We often associate Vitamin C with citrusy fruits, but during the coronavirus pandemic, many think of it as a means to protect oneself against COVID-19. Others also view it as an essential part of coronavirus treatment. But what is the truth?
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is a naturally occurring nutrient present in some foods and also available as a dietary supplement. Because the human body is unable to produce it, we obtain it from our diet and through supplementation.
According to WebMD, vitamin C is a very vital nutrient because it protects the body against certain diseases and prevents certain complications. It also enhances immunity and plays a role in the growth, development and repair of all body tissues.
And now more than ever, vitamin C is getting a lot of attention due to its immune-boosting properties. Considering that people with low immunity are more at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, more and more people are turning to vitamin C supplements for help.
This idea is actually not wrong, but it is also far from being scientifically proven. There may be animal research and case studies involving humans to show that high doses of vitamin C are able to diminish lung inflammation in severe respiratory diseases due to viruses like H1N1, but there are no studies to show that it can counter COVID-19 symptoms.
Nevertheless, the Shanghai Medical Association is recommending the use of high doses of vitamin C as part of treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. These high doses are to be administered through an IV line, so that the patient can stop relying on mechanical ventilation or life support.
But Healthline warns that people should not think of IV vitamin c as standard treatment for COVID-19 right away because there is not enough evidence to prove its efficacy in helping cure patients. It is also important to note that even Chinese researchers are still conducting further trials on this idea.
As per the latest data, more than 1 million people are infected around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200,000 people have reportedly recovered from the disease, while 53,241 people have unfortunately died due to the novel coronavirus.