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, MedCram.com, (youtu.be/1vZDVbqRhyM), 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, (nourishingjoy.com/Vit 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: isom.ca. 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. MedRxIV.org https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.01.20047381 https://medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.01.20047381v1
  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. https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16527283
  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 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566697/

Cytokine Storm, SIDS, autism and Vitamin C

The over-reaction of the immune system to any infectious stimulant whether an infection or vaccines, may be a cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (1) and the encephalopathy (2) that is a frequent factor in later development of autism. (3)

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome may be a toxin overload as success was achieved with mattress covers in Australia that prevented volatile chemicals or mold spores from reaching the baby. Crib mattresses often contain vinyl or fire retardants and a used mattress likely has mold even if not obvious. It can be healthy for infants to sleep on their belly as helps with even muscle development and skull shape. Babies that are held or left in the same position all the time can development flattened areas on the skull and limit muscle development. See previous post1, post2, post3.

Giving infants and children vitamin C prior to vaccines orally with juice may be protective against the harmful excess production of inflammatory cytokines. Giving a larger amount intravenously for adverse reactions may also be protective against the cytokine overreaction from worsening as the larger amount of vitamin C has an inhibitory effect on the production of them as well as helping as an antioxidant to detoxify the ones already made in excess. Giving extra vitamin C before vaccines was found to be protective even in lab animals that genetically can make vitamin C. (4)

Cytokine Storm over-reactions may be more of a risk due to genetic differences in as many as 10-15% of the population. (5) Symptoms of a Cytokine Storm reaction can include: “high fever, enlarged spleen, excessive bleeding, low counts of all types of blood cells (red, white and platelets) and, potentially, multiple organ failures.” (5) Diarrhea is unpleasant and can kill if it continues for long however multiple organ failures is more deadly.

Providing vitamin C as a protection against the risk of an overreaction of the immune system would be low cost and has had a low risk of side effects. Diarrhea occurs if excess is taken by mouth so there is little risk of too much being absorbed in the GI tract, and adverse reactions to higher doses of vitamin C given as intravenous therapy have not been prevalent (1%) in studies using the treatment as an addition to chemotherapy treatments. (6)

Phase I studies of IV C alone & in combination with chemotherapy have reported excellent safety profiles 1–8,33. A survey of providers who used IVC for 9328 patients reported an adverse event rate of 1.0% 68..side effects of IVC…nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, perspiration, & weakness. 6,7” (6)

Giving vitamin C to infants and children would be providing them with a nutrient than most animals can produce for themselves. Humans had a genetic change that caused a loss of the ability. Giving vitamin C to infants and children might also help protect against a potentially fatal or brain damaging over-reaction of the immune system. If 10-15% of the population are genetically more at risk for the excess production of cytokines, (5) , then a government policy that mandates vaccinations would be genetically targeting those individuals for increased risk of an adverse reaction or death – a genocide.

Learning more about the gene differences involved in the increased risk for a Cytokine Storm reaction, and screening the population for the genes would also be helpful so those individuals would know that they have increased risk of death if they have an infection or strong immune reaction to something.

The Committee  to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines that was asked to assess the research on autism and vaccines did not say there was no risk of autism from vaccines – they said there was a lack of evidence – more research was needed.

The committee particularly counsels readers not to interpret a conclusion of inadequate data to accept or reject causation as evidence either that causation is either present or absent. Inadequate data to accept or reject causation means just that—inadequate. It is also important to recognize what our task was not. We were not charged with assessing the benefits of vaccines, with weighing benefits and costs, or with deciding how, when, and to whom vaccines should be administered.

Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines
Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Institute of Medicine (7)

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. Siri Hauge Opdal, PhD., Chapter 30: Cytokines, Infection, and Immunity, from the book SIDS Sudden Infant and Early Childhood Death: The Past, the Present and the Future. Duncan JR, Byard RW, editors., Adelaide (AU): University of Adelaide Press; 2018 May. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513388/
  2. Cytokine Storm, ScienceDirect.com, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/cytokine-storm
  3. Kern JK, Geier DA, Homme KG, Geier MR. A ten year longitudinal examination of the incidence rate and age of childhood encephalopathy diagnoses in an autism spectrum disorder diagnosed cohort. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2020;80(1):66–75. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32214276/
  4. C. Alan B. Clemetson, M.D., Rapid Response: The prevention of vaccine reactions. BMJ 2004;328:51 https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/10/30/prevention-vaccine-reactions
  5. University of Alabama at Birmingham, Here’s a playbook for stopping deadly cytokine storm syndrome. Nov 11, 2019, theivcenter.net, https://theivcenter.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Vit-C-and-Cancer-Support.pdf
  6. E. Klimant, H. Wright, D. Rubin, et al, Intravenous vitamin C in the supportive care of cancer patients: a review and rational approach. Curr Oncol. 2018 April;25(2):139-148, https://theivcenter.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Vit-C-and-Cancer-Support.pdf
  7. Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines.  Adverse effects of vaccines : evidence and causality / Committee to Review Adverse Effects of Vaccines, Board on Population Health & Public Health Practice ; Kathleen Stratton … [et al.], eds.  ISBN 978-0-309-21436-0 (PDF)  https://www.nap.edu/read/13164/chapter/1

