Case for Vitamin C for COVID-19


There are seven compelling reasons why high dose oral (6gram+) and intravenous vitamin C (IVC) should be trialled on critically ill COVID-19 patients to speed up recovery time spent in ICU and reduce mortality.


1. A randomised controlled trial, one in Wuhan, China[1]  has shown a third less deaths (31.5%), less inflammation (IL-6), less time on ventilators. Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan gave patients 12 grams IV, twice a day, versus sterile water.

Ruijing Hospital in Shanghai reported no deaths  in an interim report[2] of their first 50 cases of moderate to severe COVID-19 cases given IVC (10-20g a day for 7-10 days). 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. He gave 50g IVC over a period of 4 hours. The patient’s pulmonary status stabilized 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. The Shanghai Medical Association[4] endorse vitamin C for the treatment of COVID-19 infections (statement in the Chinese Journal of Infectious Diseases).

A trial in Italy is underway [10] trialing 10g IVC in 500 patients at the Arnas Civico-di Cristina-Benfratelli National Relevance Hospital. Several other trials have been initiated in New
Zealand, Malaysia and South Korea.

2. High dose vitamin C speeds up pneumonia recovery. A 2018 study5 of 56 patients with severe pneumonia given 6g oral vitamin C daily reported an 85% drop in mortality and double the rate of radiologic improvement in the lungs after a week.

3. Cold duration is 20% shorter and symptoms less severe. In a controlled (but not placebo) trial6, 85% of the 252 students treated experienced a reduction in symptoms in the high-dose oral vitamin C group (6g on day 1 and 3g daily thereafter). In two placebo studies7 giving 6-8g in the first day, colds were 20% shorter. In those taking 8g in the first day 46% had symptoms that only lasted for one day.

4. Vitamin C shortens stay in ICU. In five trials 8  including 471 patients requiring ventilation for over 10 h, an oral dosage of 1–6 g/day of vitamin C shortened ventilation time on average by 25% (P<0.0001 – highly statistically significant).

5. 27 hospitals in New York[3] , Wisconsin, Houston and East Virginia are using intravenous vitamin C and report remarkable improvement in symptom severity, duration and deaths. Houston Hospital has reported ‘zero deaths’.[12] Professor Paul Marik at East Virginia Medical School, who has already established the efficacy of IVC in sepsis patients, has reported two deaths, in 85+ year olds with end stage comorbidities, in the first 40 seriously ill COVID patients in his ICU. All patients, on testing, have levels of vitamin C, often undetectable, that would diagnose scurvy (unpublished). These Emergency doctors are part of the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group

6. Vitamin C is safe. No adverse effects have been reported in any trials giving high dose oral or intravenous vitamin C to those with influenza, colds or pneumonia.

7. The World Health Organisation, recommend vitamin C in their ‘Coronavirus Roadmap’ [13]say : (page 36): “Optimal selection of strategies for supportive care of seriously ill patients – immunomodulatory agents (IL-1ra, interferon), steroids, ACE inhibitors, vitamin C, statins, or anti-arrhythmics.” On page 37 they say “”Other adjunctive interventions with biologic plausibility include Vitamin C, ACE inhibitors, and other anti-infectives, depending upon the burden of co-infections in these patients.”

Vitamin C is not patentable, and inexpensive, and therefore no trials will be funded by the pharmaceutical industry. There remains an unjustifable media and medical bias against vitamin C despite evidence to the contrary for trials using 6 grams a day or more or IV. This review on ‘Vitamin C and Infections’ 9 summarises research to date.


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[4] (use Google
Translate – look for ‘vitamin C’ in Chinese text then translate that paragraph)