In this time of pandemic, every individual must try to maintain their immune systems. Yes, as we all know, immunity is the main protection against being exposed to viruses that attack the respiratory tract.
If immunity is good, the virus is reluctant to attack. To have a good and strong immune system, it can be obtained in various ways. One of the important things is to consume good vitamin C – in terms of quality, regularly.
Why is that? Because, vitamin C can help increase the production of white blood cells in the body. White blood itself plays a role in fighting various diseases, also viruses. Moreover, vitamin C is also known as a natural cold remedy, can reduce the risk of cancer, and kill tuberculosis bacteria (TB).
Vitamin C is not only an antioxidant, but also has an antiviral effect by killing viruses and preventing viral replication. Researchers have shown that vitamin C levels can decrease in patients with acute respiratory infections, so giving vitamin C can increase vitamin C levels. In coronavirus patients, vitamin C levels drop dramatically when they experience sepsis, an inflammatory response that occurs when the body overreact to infection.
So, how important is vitamin C for health, especially during pandemic?
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid that cannot be produced by the body itself, and is included in water soluble vitamins. Therefore, it is important to meet their daily needs. Vitamin C can be found in the natural water content of some foods, added to other foods, and in the form of multivitamins.
As previously explained, vitamin C can certainly increase immunity by producing white blood cells. But not only that, but, reported by Medical News Today, vitamin C has a role in helping the body function, including the production of collagen, L-carnitine, and several neurotransmitters.
A number of these ingredients can help protein metabolism and reduce the risk of cancer. In addition, the body also needs vitamin C to maintain bone structure, absorption of iron, to keep skin healthy. This has to do with vitamin C’s role as an antioxidant, which can repair tissue and reduce damage from inflammation and oxidation.
In more severe cases, vitamin C can help prevent acute respiratory infections – including those experienced by Covid-19 patients, in people who are undernourished and experiencing high stress levels. Because, individuals who meet the needs of vitamin C regularly and have high levels of vitamin C in their bodies are considered more capable of fighting the infection than those who do not.
Source of Vitamin C
To meet daily vitamin C needs, you can regularly eat vegetables and fruits that are rich in vitamin C, such as; Guava, Orange, Papaya, Strawberry, Lemon, Kiwi, Broccoli, Spinach, Cauliflower.
Consuming food sources of vitamin C can indeed help meet their daily needs, but this method is not necessarily enough. In fact, you need 1000 Kg of orange to produce of vitamin C. Especially for vegetables, how to cook these food sources can affect the levels of vitamins in them. If the cooking method is wrong, the vitamin content can actually be damaged.
Another source of vitamin C that you must consider is IV Vit C. IV or intravenous is a method of giving drugs by injection or intravenous infusion. In fact, intravenous itself means ‘inside the vein’. So the vitamin will be inserted directly into the vein using a needle or tube called an IV catheter. Don’t worry, this intravenous injection procedure should be performed by a medical professional.
Normally, the IV Vitamin injection contains multivitamin such as 500 mg of Vitamin C, B Complex Vitamin (Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12), Niacinamide, and Calcium Pantothenate, which can help keep your immune system healthy. And, the content of vitamin B complex in it can optimize metabolic processes – so, the food you consume can be processed into a source of energy for activities.
IV Vitamin C High Dose Recommended in COVID-19 Patient Therapy
There are 3 clinical studies that have been conducted in China examining the effects of high doses of intravenous (IV) vitamin C for the treatment of COVID-19. Studies have also shown that vitamin C can shorten the length of stay in the ICU. Researchers from Finland and Australia conducted a review of 12 studies with 1766 patients and found that in patients who were given vitamin C, ICU length of stay was reduced by an average of 7.8%. In 6 studies, giving oral vitamin C 1-3 grams per day (mean 2 grams / day) shortened the length of stay in the ICU by 8.6%. In 3 studies in which patients required mechanical ventilation for more than 24 hours, vitamin C administration shortened the duration of mechanical ventilation by 18.2%.
Confirming reports from small independent studies and 3 clinical studies, experts from Shanghai have announced a recommendation to use high-dose IV vitamin therapy for COVID-19 therapy. The recommended dosage varies according to disease severity, ranging from 50-200 mg / kg / day to 16,000 mg / kg / day. The dosage given ranges from 4,000-16,000 mg IV for adults.
Dr. Enqian Mao, who is a member of the Senior Expert Team of the Shanghai Public Health Center and co-author of the Shanghai Guidelines for the Treatment of Covid-19 Infection, has previously used high doses of IV vitamin C to treat patients with acute pancreatitis, sepsis, surgical wound healing, and other medical conditions for more than 10 years. Dr. Mao stated that his group had given high-dose IV vitamin C therapy in 50 cases of moderate to severe COVID-19 infection, with a vitamin C dose of 10,000-20,000 mg per day for 7-10 days, with 10,000 mg for moderate cases and 20,000 mg for cases.
All patients who received IV vitamin C improved and there was no mortality. Compared with the average 30 days of hospitalization for all COVID-19 patients, patients receiving high doses of vitamin C were hospitalized 3-5 days shorter than patients as a whole. One patient with a rapidly worsening severe case was given an IV bolus of vitamin C of 50,000 mg for 4 hours. The patient’s pulmonary status stabilized and improved. There were no reported side effects in all cases of high-dose vitamin C therapy.
According to The New York Post, the medical team from Northwell Health has also given patients affected by the coronavirus with vitamin C 1500 mg IV, and this is given 3 or 4 times a day. At a hospital in Daegu, South Korea, all patients with low-grade fever, headaches, and cough receive 30,000 mg of IV vitamin C. Some patients get better after 2 days, and most of the symptoms disappear after a single injection.
Atsue Yanagisawa, MD, PhD. who is the President of the Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy stated that this specific method of giving vitamin C is very important because the effect of vitamin C is at least 10 times stronger when given IV than orally, and vitamin C IV is a safe, effective, and broad-spectrum antiviral. So giving high doses of IV vitamin C can really help COVID-19 patients therapy.
Although some clinical trials suggest that vitamin C boosts the immune system and helps fight the coronavirus, this research needs further evidence to prove it. The most effective way to prevent the spread of infection is to maintain good hand hygiene and self-isolation. But again, prevention is always better.
Based on all the explanation above, the needs of vitamin C every day and consuming food sources and multivitamins that contain vitamin C are indeed important. Especially during a pandemic, the immune system is our main protection against being exposed to various viruses and diseases.