Can IV Vitamin C Soothe Immune Stress?


Published:

© Keilidh Ewan on Unsplash

If you have ever struggled with a cold or flu, you know how much they can make you suffer. Imagine how much stress ongoing infections can place on your system. Conventional medicine has no treatments, but IV infusions can provide a variety of nutrients your body needs to fight both bacterial and viral infections. How is it that something so simple can be so helpful?

IV Infusions In Practice

Let’s consider an example. Believe it or not, recent studies on intravenous infusions of vitamin C have highlighted the power of this intervention in one of the most dangerous areas of acute illness: sepsis.

In doing so, these researchers have found a new potential for IV vitamin C to be used as a novel therapeutic in the acute patient setting.

Considering the use of nutrient IV infusions for helping patients in such critical conditions, what might it also be able to help with in terms of common bacterial and viral infections in the outpatient setting?

Recent Studies On Vitamin C And Sepsis

First, we need to start with a better understanding of sepsis (and what it does to your body). Sepsis occurs when an infection in one area of your body triggers an inflammatory response in the rest of your body. Sepsis is a very serious condition that can lead to problematic hypotension and multisystem organ failure.

Interestingly, researchers have noticed septic patients have very depleted levels of vitamin C1.

Providing vitamin C appears to put a halt to the runaway inflammatory response, protecting against the excess of reactive oxygen species found in the septic state.

In sepsis, vitamin C appears to work through several different ways to:

  • Protect blood vessels2,3
  • Normalize heart rate and protect the heart1,3
  • Decrease need for medication to stabilize blood pressure4,1
  • Aid in the synthesis of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin5
  • Decrease inflammation and improve immune function2,3
  • Decrease organ damage2
  • Reduce mortality4,6

The clinical trials of IV vitamin C, in regards to sepsis, have been small but promising. A study of 24 patients found that those who received a higher dose of IV vitamin C had better recovery than those receiving the lower dose or placebo2.

A more recent double-blind randomized study of 28 patients saw that over 28 days, mortality in the vitamin C group was 14% compared to 64% in the control group4.

The latest study involved 94 patients. In this study, the researchers examined the medical records of an intensive care unit to compare septic patients receiving two different types of therapy.

One group of patients had received standard care. The other group had received standard care in addition to IV vitamin C combined with hydrocortisone and thiamine. The group receiving the additional IV therapy fared much better than the control group, with a mortality rate of 8.5% compared to 40.4%6.

While the results might not be there in terms of quality, the initial results that we can see for IV vitamin C in treating sepsis are very promising.

History of Vitamin C IVs

Although vitamin C deficiency and scurvy might seem like a historical occurrence, vitamin C is actually a common deficiency in the United States7.

If you consider that your vitamin C requirement is increased with stress, infection, inflammation and other demands7 on your body, it likely isn’t as surprising that you might need a little more in a polluted world with high incidences of inflammatory disease and a stressful pace of life.

One of the earliest uses of IV vitamin C for the treatment of infections was in 1940s. At this time, Dr. Klenner of North Carolina reported on the use of IV vitamin C for viral infections such as polio and viral pneumonia. Since its inception, IV vitamin C has gained popularity in providing immune support for acute infections.

Interested in going beyond the history, and perhaps learning more about your body beyond vitamin C? Here is something you should definitely be considering…

How Does IV Vitamin C Work?

Although some animals can make their own vitamin C in the liver, humans must acquire their vitamin C from dietary sources.

A lot of vitamin C can actually be stored in your adrenal glands and is released under stress. In addition to this, vitamin C is needed for many reactions in our body to take place, including the synthesis of adrenal hormones.

When we are under certain kinds of stress, taking certain medications, or combating infection our body’s requirement for vitamin C can increase.

You can only absorb a small amount of vitamin C in your gastrointestinal tract (around 1000 mg), and intravenous infusions are an effective way to reach much higher blood levels of vitamin C3,8.

The Role of Safety

In studies of patients with sepsis (or with a variety of other acute conditions), IV vitamin C has been well-tolerated. High amounts of vitamin C can show pro-oxidant effects in cell studies, but clinical studies in humans have not demonstrated pro-oxidant effects3.

One potential side effect of IV vitamin C at high doses is calcium oxalate kidney stones. This is why one of the studies of vitamin C for patients with sepsis used vitamin C in combination with thiamine. However, it is unknown how much of a risk this actually is for short-term high-dose IV vitamin C therapy9.

