COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update #4: Is Intravenous High-Dose Vitamin C an Answer?

by Marcel Hernandez, ND

Numerous studies have shown that intravenous administration of vitamin C can play a significant role in reducing inflammatory response and helping boost the immune system when you are ill with a cold or the flu.

Other studies have shown that vitamin C deficiency is related to an increased risk and severity of influenza infections.

Marcel Hernandez, ND

However, there are no human studies that suggest IV vitamin C can help prevent or treat the COVID-19 virus.

Even so, as I write this, China is conducting a clinical trial of 24,000 mg per day of intravenous vitamin C to treat patients with coronavirus and the accompanying severe respiratory complications. 

Participants in the trial are receiving IV vitamin C for seven days in a succession at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, where the virus is supposed to have originated.

The clinical trial description states that vitamin C reduces the inflammatory response and both prevents and shortens the duration of the common cold. The description further states that insufficient vitamin C is related to an increased risk and severity of influenza infections. The Wuhan team intends to see if vitamin C has similar effects against the virus associated with COVID-19.

In a pre-coronavirus study, even modest amounts of supplemental vitamin C (oral administration of 200 mg of vitamin C per day) resulted in an 80% decrease in deaths among severely ill, hospitalized respiratory disease patients.

The study description notes that vitamin C is an antioxidant that may help prevent cytokine-induced damage to the lungs. Cytokines are small proteins released by cells that trigger inflammation and respond to infections.

This is relevant insofar as severe lung inflammation with COVID-19 may result in respiratory distress and even death. [Source: Hunt, C. The clinical effects of vitamin C supplementation in elderly hospitalized patients with an acute respiratory infection.]

Other studies have verified the antiviral effects of vitamin C. It is well documented, for example, that vitamin C enhances immune system activities such as the function of phagocytes, the transformation of T lymphocytes, and the production of interferon. In a just-published study, vitamin C increased the resistance of chick embryo tracheal organ cultures to infection caused by an avian coronavirus.

Studies in animals have found that vitamin C modifies susceptibility to various bacterial and viral infections as well. Placebo-controlled trials have shown quite consistently that the duration and severity of common cold episodes are reduced in the vitamin C groups, indicating that viral respiratory infections in humans are affected by vitamin C levels.

Three controlled trials with human subjects reported a significantly lower incidence of pneumonia in vitamin C-supplemented groups, suggesting that vitamin C may affect susceptibility to lower respiratory tract infections under certain conditions.

The possibility that vitamin C affects severe viral respiratory tract infections would seem to warrant further study, especially in light of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) caused by the corona virus.

Administering high doses of vitamin C via IV therapy delivers this powerful antioxidant directly into the bloodstream and is generally well tolerated by most people. Intravenous administration of vitamin C has a higher absorption rate than when taken orally through supplementation, resulting in higher concentrations in the blood. 

Addendum: Other Supplements That Help in Viral Infections

While some of the products mentioned in this article are small suppliers, and are available only in our office, many of the products referenced above can be obtained through Fullscript, a main dispensary we use. click here for access to Fullscript

Register and go to favorites. Scroll down to Viral Support, and you will be able to order. For personalized recommendations, please either schedule a phone consult or an in person consult. Be well!

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Intravenous Vitamin C Infusions at Pacific Naturopathicsafe, easy, and effective

 Why hesitate? Protect yourself and your family now!

The reason most people give for not receiving a vitamin/mineral infusion is that needles are “yucky.”

Virtually every single person who has come to Pacific Naturopathic for intravenous therapy prefaces their first infusion by saying they are averse to needles.

I tell them, “If you’d told me you couldn’t wait to get stuck by a needle, I would have denied you service!”

But after a few infusions, most repeat patients just babble away as I am setting up to start the drip. Many barely notice when the drip has started. The procedure is surprisingly easy and much less uncomfortable than we might imagine.

We offer several IV therapy formulas at Pacific Naturopathic that contain therapeutic quantities of vitamin C:

  • Vitamin C infusions in doses from 10 to 100 grams per IV
  • Vitamin C infusions in 2 to 50 grams per IV that also contain vitamins (all the Bs) and minerals (selenium, zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium) and trace minerals

(Please note that a 30-minute safety and informational intake is required before beginning your IV program. The intake and your first infusion can be held on the same day. Also, any infusion greater than 10 grams of vitamin C requires a special blood test called a G6PD as a safety measure.)

Interested? Please phone to schedule an appointment 650-961-1660.

Want more information before scheduling? Dr. Marcel offers 10-minute free phone chats to address your questions. Please give us a call at 650-961-1660 to get in touch. Thank you!