Vitamin C to the Rescue?
By Editorial Staff
While we're still learning exactly what we can do to reduce our risk of complications if infected with COVID-19 or any other respiratory virus, one thing is crystal clear: a healthy immune system is our best defense. That's why people whose immune systems are compromised in one way or another tend to have poorer outcomes than people with robust immune systems.
While the primary pharmaceutical option for COVID-19 at present is vaccination – preventing one from getting infected in the first place – research actually supports the potential value of natural, nondrug therapies, such as vitamin C. In fact, new research review suggests "Vitamin C's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects make it a potential therapeutic candidate, both for the prevention and amelioration of COVID-19 infection, and as an adjunctive therapy in the critical care of COVID-19." The literature review, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients, suggests oral vitamin C can reduce the incidence and duration of respiratory infections, while intravenous vitamin C can reduce mortality (death), intensive-care unit and hospital stays, and time on mechanical ventilation in cases of severe respiratory infection. (While these findings aren't specific to COVID, the authors do note that nearly 50 clinical trials are underway investigating vitamin C with or without other treatments for COVID-19.)
The amounts of vitamin C suggested by the research are high-dose, to be sure, and shouldn't be taken without doctor recommendation / supervision; but the important takeaway is that a simple vitamin may hold a key to fighting respiratory infections – including the novel coronavirus. With the world rushing toward more medicines and another vaccine, it's a reminder that natural options may prove to be just as effective – and, as is generally the case, safer – than subjecting your body to another drug.
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