Although IV vitamin C is generally given without adverse effects, those with glucose-6-phosphate deficiencies should avoid high doses of IV vitamin C. Glucose-6-phosphate deficiency is an X-linked recessive disorder that under certain conditions can lead to rupture of blood cells.

Interestingly, vitamin C is similar enough to glucose that it can cause a false blood glucose reading.10 This is something to keep in mind if you happen to check your blood glucose after receiving an IV.

Additional Benefits

IV infusions can provide a higher dose of vitamin C than you can achieve with oral forms (1). You need adequate vitamin C to prevent infections and once an infection is present, higher doses are needed to make up for the increased use of vitamin C in the body7.

Once the acute concern is past, an oral form may be sufficient to meet your daily needs for vitamin C (2). Click here to learn more about the other benefits of vitamin C. 

In addition to helping fight infections, vitamin C plays an important role in adrenal health (3).

Imagine next time you have a big event coming up – maybe a well-earned vacation – you absolutely do not want to get sick. Think about IV Vitamin C as an easy way to prevent illnesses.

At the same time, you should also consider dialing in your nutrition, more generally. For that, there is a simple solution…

Getting Treated With IV Vitamin C

Allow about 60 minutes start to finish for a treatment and bring a nice book to read.

This article was republished from DrChristianson.com.

Tiffany Turner is a fourth-year naturopathic medical student at SCNM. Prior to moving to Arizona, she completed a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Psychology and Biology from the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada. For the last four years, she has been a part of a research team that focuses on the prevention, control, and treatment of multi-drug resistant bacteria and viruses using botanicals. Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. 

See also:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Magnesium Deficiency
A Kitchen Ecology Of Health Resilience

Resources:
1. Carr, A. C., Shaw, G. M., Fowler, A. A. & Natarajan, R. Ascorbate-dependent vasopressor synthesis: a rationale for vitamin C administration in severe sepsis and septic shock? Crit. Care 19, 418 (2015).
2. Fowler, A. A. et al. Phase I safety trial of intravenous ascorbic acid in patients with severe sepsis. J. Transl. Med. 12, 32 (2014).
3. Marik, P. E. Vitamin C for the treatment of sepsis: The scientific rationale. Pharmacol. Ther. (2018). doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera.2018.04.007
4. Zabet, M., Mohammadi, M., Ramezani, M. & Khalili, H. Effect of high-dose Ascorbic acid on vasopressor′s requirement in septic shock. J. Res. Pharm. Pract. 5, 94 (2016).
5. Kuhn, S.-O., Meissner, K., Mayes, L. M. & Bartels, K. Vitamin C in sepsis. Curr. Opin. Anaesthesiol. 31, 1 (2017).
6. Marik, P. E., Khangoora, V., Rivera, R., Hooper, M. H. & Catravas, J. Hydrocortisone, Vitamin C, and Thiamine for the Treatment of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock. Chest 151, 1229–1238 (2017).
7. Carr, A. C. & Maggini, S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. doi:10.3390/nu9111211
8. Padayatty, S. J. et al. Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use. Ann. Intern. Med. 140, 533–7 (2004).
9. Oudemans-van Straaten, H. M., Elbers, P. W. G. & Spoelstra-de Man, A. M. E. How to Give Vitamin C a Cautious but Fair Chance in Severe Sepsis. Chest 151, 1199–1200 (2017).
10. Sartor, Z., Kesey, J. & Dissanaike, S. The Effects of Intravenous Vitamin C on Point-of-Care Glucose Monitoring. J. Burn Care Res. 36, 50–56 (2015).

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

June 17, 2019

Can’t sleep? It may be because the Full Moon crescendo peaks shortly before dawn. Optimism as well as restlessness are fired up by Jupiter’s proximity to the Moon. Be aware of those who take a “holier than thou” approach. There is always something to…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

June 2019

Sunday Reiki treatments with Reiki master and practitioner Linda Simons in Brookline, MA. Start your week off on a more balanced note with a Reiki treatment on a Sunday afternoon. Please join me...

Cost: Sliding Scale $25-45

Where:
233 Harvard Street
Suite 36
Brookline, MA  02446
View map »


Telephone: 617-304-2205
Contact Name: Linda Simons
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

In celebration of the summer freshness, vitality and joyfulness, this is a spring pamper yourself DIY strawberry body care flower project that you will go home with. Time permitting you may go...

