Vitamin C IV infusion therapy in the news
The lack of evidence hasn’t stopped certain wellness centers from falsely touting Vitamin C as a cure for COVID-19, which is why we decided to step into the breach and present the facts. As you might imagine, since we reopened we’ve gotten a lot of questions about our IV tonics, each of which includes a Vitamin C megadose.
We can’t promise anything.
Indeed, the Federal Trade Commission has issued warning letters to health clinics and wellness centers across the nation – not us, mind you – accusing them of overhyping the effect of high-dose Vitamin C IV infusions. We wouldn’t do that… but we can’t ignore Vitamin C either. Interest is such that both Physicians Weekly and Medical News Today have published articles on the subject. And there’s a reason that there are so many studies trying to pinpoint the efficacy of Vitamin C IV infusions in fighting the current pandemic.
The issue is one of messaging, according to Dr. Michels, who has been studying Vitamin C and its effects on the body for 20 years. He told a Portland newspaper that, “Vitamin C isn’t necessarily a shield—It’s not going to stop people from getting infected with any virus: the common cold, influenza, coronavirus… It won’t stop it.
“But if you have a healthy immune system, and your immune system defeats the virus before you see symptoms, then that’s great.”
Your mother probably made you drink orange juice in the morning so you wouldn’t catch a cold. Maybe these days you take supplements. Maybe you’ve been to The Corner Suite for Vitamin C IV infusion therapy, possibly in the hope that it will help to ward off the novel coronavirus. An ounce or (maybe 1000mL) of prevention may not be a cure, but it is worth some peace of mind, is it not?
We do get questions.
Vitamin C has an almost mythic reputation among cure-alls and yet, according to Alexander Michels, PhD, research coordinator at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, “Even those who have dedicated their lives to studying this vitamin admit that they know very little.”
Dr. Michels told USA Today that, “Vitamin C has not been studied with much rigor” in part because “the molecule, ascorbic acid, is not easy to work with and has properties that make it difficult to understand.”
What we do know—what Linus Pauling knew back in 1970—is that in addition to being a fabulous antioxidant, able to protect the body’s cells and tissues from everyday damage and dysfunction, Vitamin C also has numerous other important functions within the body, many of which are known to support healthy immune response.
COVID-19 and the common cold
Linus Pauling, as you may know, was the scientist who in 1970 published Vitamin C and the Common Cold. Yes, that’s right, he’s the one who convinced your mom you needed all that Vitamin C. Dr. Pauling believed that increasing the daily dose of vitamin C could help the body mount a strong immune response when confronted with a respiratory infection.
Of course, we now know that Vitamin C is not a cure for the common cold. It’s likely not a cure for COVID-19 either, though we are closely watching several clinical trials that are investigating the use of intravenous (IV) vitamin C as a possible treatment for the disease.
Recently, IV vitamin C clinical trials began in China and Italy, and the results of those are due out in the fall of this year. In the meantime, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, “Doctors in hard-hit areas of the United States are now reporting using it and IV vitamin C appears in some COVID-19 critical care guidelines”
Let’s be clear: there is not yet scientific evidence to determine if high-dose Vitamin C works either to prevent or to cure COVID-19.