A new study published in the Journal of Intensive Care adds to the importance of vitamin C in helping to improve ventilator outcomes. This study was done before the CoVid19 pandemic. But since the CoVid19 virus can put people on ventilators, this study has merit in the potential to be part of the treatment protocol.
In this new study on the importance of vitamin C, the researchers looked at eight controlled trials that examined the length of time critically ill patients spent on a ventilator. Patients were split into two groups. One group received either intravenous or orally administered vitamin C. The other group did not receive any vitamin C. And here are the results:
There was a 14% reduction in time spent on the ventilator for those who received the vitamin C.
However, for the patients who were the most critically compromised, the ventilator time was reduced by 25 percent.
This outcome was with the daily use of vitamin C that ranged from 1 to 6 grams of either intravenous or oral vitamin C.
There is a massive amount of research that confirms the importance of vitamin C. In fact, vitamin C is considered an essential nutrient for humans. And the reason why is that people cannot internally produce this vitamin.
This means we must get this water-soluble nutrient either from our diet, through supplementation, or a combination of both.
Low levels of vitamin C in your body leave you susceptible to infections.
And the reason why is the role vitamin C plays in maintaining your immune system. This importance of vitamin C has four basic components.
Component 1 – Protective Barrier Function
For a virus or bacteria to cause us harm, they first most overcome the barriers that your body has to prevent their entry. This includes your skin as well as the linings of your respiratory and digestive tracts.
Vitamin C is used in both the creation and maintenance of these protective barriers.
Vitamin C is required for the making of collagen. Collagen is used throughout the body as a structural protein that provides strength and durability to both barrier and connective tissues.
This is especially true for the linings of the respiratory tract, which is where most viruses gain their foothold in making us ill.
Component 2 – Supporting Your Immune Cells
Specifically, vitamin C supports neutrophils. These are considered the “first responders” against infection. When your protective barrier has been breached by a virus or bacteria, infection of the cell occurs.
Your body then sends out a signal and neutrophils are called to this infected tissue.
Vitamin C is needed for the neutrophils to mobilize themselves to the infected site. Low levels of vitamin C impede this process. This makes it difficult for your neutrophils to then find the infected site. This suggests that vitamin C plays an important role in the communication of your immune system to identify and target infections.
Vitamin C also helps the neutrophls destroy microbes. They do this by consuming and killing the virus or bacteria. Again, low levels of vitamin C compromise this needed component of the immune system to remove these infectious organisms.
The second most common form of immune cells are called lymphocytes. These include B cells, T cells, and NK cells (natural killer cells). Your immune system uses these cells to both recognize and destroy foreign invaders.
Vitamin C promotes the growth, maturation, antibody protection, and survival of these lymphocytes.
Component 3 – Managing Inflammation
Infection causes inflammation. It is part of the healing process. But inflammation can get out of control. Especially when the neutrophils (that we discussed above) destroy pathogens.
When your neutrophils have done their part, they die off and are removed by other cells. However, if vitamin C is lacking, then when the neutrophils die they release toxic compounds back into the infected area.
This causes new inflammation and the resulting tissue damage can make the disease even worse.
There are several studies that show how adequate amounts of vitamin C inhibits this harmful process.
Vitamin C also helps to lower other pro-inflammatory compounds like histamine, which can effect both infections and allergies.
Component 4 – Supply and Demand Issues
Finally, vitamin C is needed for multiple functions within the immune system. Especially when your body is fighting an infection. Your immune cells will rapidly use up its existing supplies.
And since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin it cannot be stored in your body.
This means you need to replenish it on a daily basis. Some type of daily oral intake of vitamin C is needed either through foods that contain good levels of vitamin C. Or through supplementation.
Given this many health experts would recommend a minimum intake of 500 mg of vitamin C per day. And if you have an infection, then an increase in vitamin C intake to help your immune system function optimally.
Hopefully, this new information on the importance of vitamin C helps you take action each day to get this essential vitamin into your body.
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