been shown to be a safe and effective therapy for severe cases of respiratory viral infection. Morbidity, mortality, infectiveness and spread of infectious diseases are dependent on the host-pathogen relationship. Given the lack of effective and safe antiviral drugs for coronaviruses, there should be more attention in supporting host immune defence, cytoprotection and immunoregulation. Implementation of high-dose vitamin C therapy could dramatically reduce the need for high doses of corticosteroids, antibacterials and antiviral drugs that may be immunosuppressive, adrenal depressive and toxic, complicating the disease course. In order to effectively fight the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, medical professionals should explore readily available pharmaceutical and nutritional therapeutic agents with proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunosupportive properties. Supplemental vitamin C may also provide additional benefits for the prevention of viral infections, shorten the disease course and lessen complications of the disease.

Keywords: Coronavirus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • COVID-19 / immunology
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / immunology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / drug effects
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • SARS-CoV-2 / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Ascorbic Acid