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Coronavirus and new hope: Vitamin C for prevention and intravenous therapy in the case of life-threatening complications

Coronavirus and new hope: Vitamin C for prevention and intravenous therapy in the case of life-threatening complicationsThe coronavirus has spread from Wuhan in China to a number of continents, where it has caused massive fear and affected daily life and the global economy. Although most people that get the infection experience a mild course of events, the greatest fear is the potentially life-threatening complications in the respiratory system caused by oxidative stress, which have already taken thousands of human lives. Chinese scientists now call for early intravenous therapy with large doses of vitamin C to prevent oxidative stress and the life-threatening complications that follow in the wake of a derailed immune system. Many researchers also claim that higher intake of vitamin C from dietary sources or supplements help prevent by boosting and regulating the immune system in the upper respiratory tract. The same goes for vitamin D and selenium.

The coronavirus is a strain of RNA virus that occurs in birds and mammals. The most common types of coronavirus cause harmless colds, and most people catch this virus once or perhaps several times in their life. The new coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, was originally discovered in the Chinese Wuhan megapolis in December 2019. This coronavirus attacks the lower respiratory tract where it can cause bronchitis and pneumonia combined with fever. Most cases are mild, but around 20-25 percent of those who catch the virus become seriously ill. The reason for this is acute respiratory failure, also known as ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), a condition that is caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. The condition is life-threatening and it is the reason why the weakest patients succumb.
According to several Chinese scientists, there is new hope for these critically ill patients. A simple treatment consisting of large quantities of intravenous vitamin C can counteract oxidative stress. So, what actually happens when the virus attacks, and how does vitamin C counteract it.

When free radicals cause oxidative stress and life-threatening cytokine storms

Just for the record, free radicals are both essential and harmful at the same time. Free radicals are highly reactive oxygen molecules with an unpaired electron that snatch electrons from other molecules. Free radicals are important for a number of physiological functions such as cell signaling and programmed cell death (apoptosis). Furthermore, they are a natural byproduct of cellular energy metabolism.
If we contract a viral or bacterial infection, the white blood cells of the immune system produce cascades of free radicals that are used as missile weapons to attack the virus. The increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines generates vast amounts of free radicals. What is important is that the free radicals carry out their designated tasks without causing oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between potentially harmful free radicals and protective antioxidants. When coronavirus becomes life-threatening, it is because of heavily increased oxidative stress and a virtual cytokine storm that can cause ARDS. This may result in damage to the endothelial cells that line the inside of the blood vessel walls and have numerous other functions. The consequence may be destruction of lung tissue and other tissues, dehydration, and circulatory shock.
According to a Chinese study that is published in the Lancet, 17 out of 99 patients infected with coronavirus developed ARDS. Eleven of these patients continued to deteriorate and died as a result of ARDS and multiple organ failure.

Oxidative stress and cytokine storms lead to life-threatening complications

  • When coronavirus, influenza, and blood poisoning become life-threatening it is because the white blood cells produce too many free radicals and pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interferon, interleukin, and tumor necrosis factor (NF-α)
  • The cytokine storm can cause oxidative stress, tissue destruction, dehydration and circulatory shock

Intravenous therapy with vitamin C in the case of life-threatening cytokine flooding

In China, intravenous therapy with large quantities of vitamin C has already been introduced to patients with coronavirus infection and life-threatening, cytokine-induced ARDS. Dr Richard Cheng from Shanghai, who has many years of experience with the use of intravenous vitamin C therapy, has reported in Orthomolecular Medicine News Service and on YouTube about the first study where coronavirus patients have been given intravenous therapy with 12,000 – 24,000 mg of vitamin C daily. In a second study, doctors plan to administer 6,000 mg/day and 12,000 mg/day in moderate and serious cases. The Chinese scientists also plan to start more clinical studies in collaboration with other hospitals. They also plan to include oral vitamin C supplementation for the patients to use at home.
According to Dr. Cheng, it is essential to treat dying patients with intravenous vitamin C in cases where no other therapies are available. This treatment is effective, inexpensive and devoid of serious side effects.
This is really important knowledge, as there is still no effective vaccine and more virus challenges can be expected in the future. We are faced with the challenge that new microorganisms are constantly one step ahead of us.
Vitamin C has a unique ability to strengthen the immune system in a number of different ways at the same time as counteracting oxidative stress. This is very convenient, as it is the storm of cytokines combined with ARDS that kills most people in the case of epidemics with various types of coronavirus (SARS, MERS, and the current 2019-nCoV).
Earlier studies have already documented how intravenous vitamin C therapy with large doses of vitamin C administered to patients with blood poisoning may help shorten their hospital stay and their risk of dying of their condition. The same goes for high-dosed, intravenous vitamin C therapy combined with vitamin B1 and corticosteroids that work synergistically.

According to Richard Cheng, we need more clinical studies of the use of intravenous therapy with vitamin C and oral supplementation with vitamin C given to patients that suffer from complicated coronavirus infections and infections with other types of virus, so that we are better able to fight these new epidemics in the future.

Also remember vitamin D and selenium for prevention and therapy

Many articles on this website describe how virus infections such as colds and influenza typically circulate during the winter period, where vitamin D deficiency is more common. The immune system cannot not function properly without vitamin D, and there is a risk that it floods the body with cytokines or causes chronic inflammation.
Also, there is a reason why new virus strains often originate from selenium-deprived regions of China. Lack of selenium in people and animals impairs their immunity and virus can mutate a lot easier, causing the virus to become more virulent. This is what happened with coronavirus. Selenium is also an essential antioxidant that protects against oxidative stress and the many complications that follow in the wake of oxidative stress.


Richard Z Cheng et al. Early Large Dose Intravenous Vitamin C is the Treatment of Choice for 2019-vCov pneumonia. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, Feb 16, 2020

Wang D et al. Clinical Characteristics of 138 hospitalized patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus-infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China. Jama 2020 Feb 7

Chen N et Al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristicas of 99 cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China. A descriptive study. Lancet Lond Engl. 2020 Jan 30

Alpha A. Fowler et al. Effect of Vitamin C infusion on Organ Failure and Biomarkers of Inflammation and Vascular Injury in Patients With Sepsis and Severe Acute Respiratory Failure. JAMA 2019

Virginia Commonwealth University. Vitamin C therapy linked to better survival rates after sepsis. ScienceDaily 2019.

Olivia M. Guillan et al. Selenium, Selenoproteins and Viral Infection. Nutrients 2019

Glenview, IL, June 26, 2017. Readily available drug cocktail may help prevent sepsis shock and deaths. Elsevier June 2017

Essen MR et al. Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells. Nat Immunol 2010

University of Colorado Anschultz Medical Campus. Vitamin D reduces respiratory infections. ScienceDaily November 2016

NCP(Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia) and Vitamin C;

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