Overview of the possible role of vitamin C in management of COVID-19

Pharmacol Rep. 2020 Dec;72(6):1517-1528. doi: 10.1007/s43440-020-00176-1. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Abstract

The mainstay of management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is mainly supportive as to date there is no effective antiviral treatment, apart from remdesivir which has been approved by Food and Drug administration (FDA) for treatment of COVID-19, or vaccine. Supplementation with micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, has gained an increasing interest as part of the supportive management of COVID-19. Vitamin C levels in serum and leukocytes are depleted during the acute stage of infection owing to increased metabolic demands. High-dose vitamin C supplement helps to normalise both serum and leukocytes vitamin C levels. Vitamin C has multiple pharmacological characteristics, antiviral, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects, which make it a potential therapeutic option in management of COVID-19. The use of high dose of intravenous vitamin C for management of COVID-19 in China and the United Stated has shown promising results. There were no reported adverse reactions with the short-term use of high dose of vitamin C. Given the fact that vitamin C is cheap, available and safe drug with beneficial effects in management of viral infections and critically ill patients reported in previous clinical trials, it is sensible to add it to COVID-19 management protocol particularly if the current ongoing clinical trials testing the effect of vitamin C in management of COVID-19 show positive results.

Keywords: Beneficial effects; COVID-19; Management; SARS-CoV-2; Vitamin C.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • COVID-19 / drug therapy*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans

Substances

  • Antiviral Agents
  • Ascorbic Acid

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 drug treatment