Why vitamin C won't 'boost' your immune system against the coronavirus

Mar 10, 2020
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It can be a matter of doses. Those reports were based at doses around 200mg/day as you say. But therapeutical doses of vitamin C start at least at 500mg and are typically of above 2-5 grams/day as used by orthomolecular doctors as high-dose oral or intravenous vitamin C.
 
Mar 10, 2020
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Please comment on this treatment protocol from Shanghai medical experts and authorities which use 100-200 mg Vitamin C per kg body weight per day:
http://rs.yiigle.com/yufabiao/1183266.htm
Yes, the author of this article has a responsibility to respond to Vedhogger. If he/she chooses to not respond, this article is irresponsible reporting at best. Even a fraction of a Motrin is not going to cure a heachache. Dose matters in a big way when it comes to the tremendous immune supportive value of vitamin C.
 
Mar 10, 2020
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It can be a matter of doses. Those reports were based at doses around 200mg/day as you say. But therapeutical doses of vitamin C start at least at 500mg and are typically of above 2-5 grams/day as used by orthomolecular doctors as high-dose oral or intravenous vitamin C.
Furthermore the therapeutic dosing is much higher for those that are already sick. The proper way to take vitamin C therapeutically is to take it frequently throughout the day until bowel tolerance is reached. For those that are interested here is an informative link http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html - Such a shame this was not mentioned in this terribly misleading article.
 
Mar 10, 2020
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Furthermore the therapeutic dosing is much higher for those that are already sick. The proper way to take vitamin C therapeutically is to take it frequently throughout the day until bowel tolerance is reached. For those that are interested here is an informative link http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html - Such a shame this was not mentioned in this terribly misleading article.
 
Mar 10, 2020
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It's actually vitamin D that can actually help with flu and viruses :
Could it be that both are needed to better 'guarantee' that the immune system goes up? Just wondering. I myself take vit C (1000mg-2000mg per day) and 1000iu of D3. That should be ok, right?
 
Jan 16, 2020
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Over the last 50 years I have read positive and negative studies on vitamin C. What I have found by personal experience is that, when I feel a cold coming on, I drink a lot of orange juice, and three out of four times I can avoid that cold. When I am not in a position to drink a lot of OJ, I get the cold more often. I've done this for nearly 50 years, and have successfully avoided many colds with this technique. Some may agree with it, and some may not, but I witnessed all of it, so I can verify that it worked for me.
 
Mar 12, 2020
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Sheesh, 200 milligrams, really? That's a joke dose, enough to prevent scurvy. Let's look into the 1000's of studies showing the safety and efficacy of vitamin C and support for the immune system.
I've been taking 5,000 - 10,000 milligrams a day for the last 30 years, and very few colds.
Intravenous vitamin C is the real hammer on pathogens, starting at 20,000 milligrams a day.
 
Mar 14, 2020
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The writer of this article didn't do her research.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. The following statements are for information purposes only and have not been evaluated by the FDA, CDC, NIH, or any other mainstream regulatory authority. Please consult with your physician first before proceeding with any new nutritional or exercise program. Please do your own due diligence before accepting ANY information as fact, including what I'm saying. It's YOUR body. :D

Who Am I? I do have over 30 years of helping and training people in nutrition, exercise, qigong, neigong, neidan, tai chi quan, longevity protocols, self-defense, and meditation for stress reduction. I do group and personal training. It's all anecdotal evidence, to be sure, but useful to both me and my clients.

Now the data:

Intravenous Vitamin C has shown beneficial effects in 148 research papers. Some of these papers are listed below:

Gorton HC, Jarvis K (1999) The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manip Physiol Ther, 22:8, 530-533. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10543583

Hemilä H (2017) Vitamin C and infections. Nutrients. 9(4). pii:E339. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28353648

Yejin Kim, Hyemin Kim, Seyeon Bae et al. (2013) Vitamin C is an essential factor on the anti-viral immune responses through the production of interferon-α/β at the initial stage of influenza A virus (H3N2) infection. Immune Netw. 13:70-74. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23700397

Orally ingested vitamin C is effective when taken over the long term, and in divided doses of 6 to 12 grams a day. But it is less bioavailable, which is why you have to take so much. For immediate health situations, Intravenous Vitamin C is optimal.

