Updated: Nov 26, 2020
VITAMIN C - ASCORBIC ACID
This first one is probably a no brainer but we are starting with the basics!
PROPERTIES: Vitamin C has antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
It also modulates the immune system by improving T cell function and increasing production of immunoglobulins. It is a cheap, readily available supplement and very unlikely to be harmful.
Use at the first signs of infection: fever, cough and loss of taste and sense of smell for its antiviral properties. It actually lowers the risk of succumbing to the infection itself! Vitamin C levels decrease in the acute stage of an infection as ours cells are metabolising hard so we need to try and maintain our serum vitamin C level.
DOSE IN ACUTE INFECTION: The Mayo Clinic recommend 2000mg a day but I have seen recommendations for up to 5000mg. The body excretes the excess so that probably won’t be absorbed. You may reach a tolerance point where you could suffer from gut side effects - diarrhoea, bloating, flatulence or stomach pains. If that’s the case reduce the dose.
MAINTENANCE: Vitamin C has the role of maintaining the health of our skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage. It also is essential in wound healing and may protect against diseases such as cancer. The recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin C is 90 mg in men and 75 mg in women a day. It is readily available in guavas, bell peppers, kiwis, strawberries, oranges, brocolli, tomatoes and kale
RESEARCH COVID-19: In China and the USA they are using high dose IV vitamin C (12 mg a day) on those admitted with severe covid-19 infections with promising results. It helps to reduce lung inflammation leading to a reduction in the length of time ventilated and therefore reduction in length of ICU stay. It also reduces the risk of cytokine storm. Vitamin C increases endothelial function and so lessens the risks of strokes, pulmonary emboli and myocardial infarctions.