Affordable Vitamin C for COVID

November 23, 2021

The medical rationale confirmed by new review of available evidence.

From our friends at ANH-International.

Have you taken your vitamin C today?

If you have, will you take it again, perhaps more than twice or three times, to maintain beneficial amounts of this remarkable, multi-functional nutrient in your bloodstream for more of the day, or even overnight?

A new review of 12 high quality Covid-19 studies published on Monday in the peer reviewed journal Life provides a stark reminder that popping your C might be one of the cheapest and easiest solutions that can reduce the risk of serious, life-threatening covid-19 disease. The review, which includes 5 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and 7 retrospective cohort studies, can be read here in full.

Our great admiration for keeping vitamin C firmly within the touchlines of the covid-19 football pitch goes to UK-based nutritionist and ANH friend, Patrick Holford, who is first author of the review. Patrick is also the driving force behind the VitaminC4Covid campaign. Co-authors include acclaimed vitamin C researcher Anitra Carr from the University of Otago in New Zealand and UK critical care doctor at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, Dr Marcela Vizcaychipi.

Vitamin C – multifunctional marvel

Nature produces an incredible array of molecules, vitamin C being just one of less than 30 micronutrients known to be essential to humans, one of a few mammalian species (including guinea pigs) that have lost their ability during evolution, through loss of the gulonolactone oxidase gene, to produce their own vitamin C.

While Vitamin C is unequivocally recognised as a quintessential player in maintaining function of the immune system, the review paper points to 70-80% of patients with severe covid-19 disease suffering hypovitaminosis C (i.e. low vitamin C status) in hospitals (<23 µmol/L). Significant numbers have plasma levels less than 11 µmol/L which puts them in the scurvy category, also not uncommon among those in care homes.

Vitamin C deficiency can contribute to an array of problems including poor immune and neurological system function, as well as scurvy, poor wound healing, bleeding gums, improper gene expression, and premature aging (e.g. through disruption of collagen formation).

By contrast, the benefits of optimising circulating levels of vitamin C include:

  • Supports modulation of both innate and adaptive immune system
  • Required for appropriate gene expression
  • Helps form collagen and maintain integrity of barriers, bones and cartilage
  • Required for normal wound repair
  • Anti-viral activity
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Facilitate mitochondrial (energy-yielding) function to helps overcome tiredness and fatigue
  • Required for the enzymatic production of particular neurotransmitters
  • Increases absorption of iron
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