Vitamin C and COVID-19

Front Med (Lausanne). 2021 Jan 18;7:559811. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.559811. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

In numerous animal studies, vitamin C has prevented and alleviated viral and bacterial infections. In a few dozen placebo-controlled trials with humans, vitamin C has shortened infections caused by respiratory viruses, which indicates that the vitamin can also influence viral infections in humans. In critically ill patients, plasma vitamin C levels are commonly very low. Gram doses of vitamin C are needed to increase the plasma vitamin C levels of critically ill patients to the levels of ordinary healthy people. A meta-analysis of 12 trials with 1,766 patients calculated that vitamin C reduced the length of ICU stay on average by 8%. Another meta-analysis found that vitamin C shortened the duration of mechanical ventilation in ICU patients. Two randomized placebo-controlled trials found statistically significant reduction in the mortality of sepsis patients. The effects of vitamin C on acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) frequently complicating COVID-19 pneumonia should be considered. Vitamin C is a safe and inexpensive essential nutrient.

Keywords: artificial respiration; ascorbic acid; coronavirus; critical care; pneumonia; respiratory distress syndrome; respiratory tract infections.