Vitamin C, IL-6, and respiratory failure in COVID19

Level of IL-6 predicts respiratory failure in hospitalized symptomatic COVID-19 patients“, a higher level of interleukin-6 is predictive of greater risk of respiratory failure, (1) and Vitamin C reduces IL-6: “Vitamin C blocks vascular dysfunction and release of interleukin-6.” (2)

The Vitamin C Infusion therapy has had minimal adverse reactions in studies with the use of it in addition to standard chemotherapy treatments for patients with cancer, (3), or for patients with sepsis which is similar problem to an excess production of cytokines due to an infection. (Fowler 2014) It is given with thiamine, a B vitamin, which is also water soluble. (Protocol used in China for Vitamin C Infusion IV treatment)

Both nutrients may be needed in greater quantity due to the infection process so it isn’t normal health – the RDAs – Recommended Daily Allowances or DRIs – Daily Recommended Intake amounts for nutrients are for normal health, not guidance for illness or chronic conditions that may affect nutrient balance.

Vitamin C also helps prevent capillary breakdown and risk of easy bruising or blood clots (Tyml, 2017) which have been found to be part of the risk for more severe lung symptoms and respiratory failure with CoV-19 infection. (farid_jalali/pdf) Some of the questions brought up in that pdf are answered in this video update: Roger Seheult, MD, Coronavirus Pandemic Update 37: The ACE-2 Receptor – The Doorway to COVID-19 (ACE Inhibitors & ARBs). March 16, 2020,, (, which I included in this post along with foods that might help digestive symptoms associated with COVID19.

Life or death, essential nutrients are called essential for a reason – essential for life.

Home, self-care could include a variety of vitamin C rich foods. Vitamin C helps the immune system fight infection. Good sources include: cabbage, tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli, asparagus, peas, kale, & citrus, strawberries, kiwi, papayas, cantaloupe, and many other foods. (Vit C Fact Sheet)

Use of the citrus peel can more than double the amount of vitamin C compared to using only the fruit wedges, ( C Powder), and it provides many other beneficial flavonoids, see recent post). The pithy white part of the peel is mild compared to the outer zest and can be eaten along with the orange slices and the zest could be dried and powdered to add to other foods (after cooking, add it at the table) or made into an orange marmalade type sauce to add to salad dressing or for use in baking, (recipe post). Heating with lower temperatures can help preserve more vitamin C content than higher heat.

Cytokine Storm Syndrome & Vitamin C Infusion, — webinar for medical professionals.

The webinar is now available as a video that can be viewed at any time, see the website: The Vitamin C Infusion technique is being used for COVID19 patients in a large hospital chain in New York, based on the improved survival rate seen in Shanghai China, (NYPost)

An over-reaction of the immune system called Cytokine Storm Syndrome or sepsis shock can be the cause of death from COVID-19 infection rather than the breathing problems and pneumonia symptoms. Some people may be more genetically at risk of having the inflammatory over-production of cytokines. (Cytokine Storm Syndrome/genetics) They are involved in killing infected cells but an excess can cause organ failure and lead to death. Intravenous Vitamin C Infusion can be safe and nontoxic for treating sepsis shock (Fowler 2014) and may improve survival rates (ScienceDaily) and is a strategy that was used in Wuhan, China for COVID-19 patients. (Video update by Dr. Cheng) (Clinical Trial/Peng) (Protocol used in China for Vitamin C Infusion IV treatment)

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use. It is not intended to provide individual guidance. Please seek a health care provider for individualized health care guidance.

Reference List

  1. Tobias Herold III, Vindi Jurinovic, Chiara Arnreich, et al., Level of IL-6 predicts respiratory failure in hospitalized symptomatic COVID-19 patients. April 04, 2020.
  2. Böhm F, Settergren M, Pernow J. Vitamin C blocks vascular dysfunction and release of interleukin-6 induced by endothelin-1 in humans in vivo. Atherosclerosis. 2007 Feb;190(2):408-15. Epub 2006 Mar 9.
  3. van Gorkom GNY, Lookermans EL, Van Elssen CHMJ, Bos GMJ. The Effect of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) in the Treatment of Patients with Cancer: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2019;11(5):977. Published 2019 Apr 28. doi:10.3390/nu11050977