Cost: Pre-reg $35, $40 at the door, materials included

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers—Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Sute #A
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers—Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us for an exclusive workshop and wine tasting. This event is free! Attorney Lisa Cukier, partner at Burns & Levinson, will lead an informative workshop on divorce impacted by...

Cost: Free

Where:
Total Wine & More
321 Speen Street
Apt 802
Natick, MA  01760
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Part 1 - Animal Communication Tue 6/18 (10-6pm) and Wed, 6/19 (10-1 pm)  Fri, 6/21 *Optional morning off-site visit w/live animals  Learn how to communicate with your...

Cost: $540

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

Are you going through a divorce, contemplating divorce, or recovering from divorce? Come to our Divorce Boot Camp, and we’ll help you get into shape! Join us and learn about the finer...

Cost: Free

Where:
Leading Edge Real Estate
2 Mount Vernon Street
Winchester, MA  01890
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

Are you separated, divorced, or in the process of divorce? Whatever stage you are in…just considering divorce or many years post divorce… our Divorce Resource Nights have...

Cost: Free

Where:
Skylark Law & Mediation, PC
9 Main Street
Southborough, MA  01772
View map »


Sponsor: Vesta: Redefining Divorce
Telephone: 508-744-6014
Contact Name: Deanna Coyle
Website »

More information

June 20–23 For more info, please contact us at 336.574.1121 or aptaoffices@polaritytherapy.org www.polaritytherapy.org Keynote Speaker: Christina L. Ross, PhD, BCPP Wake Forest...

Where:
Hilton Long Island/Huntington
Melville, NY


Sponsor: American Polarity Therapy Association
Website »

More information

This development group is for students of mediumship looking to enhance, expand and practice their mediumship abilities. Traditional and progressive mediumship development techniques, topics and...

Cost: $25 per person

Where:
Moth and Moon Studio
173 South River Road
Suite #4
Bedford, NH  03110
View map »


Sponsor: Moth and Moon Studio
Telephone: 603-782-3674
Contact Name: Danielle Dionne
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

June 21–23 Medical Qi Gong for Health Care Practitioners and Tuina Treatment Strategies for Cervical Spine and Lumbar Spine with Bill Helm Join us Friday–Sunday, June...

Cost: See details

Where:
Roots and Wings Yoga and Healing Arts
317 North Main Street
Natick, MA  01760
View map »


Sponsor: Eastern Medicinal Therapies Education Center
Telephone: (617) 435-3586
Contact Name: Lauren Paap
Website »

More information

Networking / Supervision / Support  We are a varied group of holistic practitioners in metro-west Boston and we welcome new practitioner-members. We invite any local practitioner,...

Where:
Lincoln, MA


Telephone: 781-738-1920
Contact Name: Jai Kaur Annamaria

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Saturday and Sunday, June 22nd & 23rd plus Saturday, July 27th A path to reconnecting with your true self and expressing your full human potential. Summer 2019 Reiki...

Cost: $450

Where:
Northeast Reiki Center
61 Nicholas Road, Suite B2
Framingham, MA  01701
View map »


Sponsor: Northeast Reiki Center
Telephone: 508-808-5696
Contact Name: Lou Orsan
Website »

More information

At Elemental Energies with Chris Ann and Jeff Come see a wide collection of psychics, artists, healers, etc. from all over New England. Come buy tickets at the large raffle table. 100% of the...

Cost: ​Free admission

Where:
27 N. Berwick Road
Wells, ME
View map »


Telephone: (207) 641-5070
Website »

More information

Explore Your Psychic Awareness In This Fun And Informative Workshop Designed specifically for people who are awakening to their own psychic senses, this class will provide you with personalized,...

Cost: $125

Where:
The Mills at Salmon Falls
3 Front Street
Lower Mill
Rollinsford, NH  03869
View map »


Sponsor: Raylene Sousa Medium LLC
Telephone: 207-956-0220
Contact Name: Raylene Sousa
Website »

More information

Celebrate the longest day of daylight and the summer season with us! Come detox, relax and renew yourself for the summer celebration in our sanctuary! A great way to really dig in a get fully...

Cost: Special 3-15 min services $60 or 1-15 min service $25

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Sute #A
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers—Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags