Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals and protects cells. It also plays a central role in enhancing immune function during viral and septic infections. The body’s immune cells release oxidizing free radicals to kill foreign invaders. As they release free radicals, immune cells carry exceptionally high internal concentrations of antioxidants like vitamin C for their own protection.
Blood levels of vitamin C drop quickly during a Covid-19 infection’s severe stress and are depleted even more rapidly during the bacterial infections that frequently piggy-back onto Covid-19. To protect cells and organs and minimize damage, maintain high levels of vitamin C and other antioxidants. The risk of harm is highest in organs like the heart and brain, where oxygen requirements are high and more oxygen free radicals are produced.
Vitamin C taken at high doses reduces death during bacterial sepsis and enhances positive outcomes in people suffering from viral infections. Oxidation and inflammation travel together during an illness. One research study found that 47 patients with severe bacterial sepsis treated with a combination of vitamin C, corticosteroids, and thiamine were 87% less likely to die than 47 similar patients treated for the same thing without this combination.
Vitamin C supports immune cells, especially the ability of neutrophils to engorge and kill viruses. It also protects the rest of the body from the harmful free radicals that immune cells use to kill viruses. Vitamin C minimizes unwanted inflammation and protects nearby cells and organs from this friendly fire.
Protection against free radical release by the immune system is especially critical with respiratory diseases like Covid that damage cells in the lungs and other organs. Vitamin C minimizes the cytokine storm of inflammation that affects patients with severe Covid-19. Having a powerful antioxidant to clear away damaging free radicals becomes critical with symptomatic Covid-19. Studies have shown potential benefits with other viral attacks like herpes and influenza, which may occur with Covid-19.
For example, research studies have shown that vitamin C helps prevent common colds, often caused by other coronaviruses. Vitamin C has reduced the duration and severity of cold symptoms in supplementation trials.
Completed before the Covid-19 pandemic, a 2019 study randomized 167 people admitted to intensive care units with acute respiratory distress syndrome or lung failure, which is a primary cause of death with Covid. Half of them received 50 mg/kg of vitamin C every 6 hours for eight days, and the others a placebo. This dose is equivalent to 14,000 mg a day for a 70 kilogram or 144 lb. person. Researchers compared the two groups to find that deaths occurred in only 29.8% of those treated with vitamin C than 46.3% of those who got the placebo. The vitamin C group also spent significantly fewer days in the hospital. Vitamin C’s potential benefits, low cost, safety, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulating effects make it an attractive therapy for reducing viral load.
Optimal protection with vitamin C requires a daily intake of 6,000 to 8,000 mg delivered throughout the day as soon as a Covid-19 infection starts and continued until symptoms resolve. One way to increase absorption is to mix a dose of 6,000 mg vitamin C powder into a large glass of water each day. When sipped through the day to maintain vitamin C levels, this improves antioxidant protection and immune responses. An alternate method uses liposomal vitamin C capsules or liquid that has a layer of fat around the vitamin C. The fat layer enables more vitamin C to move through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream.
Due to the continual depletion of vitamin C during severe infection, take a 1,500 mg dose of liposomal vitamin C four times a day. Take until symptoms fully resolve. Both vitamin C powder and liposomal vitamin C are over-the-counter.