Updates/ Vitamin C Infusion is helping CoV-19 patients in New York.

Addition – Food sources of vitamin C, quercetin, and zinc are at the top of this document, which includes this blog post and a few others on the topic of COVID-19 (Antivirals in Foods) Eating good sources several times a day may help the body prevent infection or have a less severe case.

Virus enter a cell and are replicated to the cell’s capacity to produce them, at that point the cell bursts releasing the newly formed virus which go and infect other cells and force those cells to make even more virus to the cell’s capacity, and they all burst, releasing yet more virus – in an exponentially increasing number. Each time a cell bursts and releases the viral load, the cell dies. So the sooner you can help your body stop the viral replication the sooner you are protecting your cells from being killed by the process.

Megadoses of the nutrients that help stop viral replication may not be needed. Moderate amounts of good food sources may help the body fight the infection before it has spread to numerous cells and caused significant cell damage. Reducing infection load may also help prevent an over-reaction of the immune system to the infection. An over-reaction of the immune system can be deadly as the inflammatory chemicals can attack healthy cells and lead to organ failure and eventually death. The next section is about a nontoxic treatment that might help if an over-reaction of the immune system leads to a Cytokine Storm/sepsis reaction.

Foods contain antivirals that work in a similar manner to the chloroquine medications that we have been hearing about in the news. More production is needed before they are available for widespread use, and they are somewhat expensive and can be dangerous. Quercetin is a phytonutrient that is readily available in vegetables and fruits and as a bulk or individual supplement.

Nursing homes and hospitals could be adding the bulk supplement powder to a food at each meal and including zinc food sources. The zinc is carried into infected cells by the quercetin (or chloroquine) and the zinc disrupts viral replication. The chloroquine, quercetin, or zinc are not killing virus. White blood cells are the body’s patrol for killing and removing infected cells.

Health takes work and work takes nutrients.

  • Vitamin C helps the immune system fight infection. Good sources include: cabbage, tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli, asparagus, peas, kale, & citrus, strawberries, kiwi, papayas, cantaloupe. (Vit C Fact Sheet)
  • Good food sources of quercetin include: red onion, onion, garlic, kale, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, capers, nuts and seeds, red grapes, cherries, olive oil. Herbal supplements also containing quercetin include St John’s Wort, Gingko biloba, and American Elder. (WebMd
  • Good food sources of zinc include oysters, meats, poultry, dairy, cashews, pumpkin seeds. Other beans, nuts and seeds would also have some as vegan sources. Meats have more than the vegan sources, while oysters have so much zinc that it might risk excess if eaten regularly in large servings.  (Zinc Fact Sheet).

There are no guarantees in life, but trying a nontoxic strategy is at least safe. Medications may have risks of side effects – always see a medical professional for individualized health care guidance.

Vitamin C Infusion for Cytokine Storm immune overreactions.

Good news updates – a hospital chain in New York has found the use of high dose intravenous Vitamin C Infusions helpful for patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) novel coranovirus. “Dr. Andrew G. Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist affiliated with two Northwell Health” is providing his patients who have sepsis/cytokine storm symptoms an intravenous drip with 1500 mg of vitamin C three or four times per day. (1) Patients getting the Vitamin C treatment have been helped more than patients who did not according to Dr. Weber. A spokesperson for the Northwell Health system said that vitamin C is being “widely used” at their hospitals where 700 patients approximately are being treated for SARS-CoV2, however it varied by patient need and the clinician’s plan of care. (1, 2)

The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C,” Weber said. (1)

The protocol for the treatment also includes vitamin B1 generally but that news article doesn’t mention that ingredient of the IV mixture. The treatment is a much larger amount of vitamin C than the daily recommendation for a normal diet, however a patient with an overactive immune response is not in normal health. The treatment is used for patients who have had an overactive immune response to the infection and their own immune cytokines become produced in excessive amounts. The cytokines can then start damaging the patient’s own organs which can lead to organ failure and result in death.

