Human body can’t produce vitamin C naturally. So, we have to take it through our diet. Vitamin C is very essential for human body. Some of its uses are the following:
- It is an anti-oxidant. It protects essential biomolecules (proteins, lipids etc.) from being broken down by oxidants.
- Research has shown that our immune cells rely on vitamin C for proper functioning.
- It also plays the key role in production of hormones like norepinephrine and vasopressin, which are responsible for our cardiovascular system response to infection.
Vitamin C and COVID-19:
Vitamin C in intravenous (IV) infusion might help against COVID-19. However, doctors are not sure about this as the virus is new and is not completely understood yet.
One thing is clear that coronavirus patients are not harmed if they take vitamin C but it has any benefits.
However, very high dosage can be dangerous. Experts have suggested different dosages for different age groups.
- Red capsicum: 240mg per capsicum
- Grapefruit: 94mg per grapefruit
- Orange juice: 93mg per ¾ cup
- Kiwifruit: 64-85mg per kiwifruit
- Broccoli: 51mg per ½ cup cooked
- Strawberries: 50mg per 10 strawberries
- Orange: 46-70mg per orange
- Sweet potato: 30mg per sweet potato
- Tomato: 30mg per tomato
- Cantaloupe: 29mg per ½ cup
- Cauliflower: 26 per ½ cup (raw)
- Silverbeet: 27mg per cup (boiled).
Vitamin C can fight COVID-19 as it is an anti-oxidant. When our immune system tries to kill pathogens, it also causes oxidative damage. Vitamin C can fight the damage which is due to the disease fighting by immune system.
Vitamin C also helps to stop inflammation, which can damage many organs including lungs. There are evidences that COVID-19 causes inflammations, especially lungs inflammation.
However, a research paper showed that high dose of vitamin C can cause change in the way by which immune cells die. This can also cause inflammation. Researchers advised to add steroid treatment called a glucocorticoid to treat this inflammation.
Many researches showed that Vitamin C can help treat COVID-19. At least one clinical trial is being performed but its result will come by September 2020.
For now, the research on vitamin C being useful against COVID-19 mainly in conditions like acute respiratory distress syndrome and mechanical ventilation need due to severe cases of COVD-19. It has not researched particularly on COVID-19.
A clinical trial showed that vitamin C shortened length of ventilator by 14%. A study in 2019 showed that vitamin C infusion shortens the stay in Intensive Care Unit by 7.8%. The study looked at many of medical problems but not on COVID-19.
Alternative treatments and prevention:
There is no proper cure for coronavirus yet. Many people rely on prevention. There are almost no medicines which prove to be helpful against coronavirus, by research. Doctors advise to eat healthy and make immune system strong to stay safe from the virus.
Only people who had good medical history and better immune system had recovered. Mostly older people had died because of weak immune system.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has guided people to people to stay safe from the virus. Some of these guides are given below:
- Cover your nose and mouth properly, especially when you have to stay close to someone such as in markets and public transport.
- Don’t touch surfaces which are touched by public such as doorknobs of shops etc. Open doors with your elbow.
- Don’t shake hand with anyone.
- Don’t touch your face. It can transfer viral particles from hand to your face. Nose and mouth can be the ways for the virus to reach inside body. It is not harmful until it is outside the body.
- Cover your face properly when you cough or sneeze.
- Keep at least 6 feet distance from others if possible.