Tag Archives: flu

208. Vitamin C may help with Covid-19, Revised

6 Apr

Most of the decisions we make in life are not based on hard scientific evidence. Examples are new employment, marriage, buying a house, and making investments. A wise person gathers relevant facts, studies them and moves forward. Vitamin C (VC) has not been scientifically proven effective for Covid-19, but it is worth trying for the reasons below. Like many other medical questions, a rigorous study of VC and the virus would be very difficult and very expensive. Drug companies and many MD’s would not be interested. 

Scientific studies show that it does have a positive effect on the cold and other viruses. VC is found in many foods and is safe in large quantities (spaced out and with plenty of water). It is worth trying, because even if it does not cure Covid-19, it can improve your general health. A win, win. Nothing to lose and so much to gain. VC is known to have a variety of important health functions, including healing. Most negative studies were done with low VC doses, under two grams per day. The medical  profession says that good general health is valuable in the fight against coronavirus,  and VC improves health. For best results, in addition to VC, one should take other supplements and have a very healthy diet with a variety of vegetables. It is best to have VC from 1000mg (1 gram) pills and not citrus fruits as it is only present is small amounts. The best plant source is kale.

Below are eight sources of information: scientific studies from PubMed, reliable web sites, such as the Mayo clinic, and Paulings book. I have pulled out the most relevant positive information (and ignored some negatives).

I also want to include my own experience with VC, over a period of 52 years. Briefly, before taking VC I got many colds; but after taking regular daily doses of several grams per day, I almost never got sick. I followed Paulings rules for colds. A general rule for most medicines is to spread large doses out over the day and always take with large  amounts of water. I take a total of about 5 grams every day, spaced out. At the very first sign of a cold I take an additional 3-4 grams every hour or two, as needed. After an initial virus suppression, a complete “cure” may take three or four more days of larger VC doses.  The dose could be adjusted for body weight.  (This is not medical advice and physicians should be consulted if symptoms are serious or prolonged.)

Mayo Clinic:   “Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a vitamin your body needs to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones. Vitamin C is also vital to your body’s healing process.” Large doses of vitamin C are “unlikely to be harmful.”

Linus PaulingVitamin C and the Common Cold” 1970. Pauling won two Nobel prizes. The book contains many scientific references and specific cold fighting procedures. There are older studies cited that show some evidence for a relationship between VC and colds. Most early studies were done with low doses, which could account for some negative findings.

Nutrients. 2017 Apr; 9(4): 339 H.HemilaVitamin C and Infections”
There are positive and negative findings. I present the most encouraging results.
VC “halved the number of colds in physically active people.” “Regularly administered vitamin C has shortened the duration of colds.” “Three controlled trials found that vitamin C prevented pneumonia.” Two studies using up to 6 to 8 grams of VC showed decreased cold duration. 148 animal studies “indicated that vitamin C may alleviate or prevent infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.” “Negative findings of some therapeutic common-cold studies might be explained by low VC doses.

Nutrients. 2019 Apr; 11(4): 708 Hemila and Chalker        Title:
Vitamin C Can Shorten the Length of Stay in the ICU”
Used 1 to 3 grams per day and VC “shortened the duration of mechanical ventilation by 18.2%

Nutrients. 2017 Nov; 9(11): 1211. Carr and Maggini,       Title:                                “Vitamin C and Immune Function”
“Supplementation with VC appears to be able to both prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections.” “Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient for humans.” “It is a potent antioxidant and a cofactor” for many enzymes.

Med Sci Monit. 2014; 20: 725–732. Mikirova and Hunninghake    Title:  “Effect of high dose vitamin C on Epstein-Barr viral infection”  “Our data provide evidence that high dose intravenous vitamin C therapy has a positive effect on disease duration and reduction of viral antibody levels.”

Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Aug; 8(8): 247. Macan et. al.
Title:   “Therapeutic Perspective of Vitamin C and Its Derivatives”
VC “could be beneficial for medicinal chemists … in the search for more potent candidates imparted with potent … antiviral activities”

WebMD:   Selected phrases.
VC “is one of the safest and most effective nutrients.” It may “help prevent more serious complications” of the common cold. “VC may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.”
“Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health,” says study researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan. “The more we study Vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health. “There is good evidence for taking vitamin C for colds and flu” “It can reduce the risk of developing further complications such as pneumonia and lung infections.”

10. Vitamin C and Colds

30 Apr

I have been using Vitamin C (VC) in high doses for the past 40 years — with great success. VC together with other healthful nutrients can profoundly increase your healthy and productive days over those with common colds, flu and maybe other disorders. I have a strong professional background in scientific reasearch and experimental design, with several years of research in psychopharmacology and neurophysiology. It seems that I often have to defend my nutritional practices, so I am going to document one of these issues here.

Particularly after Linus Pauling (winner of two Nobel prizes) published his book Vitamin C and the Common Cold in 1970, a considerable amount of research was performed by Pauling and many others on this topic. Researchers who have reviewed dozens of studies have concluded that VC does shorten the duration of colds and flu. There are no clear positive findings that VC reduces the incidence of colds. You can find this medical research literature using “Pubmed” (medical research site) and searching “Vitamin C common cold” and/or searching author H. Hemila who has done several reviews. The problem with Vitamin C (and many other types of human research) is that with humans, it is not possible to the rigorous studies that would definitively answer all of the questions.

Pauling and others have observed that timing and quantity of administration are critical to the effectiveness. To be most effective, the quantities must be very large, and the first dose must be immediately after the initial signs of the disease. Additional high doses must follow the first. Pauling pointed this out, but few, if any studies, understandably, have been able to create these conditions. Most studies were done with small doses (under 1 gram) and with no critical timing. Pauling also described topical administration of VC as an important adjunct. Nevertheless, the crude studies definitely show that VC affects colds.

Since rigorous relevant studies are not practical, the best information must come from objective persons that have tried the procedure originated by Pauling. Someone could send well-designed questionaires to scientists, graduate students, and others, who would be willing to describe their own personal VC investigations.

Here is my method, derived from Pauling’s writings, and my observations. (Certain illnesses require the attention of a medical doctor so please use good judgement, especially when in doubt or if symptoms persist.)  The first and most critical administration of around 2 to 4 grams of VC must take place at the very first sign of a cold. There is a little more than a minor stuffyness or dry throat — but not much more. If you are over 30 you know the feelings that indicate the onset of a cold or flu. The dose you choose will depend on your body weight and experience. You watch and wait for 2 or 3 hours and take a similar dose, if the symptoms persist. Topical methods should be included. If my symptom is a sore throat, then I will make a solution of VC (2 grams in 1/2 cup of water) and gargle with it or sip it slowly. Do not hold the VC in your mouth for too long, as you might remove a little enamel from your teeth (a possibility that I have not thoroughly researched). You can also squirt this solution into the nasal cavities, if infected. The best method involves the pills and topical (throat and nose) use.

It is important to continue the high doses at 2-3 hour intervals until the symptoms disappear. This could take more than one day. The symptoms may come back again several times after a temporary relief. I believe that in many cases, your immune system must kick in before you will get long term relief. Sometimes its over in a few hours, sometimes longer. I have found that this procedure works 90 % of the time. When I have not conscientously applied this procedure the cold sets in and it may take several days to cure it. It may be true that VC only shortens the duration of colds, but the durations often are very short, just a couple of hours.

Using my experience, and after reading many articles on nutrition, I would suggest a daily dose of 2 or 3 grams. VC should be taken daily on a routine basis, at least for its many other documented health functions. Please do not rely on orange juice for VC. The citric acid in citrus fruits, if taken in large quantities can promote bladder and prostate disease, because the end product of their metabolism is a base. I also strongly suggest other vitamins and highly nutritious foods.