Lypospheric Vitamin C solves this issue for orally ingested vitamin C. From the abstract of the research paper below: "The data indicate that oral delivery of 4 g of vitamin C encapsulated in liposomes (1) produces circulating concentrations of vitamin C that are greater than unencapsulated oral but less than intravenous administration".
Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect Against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915787/

Studies that shown modest or negative results tended to use orally ingested vitamin C, and in small doses of 1 to 2 grams daily.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners should not administer high dose IV vitamin C to patients with pre-existing renal disease, renal insufficiency or renal failure; glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency; a history of oxalate nephrolithiasis; or paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.

Also: vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, and selenium have been shown to strengthen the immune system against viruses.

This article is in serious need of correction. The data confirming positive effects is there for people who take the time to actually look for it.

Cheers!
 
Mar 14, 2020
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Very bad research I'm afraid.

Nobody ever claimed that a couple of hundred milligrams or ven 3000mg a day were a therapeutic dosage., they are not.

If you actually had done your research you would have found that Orthomolecular doses for PREVENTING colds are about 3000mg a day while therapeutic doses are 30 000mg for the cold and depending on the seriousness of the infection much more than that even.

So for a serious viral infection we are talking about 50 000mg or even up to 300 000mg a day (as Frederick Klenner administered for viral pneumonia) at best given intraveneously.

As a matter of fact the human body while in good health will produce the sign of saturation, also called "bowel tolerance" somewhere between 2000mg and 18 000mg - depending on the individual.

The more sick someone is, the more ascorbic acid it takes to trigger the same bowel response. Mammals increase their vitamin c when sick, we humans can't do that in our own bodies, but the body can use much more vitamin c when in bad shape.

From my own experience - bowel tolerance while in good health is somewhere between 7000 mg and 10 000mg. While I got some fewer I could easily take 40 000mg a day (orally) without having a bowel tolerance reaction.

It is a shame you hop on the waggon to tell people not to take supplements when especially the elderly who are in danger could vastly benefit from orthomolecular supplementation.

I suggest you have a look at the Journal of Orthomolecuar Medicine: http://www.orthomolecular.org
 
Mar 14, 2020
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Sheesh, 200 milligrams, really? That's a joke dose, enough to prevent scurvy. Let's look into the 1000's of studies showing the safety and efficacy of vitamin C and support for the immune system.
I've been taking 5,000 - 10,000 milligrams a day for the last 30 years, and very few colds.
Intravenous vitamin C is the real hammer on pathogens, starting at 20,000 milligrams a day.
Right on the nose LJ, it's all about the dose. It's truly tragic that studies using insignificant dosing of ascorbic acid have been used to convince the medical industry and public at large that vitamin-C is of little therapeutic value.

Pauling did his homework when he started advocating the use of Vitamin-C in the 1970s, it disgusts me that double-blind studies using doses in the range of 20 to 200 grams a day have yet to be published.
 
Mar 14, 2020
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It would have been proper to confront the myth that Vitamin C cures anything, but as a general immune system booster, it has been proven to help... either help with prevention of sicknesses or help reduce severity of symptoms if people get sick.

People doubling up on Vitamin C will not only be unharmed, it can be helpful.

How dare you create a nocebo (the opposite of a placebo), out of Vitamin C!

Editor-In-Chief: Pull this article.
 
Mar 15, 2020
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Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, does not kill pathogens. Vitamin C makes for extremely low membrane permeability from viral load. We don't make it, we don't store it and we certainly don't get enough in our diets. At onset of symptoms of any virion take 4000mg every two hours. You can't OD on C. When your body is saturated you will experience a laxative effect. So, drink plenty of water. Also, take D3 in recommended units to assist with C absorption. When you can expose as much surface skin (our largest organ) to sun. Ambient light, if you can't get out, is good too.
 
Mar 15, 2020
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It would have been proper to confront the myth that Vitamin C cures anything, but as a general immune system booster, it has been proven to help... either help with prevention of sicknesses or help reduce severity of symptoms if people get sick.

People doubling up on Vitamin C will not only be unharmed, it can be helpful.

How dare you create a nocebo (the opposite of a placebo), out of Vitamin C!

