Vitamin C saves lives – 3 Chinese hospitals report

  • 14 Apr 2020
  • Reading time 12 mins
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Intravenous vitamin C has been saving lives in China in those with COVID-19 induced severe acute respiratory disease. In addition to this, in Wuhan city, the original epicentre of the pandemic, with a population of 11.1 million, which is larger than London, there are now virtually no cases of COVID-19 coming into the Intensive Care Units (ICUs). In my latest briefing (10th April) I was informed that there were less than a hundred cases of covid-19 patients left in ICUs in the whole of Wuhan and most are elderly patients who have been there for several weeks.

China, as a whole, has had only 27 COVID-19 deaths in April (until 14th). Wuhan has had several days of no deaths. At Zhongnan Hopsital in Wuhan they have had no new covid-19 patients for over two weeks. This is extremely good news.

Is it reliable? Firstly, the Chinese government have made it clear to all that all deaths must be reported. While it is clear, at the start of the pandemic, that there was some delayed and under-reporting, I am now speaking directly to doctors in charge of ICUs in major Chinese hospitals. As you’ll see in a minute the first randomised controlled trial of intravenous vitamin C in those with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has ended prematurely because they have no new patients. I trust these reports.

The big question we have to ask is how has China, but Wuhan in particular, gone from hundreds of daily deaths to virtually none? What are they doing that we are not? The likely answer is twofold: very efficient lockdown and vitamin C.

While the focus has been on the life-saving effects of high dose intravenous vitamin C given to those at high risk of dying, in ICU most on ventilators, Wuhan has been using oral vitamin C both for prevention and early treatment.

Vitamin c is given to all patients and hospital staff in Wuhan

In the last briefing, with Dr ZhiYong Peng, the lead doctor in the Zhongnan Hospital trial who specifically invited specialists from around the world to present the preliminary results of the first ever randomised controlled trial, details of which are shown below, I asked Dr Peng “We were seeing photographs of DSM trucks delivering 50 tons of vitamin C to Wuhan. Has there been a widespread use of vitamin C in Wuhan?”

“Probably. In my department and other hospitals we highly recommend the patients use 12 grams to 24 grams a day of vitamin C. That works for significant reduction of becoming a severe case. In my hospital all the medical professionals are given vitamin C powders to take 1 to 2 grams. I heard that the majority of the major hospitals in Wuhan are giving vitamin C powder to their medical professionals”, said Dr Peng. So, a major city in China, and we presume others, are protecting their frontline medical workers with vitamin C, giving high dose oral vitamin C, and sometimes intravenous, up to 24 grams a day, which is what I recommend namely 1 gram an hour, to any hospitalised patient to prevent them from needing to go into ICU, then in ICU giving them intravenous vitamin C. Does it work?

Last month we received a preliminary report from the first 50 patients treated by Dr Mao at Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai confirms that all patients who received intravenous vitamin C (IVC) improved and there was no mortality. Dr Mao reports: “We treated 50 cases of moderate to severe cases of COVID-19 infection with high dose IVC. The IVC dosing was in the range of 10 grams to 20 grams a day for 7 to10 days, with 10 grams for moderate cases and 20 grams for more severe cases, determined by pulmonary status (mostly the oxygenation index) and coagulation status. All patients who received IVC improved and there was no mortality. Compared to the average of a 30-day hospital stay for all Covid-19 patients, those patients who received high dose IVC had a hospital stay about 3-5 days shorter than the overall patients.” Dr. Mao discussed one severe case in particular who was deteriorating rapidly and expected to die. He gave 50 grams of IVC over a period of four hours. The patient’s pulmonary status (oxygenation index) stabilised and improved as the critical care team watched in real time. There were no side-effects reported from any of the cases treated with high dose IVC.1

