Posted on: March 25, 2020 at 3:01 pm

Around the world, countless researchers and doctors are scrambling to find an effective treatment to help those suffering from coronavirus recover quicker. Hospital intensive care units (ICU) are being pushed to the breaking point in many cities, and many health officials are desperate to help patients recover quickly from the worst symptoms of the virus.

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Reports out of China indicate that seriously ill coronavirus patients benefited from massive doses of vitamin C, which has compelled New York State’s largest hospital system to employ the method as a way of helping patients recover from the virus and save lives.

A state in crisis

New York state has been hit harder by the coronavirus pandemic than any other state in the United States. As of this writing, there were 30,811 cases in New York state alone, that’s more than 7% of cases worldwide.

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According to Dr. Andrew Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist working on Long Island, patients who enter his ICU with coronavirus immediately receive a 1,500 mg shot of intravenous vitamin C. Patients then receive the same amount intravenously three or four times every day.

“The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C,” he said in an interview with New York Post. [1] “It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it’s not a sexy drug.”

Dr. Weber is not alone in implementing this regimen. A spokesperson for Northwell, the hospital system that employs Dr. Weber and operates a total of 23 hospitals, says that intravenous doses of vitamin C are a common practice for coronavirus patients.

Read: 20 Coronavirus Myths Busted

One of many possible treatments

In recent weeks, we’ve heard stories of various drugs, like hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, and azithromycin, an antibiotic, being used to treat patients with coronavirus with varying degrees of success. Dr. Weber says that his hospital network employs those drugs, as well as various biologics and blood thinners, in conjunction with the high doses of vitamin C.

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Dr. Weber says that high doses of vitamin C are especially important for coronavirus patients who experience sepsis caused by the immune system over-reacting to the virus. Patients suffering from sepsis often see a massive drop in vitamin C levels. The high doses of vitamin C help counteract this drop.

“It makes all the sense in the world to try and maintain this level of vitamin C,” Dr. Weber said.

Currently, there is a clinical trial underway in Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China to explore the effectiveness of vitamin C on patients infected by the coronavirus.

Read: Japanese Flu Drug ‘Clearly Effective’ in Treating Coronavirus, Says China

Should I take massive doses of vitamin C?

Reading this article, you may feel compelled to start consuming massive amounts of vitamin C. These high doses of vitamin C are intended to counteract the loss of vitamin C due to sepsis. Getting an appropriate amount of vitamin C in your diet is a good idea, even if you are not sick.

According to Mayo Clinic, the daily recommended amount of vitamin C is 60 to 90 mg, with the upper limit (UL) being 2,000 mg a day. [2] Taking extremely high doses of vitamin C may have harmful side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, vomiting, headache, insomnia, and abdominal cramps.

Getting vitamin C from a healthy diet is your best course of action for maintaining a strong immune system. Foods like broccoli, kale, kiwi, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, and strawberries are all excellent sources of vitamin C. [3] Orange juice and vitamin C supplements can also work in a pinch if the above foods are not immediately available to you.

If you do decide to supplement with vitamin C, it is best to spread the doses out throughout the day (2-4 times) and to try not to exceed the UL unless told otherwise by your healthcare practitioner.

It should also be noted that vitamin C is not a sure-fire way to prevent and certainly not cure for COVID-19.

Keep Reading: Italian coronavirus patient, 79, recovers after taking Ebola drug

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

  1. https://nypost.com/2020/03/24/new-york-hospitals-treating-coronavirus-patients-with-vitamin-c/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vitamin-c/faq-20058030
  3. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/qa/what-foods-are-rich-in-vitamin-c
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Thomas Nelson
Environmental Advocate
Thomas is an environmental advocate currently residing in the Pacific Northwest. In his spare time, he enjoys experiencing the outdoors, raising chickens and ducks, and reading about current environmental issues. Despite slight colorblindness, his favorite color is green.

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