With so many scary news stories about coronavirus these days, perhaps you’re trying to focus on the positive and be proactive in looking into ways that you can protect yourself from the disease. One nutrient in particular has been discussed quite a bit when it comes to COVID-19: vitamin C. Yet for every article outlining its success stories, you can find one that dismisses the idea as wishful thinking or a waste of money.
In recent days, however, the voices supporting vitamin C are growing louder, and a prestigious medical journal is now recommending the use of high doses of vitamin C as a type of rescue therapy for those suffering from severe acute respiratory distress syndrome from COVID-19. The commentary article in question was published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
In fact, studies are currently underway in China looking into high doses of vitamin C therapy for coronavirus patients. The Shanghai Medical Association has already endorsed using high doses of vitamin C for people with COVID-19, and another randomized controlled study in the country is currently recruiting participants. The researchers hypothesize that the infusion will improve the outcome of those with severe acute respiratory infection, and it’s easy to see why.
Vitamin C has long been used for treating and preventing respiratory infections. A systematic review from 2004 in Military Medicine found a reduction of up to 100 recent in pneumonia in groups that were given high doses of the vitamin.
Other studies have shown that vitamin C has the power to block the process induced by sepsis that causes immune-mediated inflammatory molecules to collect in a patient’s lungs and destroy their lung function, which is precisely what is killing so many coronavirus patients these days.
Don’t let yourself be deficient in vitamin C
Of course, you don’t want to wait until you’re in a life-threatening situation and hope that somehow your doctors will decide to give you the vitamin. While you shouldn’t give yourself an IV of vitamin C, or anything else for that matter, you can ensure you’re getting enough of this important vitamin through food because low levels could put you at greater risk of several illnesses.
Vitamin C is one essential nutrient that has a slew of important health benefits. It’s a strong antioxidant that can enhance your immune function. It keeps your skin healthy, promotes wound healing, and boosts the activity of a type of immune cell that “swallows” bad bacteria while promoting the growth of immune cells that increase the antibodies that attack foreign substances within your blood.
It has been shown in studies to help lessen the symptoms of a cold and reduce its duration, while other studies have demonstrated its ability to reduce lung inflammation in those with severe respiratory illnesses caused by viruses like H1N1.
This is one vitamin where you certainly don’t want to come up short. You can find vitamin C in lots of vegetables and fruits, which you should be eating more of these days anyway as they provide a whole range of helpful nutrients. You might already know that oranges are a great source of vitamin C, but so are foods like kiwi, red peppers, kale, strawberries, and broccoli.
In addition to raising your consumption of foods high in vitamin C, you can also take other lifestyle steps that will help you stay healthy. For example, eat foods high in fiber that can enhance your gut health, like garbanzos. Drink plenty of water, do your best to manage stress, and ensure you get enough sleep.
Staying physically active is also important. Most of us can’t get to the gym these days, but it’s not hard to find exercise videos online that can be done in even small floor spaces if you can’t get outside for a walk around your yard or neighborhood.
When it comes to fighting illness, ensuring you get enough nutrients – especially vitamin C – can make all the difference!
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