I also received an official statement from Xi'an Jiaotong University Second Hospital2. This reads: "On the afternoon of February 20, 2020, another 4 patients with severe new coronaviral pneumonia recovered from the C10 West Ward of Tongji Hospital. In the past 8 patients have been discharged from hospital... High-dose vitamin C achieved good results in clinical applications. We believe that for patients with severe neonatal pneumonia and critically ill patients, vitamin C treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after admission. . .Early application of large doses of vitamin C can have a strong antioxidant effect, reduce inflammatory responses, and improve endothelial function. Numerous studies have shown that the dose of vitamin C has a lot to do with the effect of treatment. . . High-dose vitamin C can not onlyimprove antiviral levels, but more importantly, can prevent and treat acutelung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress (ARDS)."

shanghai medical association endorse vitamin C treatment

By this point the evidence from the doctors running the ICUs was strong enough for the Shanghai Medical Association to endorse vitamin for the treatment of COVID-19 infections, which it did in a statement in the The Chinese Journal of Infectious Diseases).3

Meanwhile the medical profession were waiting for the results of the controlled trial from Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan. This trial is registered with the US National Institutes of Health on “clinicaltrials.gov” so anyone can see it’s design and details and believe me anyone interested in the treatment of COVID-19 is going to know about this.Last month I contacted every major influencer in the NHS and government, from Matt Hancock, the Health Minister, to the Chief Medical Officer Dr Chris Whitty. I've since sent them the preliminary report. No response so far.

wuhan trial results

On Friday 10th April, Good Friday, Dr Peng shared the preliminary results with a group of experts from around the world, including myself, in a zoom meeting with this expressed intent “I am appealing to other countries in Europe and the United States to share my protocol and continue this study to see any further results of this treatment. I hope through the effort of other medical centres we can share this trial design and increase this sample size to see any further benefits from the vitamin C treatment.”

The trial design was to treat 140 people with COVID-19 related SARS with viral pneumonia, all in intensive care, all on ventilators, which are like artificial lungs, to supply oxygen. Half were to be given 24 grams of vitamin C daily as a 12 gram infusion of intravenous vitamin C over 4 hours, twice daily for 7 days while the other half were received sterilised water in the drip. It was ‘randomised’ in the sense that neither the patient nore the medical staff knew which patient was getting the vitamin C to rule out any possibility of bias.4. Everyone I know in the know says this is a very solid study design.

The trial ended early, having treated 50 patients with vitamin C and the equivalent number with the placebo water. Patients also got heparin, and anti-coagulant.

 These are the results, in the words of Dr Peng: “So far we have used (vitamin C) on 50 patients already. We found that the mortality for the patients given vitamin C is 24%. While the mortality for the control group (receiving standard treatment) is 35%. Because of the small sample size we cannot see the statistical differences between the two groups but if we run the sub-group analysis based on the severity on the ARDS we can see the statistically significant differences between the groups in the patients  with the most severe ARDS, where PF(pulmonary function) ratio is less than 150. We also saw significant changes with vitamin C significantly decreasing IL-6 (Interleukin 6 - the main marker for inflammation in the lungs) compared to the control group. We also saw a significant decrease in the duration of the mechanical ventilation required. Due to the small sample we haven’t seen other benefits (but they may become clearer with larger numbers – they had hoped for 140 patients).”

While the difference between a 24% rate of mortality on vitamin C and a 35% rate of mortality on the placebo, which is a 31.5% reduction in death, effectively one third less deaths on vitamin C, the trial did not achieve the high level of statistical significance that is the gold standard of research to rule out any possibility that it is a matter of chance. The trend is clearly there but the numbers in the trial were not enough since they had to end the study early. The fact that there was a statistically significant effect in those with more severe pulmonary(lung) function is vital because it is in these people that the risk of death is highest. There were also no safety issues.

Dr Peng wants other hospitals and ICUs to use the same study design to increase the numbers and that is why he made this public announcement as soon as they had the preliminary results. Of course these results will be published shortly, and my report will be criticised because the results haven’t yet been published in a ‘peer reviewed’ journal, but the point is there is no time to waste. Zhongnan Hopsital has run out of patients. We, in the UK, have not.