The damaging immune chemicals in a normal response to infection would only attack the infected cells. The excessive amounts however use up all supplies of vitamin C in the patient’s body, and supplying vitamin C in high doses is then very helpful for protecting the patient from harm by the excess.

Quercetin plus zinc is a zinc ionophore, and is being tested as an anti-viral in human clinical trials for the treatment of SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19).

Good news update regarding quercetin and zinc as a zinc ionophore – the combination had already made it through animal trials for use against Ebola, and SARS-CoV(1) and was approved by the FDA for human clinical trials. Plans were underway for it to be trialed in China for patients with SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19). I haven’t found results yet.

  • CBC News Interview with “Dr. Michel Chrétien’s team at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal” : Canadian team invited to do clinical trials in China for antiviral drug. Feb 28, 2020, (youtube).

UK What to do if at home with a Potential Infection, Guidance:

Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Updated 24 March 2020, (gov.uk).

*The UK guidance recommends isolating for seven days after symptom onset, – it might be wise to use caution longer than, especially if trying to protect people in your home who are in a high risk group, which includes: Senior Citizens, people with asthma or other lung conditions, smokers, people with hypertension, and immune-compromised people.

While the infectious stage seems to start prior to symptom onset and to have the most risk of spreading the infection during the early days of symptoms, when a fever is also often a symptom, that might not be consistently true and not everyone infected with SARS-CoV-2 gets a fever. The longest a patient has been found to be infectious was 37 days and the shortest was eight days. The average for patients with severe symptoms being treated in a hospital to be infectious was 19 days and for patients with critical symptoms the average was 24 days to remain infectious. (4)

Sensible precautions if sharing a home with infected and non-infected people include:

  • Cover your coughs or wear a mask or bandana to catch respiratory droplets from your breath, coughs or sneezes. Try to avoid being in the same room with non-infected people if possible, at least during the highest risk days during the early onset of symptoms, or positive test result.
  • Wash hands often and sanitize or wash with soap any commonly used surfaces such as door knobs, kitchen and bathroom areas.
  • Don’t prepare raw foods for non-infected people if you can avoid it. Otherwise wash hands thoroughly or wear food preparation gloves if possible after the initial week or two of more severe feverish symptoms has passed.
  • US CDC guidance for home care of a person infected with SARS-CoV2 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html

This is doable – the quercetin rich foods mentioned in the last post plus sinc supplements or foods may provide a protective effect against getting a viral infection. Stay calm and eat sauteed onions or citrus with a little of the peel left on, plus pumpkin seeds or meats. Best wishes for everyone’s health!

Request for plasma donations from people recently recovered from SARS-CoV2, Mount Sinai

There is a request for people who have recently recovered from SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) and who would be willing to donate plasma if they have antibodies against the infection to contact Mount Sinai’s medical team. Antibody rich plasma can be given to severely ill patients with the infection to help them fight the virus. They can check for the presence of antibodies. Contact: COVIDSerumTesting@mountsinai.org, see (Statement from Mount Sinai Chief Medical Officer, (via @MikeDelMoro/via @joshchafetz).

Mount Sinai medical system has developed a test for checking for CoV-19 antibodies within hospitals and are sharing the technique: BREAKING: The First U.S. Test to Detect If a Person Has Potential Immunity to COVID-19 Was Just Developed (leapsmag.com)

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Reference List

  1. Lorena Mongelli and Bruce Golding, New York hospitals treating coronavirus patients with vitamin C. March 24, 2020, NYPost.com, https://nypost.com/2020/03/24/new-york-hospitals-treating-coronavirus-patients-with-vitamin-c/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_medium=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPTwitter
  2. Dan Lyman, Coronavirus Patients Being Treated With Vitamin C at New York Hospitals. March 25, 2020, https://www.newswars.com/coronavirus-patients-being-treated-with-vitamin-c-at-new-york-hospitals/
  3. CBC News Interview with “Dr. Michel Chrétien’s team at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal” : Canadian team invited to do clinical trials in China for antiviral drug. Feb 28, 2020, (youtube).
  4. Fei Zhou, Ting Yu, Ronghui Du, et al., Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study. The Lancet, March 11, 2020, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30566-3 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30566-3/fulltext#back-bib33
  5. Kira Peikoff, BREAKING: The First U.S. Test to Detect If a Person Has Potential Immunity to COVID-19 Was Just Developed. March 22, 2020 leapsmag.com, https://leapsmag.com/breaking-the-first-u-s-test-to-detect-if-a-person-has-potential-immunity-to-covid-19-was-just-developed/?fbclid=IwAR2z_hl9VZfsrjz2JL03Sze2cPscdqGTFD0VyBrSbUvx-bOP8f5lmz9BgdU