The April 2019 issue of Nutrients published the findings of a meta-analysis which concluded that the administration of vitamin C to intensive care unit (ICU) patients shortened the patients’ stay by an average of 7.8%.
Dr Harri Hemilä of the University of Helsinki, Finland, and Dr Elizabeth Chalker of the University of Sydney, Australia, selected 12 controlled trials that included a total of 2,004 patients for their analysis. While subjects who received orally administered vitamin C had an ICU stay that was 7.8% shorter than that of patients who did not receive the vitamin, patients in six trials who received an average dose of two grams per day of vitamin C had their ICU stay reduced by 8.6%.
Among trials that included patients who required more than 24 hours mechanical ventilation, treatment with vitamin C was associated with an 18.2% reduction in ventilation duration. The finding suggests that vitamin C’s benefits might be greater for patients who have more severe illnesses.
“Vitamin C is a safe, low-cost essential nutrient,” Drs Hemilä and Chalker commented. “Given the consistent evidence from the trials published so far, vitamin C might be administered to ICU patients, although further studies are needed to find out optimal protocols for its administration. A few common cold studies have indicated that there may be a linear dose response for vitamin C on common cold duration for up to 6 and 8 grams per day. Evidently the dose response for doses higher than 2 grams per day should also be investigated for ICU patients.”
“Vitamin C costs only pennies per gram, whereas one day in the ICU may cost thousands of dollars; therefore, an 8% decrease in ICU stay from the administration of 2 grams/day of vitamin C warrants further research,” the authors concluded.
Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.
Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.
Improves mood, memory, and focus.
Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.