You might have noticed the supplement with vitamin C segment looking empty these days or you may have seen the reports on social media that vitamin C can cure COVID-19. Whereas the effects of high intravenous ( IV) vitamin C on the new coronavirus are being examined by doctors and researchers, no treatment, including vitamin C, can prevent or treat COVID-19. This article discusses what vitamin C is, how it impacts immunity, how it is being used in a hospital environment for COVID-19 care and whether it is helpful to take an oral supplement.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a necessary nutrient in your body which has several roles. It’s a potent antioxidant, which means it can neutralize unstable compounds throughout your body called free radicals and help prevent or invert cellular damage from these compounds. This also participates in a variety of biochemical processes, many of which are associated with immune function.
The Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C is 90 mg daily, but women who breastfeed need an extra 30 mg and people who smoke need an extra 35 mg daily. Meeting your vitamin C needs through your diet is pretty easy, as long as you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. For example, 77 per cent of DV is provided by a single medium orange, and 112 per cent of DV is provided by 1 cup (160 grams ) of cooked broccoli.
How does it affect immunity?
Vitamin C has a multiple effects on your immune system. The antioxidant activity can minimize inflammation, which can further strengthen the role of your immune system. Vitamin C also helps to keep the skin safe by stimulating the development of collagen and helping the skin act as a functional shield to prevent harmful substances from reaching the body. Vitamin C can also promote wound healing in the skin.
The vitamin also enhances phagocyte function, immune cells which can “swallow” harmful bacteria and other particles. Furthermore, it stimulates lymphocyte growth and spread, a type of immune cell that raises the circulating antibodies, proteins that can target foreign or harmful compounds in the blood.
Vitamin C does not appear to make you any less likely to get cold in studies of its efficacy against viruses that cause the common cold — but it may help you get through a cold faster and make symptoms less severe.
There is also some evidence of animal research and case studies in humans which high dose or IV vitamin C in serious respiratory diseases caused by H1N1 (“swine flu”) or other viruses may minimize lung inflammation. Both levels were well above the DV however, and at this point there is not enough evidence to justify the use of high-dose vitamin C for inflammation of the lungs. You should not take high doses — even orally — of vitamin C supplements because they can cause side effects such as diarrhea.
Vitamin C and COVID-19
The Shanghai Medical Association approved the use of high-dose vitamin C as a therapy for people hospitalized with COVID-19 in an article published in the Chinese Journal of Infection Diseases. Doses higher than the DV are advised to be given by IV to enhance lung capacity, which can help keep a patient away from artificial ventilation or life-support. In addition, a 2019 study showed that oral and IV high-dose vitamin C therapy could benefit people admitted to intensive care units ( ICUs) for serious diseases by reducing the length of stay in ICU by 8% and by shortening the mechanical ventilation time by 18.2%.
Chinese researchers have also reported a clinical trial to further study. The efficacy of IV vitamin C in people with COVID-19 in hospital. It is important to remember, however, that vitamin C is not yet a normal part of the COVID-19 treatment plan. Because there is still a lack of evidence. While high-dose IV vitamin C is currently being studied to see. It can improve lung function in people with COVID-19, there is no evidence to indicate. That high doses of oral supplements with vitamin C will help with the disorder. They can actually cause problems, such as diarrhoea.
Do you need to supplement?
There is currently no evidence to support oral vitamin C supplements being used to avoid COVID-19. Vitamin C may help to shorten the length and severity of colds triggered by other viruses. But it is no guarantee that COVID-19 will have the same effect on the coronavirus. In addition, vitamin C is a vitamin soluble in water. It dissolves in water, meaning excess quantities are not stored in your body but removed through your urine instead. Taking more vitamin C does not mean the body is more absorbent.
High-dose vitamin C supplements can also induce diarrhoea. As they can transmit water from the cells and through your digestive tract to your body. Moreover, although high dose vitamin C appears promising for treatment with COVID-19. These doses were extremely high and administered via IV — not taken orally. Moreover, it was provided only in situations that were serious enough to warrant hospitalization. Your best choice is to eat a diet full of a variety of fruits and vegetables. It is along with many other nutrients and antioxidants. Naturally, provide all the vitamin C with a healthy person needs.
Choosing a supplement
If you want to take a supplement with vitamin C it is important to select one. It is of high quality and to take the right dosage. Although the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) controls supplements, they are not subject to the same health requirements as pharmaceuticals. So buying supplements from reputable companies is critical.
Some third-party organizations such as NSF International, ConsumerLab and U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) are checking drugs for purity and authenticity of the mark. You may want to select a vitamin C supplement that one of these companies has evaluated. Therefore, the Upper Limit (UL) for supplementary vitamin C. The level that most people will consume daily without adverse effects — is 2000 mg.
Many other vitamin C supplements include a daily dose of 250–1,000 mg from anywhere. So exceeding the UL can be easy if you are not careful. Make sure you read the package and only take the recommended dose to avoid complications. Also, vitamin C can interfere with drugs that lower chemotherapy, radiation treatments, or cholesterol.
That state, treatments with very high doses of vitamin C is safe. It associates with significant side effects when using in clinical settings treating critically ill patients. If you have any questions about vitamin C supplements. Before adding them to your routine, you check with your health care provider.