Series on COVID Therapy Studies – Considering Vitamin C
With the onslaught by COVID and its coinciding onslaught of self-proclaimed experts with every opinion under the sun, I choose to respond with a series of research study reports so you can choose for yourself. Each edition will bring a few studies describing possible therapies for COVID under investigation or reported in past research. As my recent Facebook Live video noted, we do not know enough about this virus to be definite at this time. I am not claiming any of these are the preventive or curative answer for you or your family’s safety. I just want you to be aware of these studies and have knowledge so that you can grow in wisdom rather than stumble about in panic.
Vitamin C has been popularized as a viral preventive and immune booster for many years. In vitro (lab tubes and conditions) and in vivo (in actual living organisms) studies (see those linked on the two articles below) have suggested that this simple vitamin may improve the body’s ability to fend off infections of the viral and bacterial type. Natural medicine types (including myself) have advised patients to utilize vitamin C at higher than food available doses to both prevent and treat infectious diseases for many years.
Despite our support of this use, we acknowledge that in neither the preventive role nor the therapy role is vitamin C a guaranteed fix it all. In studies and clinical experience, it may lessen the severity or duration, but no “easy buttons” in which symptoms disappear suddenly should be expected.
As Chinese researchers run their present study on whether IV vitamin C may help the sickest of the COVID patients in their country, we have to wait on their answers. However, we can look back to past viral outbreaks for hints at whether this vitamin helped in past novel coronavirus outbreaks.
Editorials in the British Medical Journal from 2003 and the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy from 2003 both suggested Vitamin C as a potential therapy for the SARS issue of that time period based on referenced studies.
Harri Hemilä, Vitamin C and SARS coronavirus, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Volume 52, Issue 6, December 2003, Pages 1049–1050, https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkh002
Two strains of the SARS virus sequenced. BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7397.999 (Published 10 May 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:999
The first editorial letter noted that vitamin C has been shown to have effects on the immune system which appear to modify susceptibility to various viral and bacterial infections. Various studies have shown that vitamin C can modify positively the duration and severity of common colds in humans.
The second editorial reiterates the immune modulatory effects on T lymphocytes and interferon production by vitamin C. They include a reference to a study with marmosets (a mammal) in which fewer animals developed infections after receiving vitamin C. They also note that humans show lower levels of vitamin C during infections.
At this point, at least the Chinese are doing research on IV vitamin C in COVID patients.
We will have to wait to learn if Vitamin C is beneficial or not.
Will I take vitamin C for symptoms and prevention? Yes. Should you? Read the studies, calmly apply logic and make your decision.
With the peace of knowing God is in control, I offer this series of scientific insights on COVID, praying for God to provide further scientific answers and further wisdom to our leaders in turning the tide and stilling the storm as only HE can do.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.