If the UK NHS vacillate for a month, which we will probably do, the opportunity will be lost. But not just the opportunity, the lives. In the last week alone 5,956 people have died. If that could have been cut by 31.5% that would have saved  1,876 people’s lives. When you consider that China is also reducing the conversion of a new hospitalised patient into a critically ill ICU patient by giving up to 24 grams – 1 gram an hour of vitamin C -  it is not at all unrealistic to think that a one third reduction in deaths is achievable. Also, by giving their hospital staff and volunteers daily vitamin C they are further priming their immune systems to respond effectively to viral exposure.

We must do the same thing here in the UK which is why I have launched the campaign and petition called ‘PROTECT OUR NHS WITH VITAMIN C’. See www.change.org/vitaminC4UK. Please sign our petition to get vitamin C used as soon as possible in the NHS. If you happen to be a GP or nurse or NHS employee all the better. I have been contacted by so many appalled that nothing is being done. Whether or not this is true the Telegraph published a letter from a UK doctor saying that they were ‘banned’ from using vitamin C and any other drugs.

Talking of drugs, here’s the irony. As the Horizon documentary made public, talking to Professor Trudy Lang from the University of Oxford “across the globe right now there are over 600 trials”…that the best hope is “‘stopping the virus entering cells in the first place, stopping the virus being able to divide”…that “we don't have a drug we can take easily just to treat those respiratory infections”… “We have this very finite window in which to run clinical trials”. Dr Chris Van Tulken confirms.. “we don't have any really effective anti-viral drugs for the common respiratory infections.” (My Chinese hospital doctors tell me no drugs have proven effective, so they have stopped using them, thus confirming the statements above.)

This is, of course, untrue. Vitamin C has already been shown to kill viruses and inhibit their growth and treat respiratory infections and outperform antiviral drugs. My fully referenced book, Flu Fighters, makes this abundantly clear. There is plenty of clinical evidence of vitamin c reducing severity of every type of cold and flu, including coronaviruses, so far tested. Now we have clinical evidence specifically relating to COVID-19. The idea that a trial cannot be started until the China trial is published makes a mockery of the trials on drugs being run right now – drugs that have none of the above. No evidence of clinical benefit for flu, let alone COVID-19 that come close to vitamin C. yet, as of today, vitamin C is not even listed as a possibility on the WHO website, and is not included in the global trials such as REM-CAP, a global initiative to test 16 drugs[5]. This needs to change fast.

What can you do?

1.     Sign the petition at www.change.org/vitaminC4UK

2.    Send the ‘Case for Vitamin C for Covid-19’ to your MP and GP

3.     Share Chapter 9 – Surviving Respiratory Distress downloadable at www.flufighters.net (in Resources section)

4.     Make sure you’re stocked up, and taking, vitamin C.

5.     Order your copy of my book Flu Fighters from www.flufighters.net so you're fully informed. The Kindle version is out on Thursday and paperback next week - by 30th April

 References

1.  See http://www.drwlc.com/blog/2020/03/18/hospital-treatment-of-serious-and-critical-covid-19-infection-with-high-dose-vitamin-c/?fbclid=IwAR3qzrI-tjYloYMlqGQRWUfoionQPWNYjFrRyv-GQ18Rg3GSG9Sn-Z7Ln58

2.  See http://2yuan.xjtu.edu.cn/Html/News/Articles/21774.html This page is translatable at
https://translate.google.com

3.  See http://rs.yiigle.com/m/yufabiao/1183266%20.htm (use Google Translate – look for ‘vitamin C’ in Chinese text then translate that paragraph); also see https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/bF2YhJKiOfe1yimBc4XwOA This page is translatable at https://translate.google.com

4. See https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04264533

5. See https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02735707

 

 

 

 

 

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