Coronavirus, Treatment Updates Including I.V. Vitamin C, Prevention
As you may know, our clinic IV For Life, administered low-dose and high-dose IV vitamin C to hundreds of patients. Vitamin C gets immediately depleted in infections and needs to be replaced aggressively. Vitamin C is also needed to manufacture adrenalin, which can get depleted in low vitamin C condition thus increasing fatigue.
We have found high-dose IV vitamin C to be very well tolerated with relatively few side but it has to be administered correctly in a controlled environment. In the ICU setting, IV vitamin C can even be delivered as a continuous infusion around the clock (or with high frequency) requiring lower doses. If you need to point your doctor in the right direction to obtain vitamin C for intravenous administration in a hospital for yourself or a loved one, here are a couple of resources to procure it from well-known compounding pharmacies that can deliver it overnight with a doctor's prescription.
McGuff Pharmaceuticals makes an FDA-approved sterile ascorbic acid (vitamin C's chemical name) under the brand name Ascor®.
ImprimisRx and other compounding pharmacies also make sterile vitamin C for intravenous infusion.
Note: these pharmacies will also guide your hospital-based doctor on how to mix and administer vitamin C in hypotonic solutions like sterile water or .045% normal saline.
Vitamin C has several immune boosting effects, but one of them appears to be of particular significance in COVID-19, which has to do with the respiratory failure in late-stage acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In ARDS, the immune system overreacts and sends white blood cells called neutrophils to the lungs in large numbers. These neutrophils release inflammatory substances called cytokines in what is called a “cytokine storm” and this is what causes severe lung damage and prevents the normal oxygenation and breathing functions of the lungs. When this happens, the patient requires a breathing tube (intubation) and a ventilator to provide mechanical ventilation assistance in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Vitamin C appears to reduce the accumulation of neutrophils in the lungs leading to ARDS and may help avoid development ARDS and the need for ventilatory assistance.
Oral Vitamin C for prevention:
The common cold is often caused by coronaviruses (7) that have been around for a long time and cause mild to moderate symptoms. These include well-known coronaviruses types 229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1. The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that is causing the current pandemic is a new virus and is much more severe because we do not have immunity toward this virus in the general population, thus it spreads quickly.
We do know however that regular use of vitamin C orally has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of the common cold (8) caused by the usual viruses like those mentioned above.
- In a recent 2020 large scale double blind and randomized study of 1,444 army recruits in Korea (9), those that received 6,000 mg of vitamin C per day, which is considered to be a high-dose oral regimen, had a 0.8 times lower risk developing a cold than the control group during the 30-day training camp duration of the study.
- An earlier randomized study showed mega-dose vitamin C reduced the symptoms and severity of a cold by 85% compared to the control group, which received pain relievers and decongestants as treatment. The mega-dose vitamin C group of students (18-32 years old) received 1,000 mg per hour for the first 6 hours (6,000 mg loading dose) + 1,000 mg, three times per day after.
No evidence exists yet for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 with oral vitamin C.
As a reminder, Vitamin C is poorly absorbed. Liposomal vitamin C offers the chance to increase absorption and maintain plasma levels that are higher than can be achieved by plain vitamin C (10) (powder or crystals).