Vitamin C orally and by IV administration for viral infections, has been approved in China as recently as February 2020. There are currently three large studies on the use and efficacy of IV Vitamin C and the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Vitamin C orally and by IV administration (IVC) is also used in the realm of Integrative Oncology as Dr West has outlined in her article on IV Vitamin C and Cancer.
Out of 822 studies on PUBMED relating to vitamin C and viral infections, nearly 90% of them have unavailable abstracts. Suddenly, the information is not available. Most of the study abstracts that are available end with conclusions that ‘the study had inadequate results’ or that ‘more data is needed’. Of course, this makes me highly suspicious as there are two incredible books that have copious references cited throughout them on the use of Vitamin C for immune system and viruses. Vitamin C, Infectious Disease and Toxins by Dr Thomas Levy. The other is Vitamin C, the Common Cold and the Flu, by Linus Pauling.
How Does Vitamin C Work?
Vitamin C invokes several functions of the immune system:
- White blood cells love vitamin C and concentrate up to 80 times the blood level
- Enhances B cells, T cells and NK cells which are the army of our immune system
- Stimulates the production of antibodies
- Enhances the production of interferon that is used to help cells being infected by viruses
- Inactivates the ability of a virus to replicate by interfering with RNA or DNA of the virus
- Enhances phagocyte function, cleaning up viral debris
- Improves the immune response from vaccination
How Much Vitamin C Can I take?
Because Vitamin C taken orally can cause loose stool at doses around 5,000mg, we tell our patients to take Vitamin C “to bowel tolerance” when taken orally. Oral Vitamin C works! It is best when used with minerals. Taking Vitamin C with food especially when one is not feeling well is most helpful as the bacteria in the gut scavenge the Vitamin C to enhance immune function.
When using IV vitamin C (IVC), we dose it at varying concentrations depending upon the patient and the condition. Linus Pauling’s work on Vitamin C, and many studies since his time, demonstrated that varying doses of IVC have different therapeutic effects. What is great about IVC is that we can use doses that are intolerable orally. The IV administration allows the Vitamin C to take action in the body without affecting the gut, therefore, no loose stool! We at NatureMed are very well-versed in the use of IVC for acute and chronic conditions and have been using this intervention safely and successfully in our patients for 20 years.