High doses of vitamin C under study for treating COVID-19 may benefit some populations, but investigators exploring its potential in aging say key factors in effectiveness include levels of the natural transporter needed to get the vitamin inside cells. It has been found that nearly 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women participants were not consuming as much of this important Vitamin as they should.
It is an established immune system booster and antioxidant, which makes it a logical choice to explore in COVID-19. Strategies are needed in response to infection with the novel coronavirus to ensure a strong immune response to stop the virus from replicating in the body, and to avoid the over-the-top, destructive immune response the virus itself can generate if it does.
There are at least 30 clinical trials underway in which vitamin C, alone or in combination with other treatments, is being evaluated against COVID-19, some with doses up to 10 times the recommended 65 to 90 milligrams daily of vitamin C. Factors like whether or not vitamin C can get inside the cell, likely are an issue in the effectiveness the therapies ultimately show.
Many of those most at risk from COVID-19, including individuals who are older, Black, male and with chronic medical conditions like osteoarthritis, hypertension and diabetes, tend to have lower levels of vitamin C, another reason vitamin C therapy would be considered a reasonable treatment. The investigators also note that patients may develop a deficiency over the course of their COVID-19 illness since, during an active infection, it is consumed at a more rapid rate. Insufficient levels can augment the damage done by an overzealous immune response.
Low vitamin C levels also have been correlated with higher mortality in older individuals from causes like cardiovascular disease, high oxidative stress, a major factor in conditions like cardiovascular disease as well as aging and now COVID-19. These are all related to insufficient consumption of this critical vitamin.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, which means people have to consume it in their food or supplements. Deficiency is a very serious issue and should be treated using natural foods or dietary supplements. Foods naturally high in this critical vitamin include oranges, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The vitamin’s diverse roles in the body also include formation of blood vessels, collagen and cartilage.