Editor-In-Chief: Pull this article.
I agree with you 100% on this.
 
Mar 10, 2020
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It's been quite some time now. No one from Livescience is replying?
(but even if you do reply, please do with some credible sources....)
But why on earth is the author taking so long? Since the author was the one who made this (I'd say, dubious) claim in the first place. He/she should have already had hundreds of credible references before writing this article, since he/she is already so adamant that vit C is of no use!
 
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NicolettaLanese

Staff member
Nov 20, 2019
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In response to several of your comments above - please let me know if you have follow up questions:

1) According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, if you are consuming vitamin C orally, whether in food or in supplements, you see 100% absorbtion of the nutrient at doses up to 200mg. Once your dosing exceeds 500 mg, you see fractionally less absorbtion of any vitamin C you consume past that point. Once vitamin C concentrations in your blood plasma reach max capacity, additional vitamin C is largely excreted in the urine.

This so-called saturation point varies between individuals, but the main takeaway here is that, if you're taking normal vitamin C supplements, you cannot steadily increase the available vitamin C in your body by simply "upping the dose." Past a certain threshold, the body stops absorbing the nutrient, and what you're left with is vitamin-enriched urine.

2) IV administration of vitamin C bypasses this restriction and allows higher doses of the nutrient to be sustained in the blood. Historically, researchers have proposed that vitamin C supplmentation, in general, could be used to treat pneumonia because the condition is a common complication of scurvy, which results from vitamin C deficiency. Since then there have been anecdotal accounts, case studies, and preliminary clincal trials attempting to use IV vitamin C to treat pneumonia, with mixed or ineffective results (see here). In other cases, when vitamin C appeared to help somewhat, I've seen that the treatment is sometimes combined with other interventions, so it's difficult to discern the effect of vitamin C in isolation (see here).

If you have a particular study in mind that you're referencing here, please link it in a comment and I can take a look. But from what I see in the literature, this link between high dose vitamin C and pneumonia remains tenuous at best.

3) In the context of this study, shared by @vedhogger, the IV vitamin C they're describing as "high-dose" is only a 50-200mg dose, which seems in line with standard vitamin C supplementation. In addition, In addition, this treatment appears to be recommended only for people with mild symptoms (assuming my Chinese to English translator is accurate). In other words, in this context, it seems as though the treatment team is ensuring that patients receive enough vitamin C to maintain normal immune function.

4) For general reference, the Journal of Orthomolecuar Medicine and the associated Orthomolecular Medicine News Service have been historically dismissed by the scientific community for promoting studies with poor experimental design; sweeping conclusions based on limited evidence; and little clinical relevance. I came across several studies from this journal in my research, read through them and reached the same conclusion as scientists and science journalists before me.

What's more, if you notice on the main orthomolecular.org website, if you click "Contribute," the link will lead you to a website called the Riordan Clinic where you can buy supplements and lab tests of varying sorts. That in and of itself should raise your suspicions as to whether these articles are disseminating the best scientific information available, or are primarily aimed at trying to sell you something.
 
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NicolettaLanese

Staff member
Nov 20, 2019
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It's been quite some time now. No one from Livescience is replying?
(but even if you do reply, please do with some credible sources....)
But why on earth is the author taking so long? Since the author was the one who made this (I'd say, dubious) claim in the first place. He/she should have already had hundreds of credible references before writing this article, since he/she is already so adamant that vit C is of no use!
[Please see my longer comment below for an in-depth explanation. Additionally, please refer back to the original article if you want to read the studies I reference within the article itself. They are hyper-linked.]

This article does not suggest that vitamin C is "of no use." Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that supports the body's ability to combat invasive pathogens, in general, and this includes COVID-19. However, there is no evidence that taking vitamin C supplements - in any dose or form of administration - can completely prevent you from catching COVID-19.

In terms of treating COVID-19 with high-dose vitamin C, there is at least one ongoing clinical trial testing that application, which I cite in the article. But again, these are highly preliminary studies, and they are mostly based on the compiled research about vitamin C and the common cold. The commenters are correct in that some studies have explored the use of high-dose vitamin C for pneumonia, a possible complication of COVID-19, but the results have been mixed and the studies limited.

If you have particular studies in mind that you're referencing, feel free to link.
 
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