The review, published in the journal Life, was done by researchers including Dr Marcela Vizcaychipi from the Faculty of Medicine at London’s Imperial College
A review of twelve studies, including five randomised controlled trials, has indicated vitamin C can improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19 infections.
The review, published in the journal Life, was carried out and funded by VitaminC4Covid.
VitaminC4Covid is a team of vitamin C experts including Dr Marcela Vizcaychipi from the Faculty of Medicine at London’s Imperial College, and Associate Professor Anitra Carr who heads the Nutrition in Medicine group at the University of Otago where they have been monitoring all COVID-related studies on vitamin C.
The studies reportedly show patients have depleted vitamin C levels, often to the level found in scurvy, and need substantial doses to recover and survive.
Dr Vizcaychipi, who heads research in intensive care medicine at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital has been giving COVID and non-COVID patients in the ICU up to 6 g of vitamin C intravenously. The dosage is dependent on the severity of disease and the amount needed to correct deficiency.
“Vitamin C is certainly one of multiple factors that contributes to better outcomes and speed of recovery. It should be standard practice. We have not had any safety issues at all,” said Dr Vizcaychipi, who heads research in intensive care medicine at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital.
According to the clinical review, "intravenous vitamin C may improve oxygenation parameters, reduce inflammatory markers, decrease days in hospital and reduce mortality, particularly in the more severely ill patients."
No adverse events have been reported in any published vitamin C clinical trials in COVID-19 patients.
The review also suggests high doses of vitamin C may also keep people out of hospital through increasing their rate of recovery.
Anitra Carr said: “Oral doses of 8 grams per day have been shown to increase the rate of recovery from symptomatic infection by 70%. For more critically ill patients trials using doses of 6-24 g a day intravenously have shown positive benefits in terms of increased survival, and reduced hospital stay, improved oxygenation or reduced inflammation."
Twenty oranges provide one gram of vitamin C, so these kinds of levels require supplementation. The review includes several studies indicating "patients with severe respiratory infections have depleted vitamin C status, with the prevalence of deficiency increasing with the severity of the condition".