Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Vitamin C—An Adjunctive Therapy for Respiratory Infection, Sepsis and COVID-19

Version 1 : Received: 19 October 2020 / Approved: 20 October 2020 / Online: 20 October 2020 (10:51:24 CEST)

How to cite: Holford, P.; Carr, A.; Jovic, T.H.; Ali, S.R.; Whitaker, I.S.; Marik, P.; Smith, D. Vitamin C—An Adjunctive Therapy for Respiratory Infection, Sepsis and COVID-19. Preprints 2020, 2020100407 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0407.v1). Holford, P.; Carr, A.; Jovic, T.H.; Ali, S.R.; Whitaker, I.S.; Marik, P.; Smith, D. Vitamin C—An Adjunctive Therapy for Respiratory Infection, Sepsis and COVID-19. Preprints 2020, 2020100407 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0407.v1).

Abstract

There are limited proven therapies for the treatment of COVID-19. 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, supporting anti-inflammatory treatment. This literature review focuses on vitamin C deficiency in respiratory infections including COVID-19; the mechanism of action in infectious disease and adrenal function supporting the anti-inflammatory actions of glucocorticosteroids: its role in preventing and treating colds and pneumonia and its role in treating sepsis and COVID-19. The evidence to date indicates that oral vitamin C (2-8g/d) may reduce incidence and duration of respiratory infections and intravenous vitamin C (2-24g/d) has been shown to reduce mortality, Intensive Care Unit and hospital stays, time on mechanical ventilation in severe respiratory infections. Further trials are urgently warranted. Given the favourable safety profile and low cost of vitamin C, and frequency of vitamin C deficiency in respiratory infections it may be worthwhile testing patients’ vitamin C status and treating accordingly with intravenous use within ICUs and orally with doses between 2 and 8g/day in hospitalised and infected persons.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; vitamin C; ascorbate; colds; pneumonia; sepsis; immunonutrition; supplementation

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