Vitamin C–An Immune Fighter

Way back when, ok 2003, there was a localized (in Asia) epidemic called SARS. It too was caused by a coronavirus. SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which meant it affected the lungs, causing pneumonia and often times death. The current coronavirus, Covid-19, strongly resembles SARS. In fact, if you look at some of the proteins involved in viral entry, there’s only a difference of 1 whopping amino acid. You could think of Covid-19 as the son or daughter of SARS. And this is what they said when discussing Vitamin C for SARS.

I won’t post the whole article due to copyright but here’s the pertinent discussion:

J Antimicrob Chemo 2003 Dec; 52(6):1049-50. Epub 2003 Nov 12.
Vitamin C and SARS coronavirus.

Hemilä H.

…..Studies in animals found that vitamin C modifies susceptibility to various bacterial and viral infections, for example protecting broiler chicks against an avian coronavirus. Placebo-controlled trials have shown quite consistently that the duration and severity of common cold episodes are reduced in the vitamin C groups, indicating that viral respiratory infections in humans are affected by vitamin C levels. There is also evidence indicating that vitamin C may affect pneumonia. In particular, three controlled trials with human subjects reported a significantly lower incidence of pneumonia in vitamin C-supplemented groups, suggesting that vitamin C may affect susceptibility to lower respiratory tract infections under certain conditions. The possibility that vitamin C affects severe viral respiratory tract infections would seem to warrant further study, especially in light of the recent SARS epidemic.

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