Some doctors in the state of New York are now providing their critically ill COVID-19 patients with a dose of Vitamin C that is more than 16 times the daily dietary allowance after they found this approach effective in China. Dr Andrew Weber, a doctor based from Long Island-based pulmonologist and critical-care specialist with Northwell Health took the lead on this move.
Why the "Overdose" of vitamin C?
This was based off on experimental treatments from abroad and was found to be helpful to cases.
"The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C,' he said. 'It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it's not a sexy drug."
Jason Molinet, a spokesman for Northwell, had this to say, "Vitamin C is 'widely used' as a coronavirus treatment throughout the health system. He noted, however, that the amount given to patients varies.
'As the clinician decides,' Molinet added.
Molinet has said that approximately 700 patients across the hospital network are being treated for the deadly coronavirus but couldn't specify just how many of those patients are receiving vitamin treatment.
What other drugs are used?
Dr. Weber explained that vitamin C is just one of many treatments given to patients, they also receive an anti-malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine, antibiotic azithromycin, and several biologics and blood thinners to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The reason for using vitamin C in the first place is that patients who suffer from sepsis (chemical imbalance in the blood) their vitamin C levels drop dangerously low. So to combat that problem, doctors resort to increased intake of vitamin C.
'It makes all the sense in the world to try and maintain this level of vitamin C,' Dr. Weber said.
What's the normal vitamin C intake?
You might be thinking that the doctors let patients drink the tablets, but there is a more efficient way, especially when patients themselves can't help themselves anymore or are too weak to do so. It's given intravenously and receives about 1,500 milligrams of it.
The average vitamin C intake for a man is about 90 milligrams, for women, 75 milligrams.