Why taking vitamin C is crucial to guard against Covid-19

It has long been established that Vitamin C helps boost our immune system, both used to prevent colds and flu and to treat it. But in lockdown it has come into its own in the fight against Covid-19…

Renowned preventive health expert Patrick Holford spent the first few weeks of lockdown writing a ground-breaking new book, Flu Fighters. He provides crucial, well-researched information on how the immune system operates, why Covid-19 has struck humans so hard and how to guard against it through your diet and supplements.

Clinical trials using Vitamin C for Covid-19

Most importantly, he unveils how Vitamin C was used in several clinical trials around the world with astonishingly successful results:

  • Patrick Holford claims that in Wuhan the vitamin was used to halt deaths from coronavirus. The authorities shipped in 50 tons (50 million grammes) of Vitamin C. Every frontline worker was given the supplement, every patient given 6-20g daily depending on the severity of their symptoms, and every ICU patient intravenous Vitamin C.
  • In a randomised placebo-controlled trial on 50 people being ventilated in intensive care at Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai half were given a drip containing 12g of Vitamin C twice a day, and the other half sterile water in a drip. There were a third fewer deaths in those given the supplement, a significant decrease in the time these patients were on the mechanical ventilator and their hospital stay was three to five days less. The Vitamin C was found to decrease the inflammation level compared to the group given water.
  • Prof Paul Marik, Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Fast Virginia Medical School, used a combination of heparin as an anti-coagulant, Vitamin C and steroids to treat Covid patients, resulting in no deaths.

It is not the virus that is killing people, but the acute inflammatory response

  • Dr Andrew Seth Weber, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist in America, also used Vitamin C immediately on sick patients. ‘It helped a tremendous amount,’ he said in an article in the New York Times, ‘but it was not highlighted because it is not a sexy drug.’


Coronavirus is an especially nasty virus because, in vulnerable people, it triggers Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). The primary cause of ARDS is the body’s immune system producing a ‘cytokine storm’ where people’s immune system overreacts, producing a massive state of inflammation. Serious inflammation in the lungs means people need to go on a ventilator to breathe. It is not the virus that is killing people, it is the acute inflammatory response. And it is this inflammation that Vitamin C is so successful in tackling.

vitamin C time releaseRecommendations from the experts

Prof Harri Hemllä, University of Helsinki: When a person starts to have a sore throat or runny nose they should take 1g of Vitamin C once an hour. His research has found that in those taking 8g in the first day 46% had symptoms that lasted just one day.

Patrick Holford: 1g of Vitamin C twice a day to support general and immune health, 1g every hour if you get cold or flu symptoms.

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