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Vitamin C: A Promising Naturally Occurring Antioxidant Agent for Treating Respiratory Infections

Pandemic of an infectious disease known as Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a potential threat for human health which is predominantly caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At the end of 2019, this infectious disease was reported for the first time in Wuhan, China and later World Health Organization (WHO) notified that severe outbreak of this disease around the world resulted in pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Elevated oxidative stress level is considered to be caused by coronaviruses that initiate cellular dysfunction which ultimately lead to serious cellular injury, multiple organ failure (MOF) and unavoidable death. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the root cause of increased morbidity in human beings amid COVID-19. Silva(2020) described that ARDS is the outcome of increased oxidative stress due to the production of both cytokines and free radicals.

Consequently, implementation of intravenous (IV) vitamin C has been contemplated as a reliable approach for treating respiratory infections in China. The protocol of the administration of IV Vitamin C is established in “” for COVID-19. Boretti and Banik(2020) stated that, “Vitamin C is one of the naturally occurring antioxidants that can be administered safely and effectively in high IV doses. However, the absorbed amount of vitamin C through the GIT is limited despite the high doses due to the requirement of the active transport mechanism”.

Current studies have shown that vitamin C has antiviral characteristics that play a pivotal role in maintaining the lymphocyte activity, escalate the interferon -α manufacturing and altering cytokines. Therefore, usage of vitamin C is considered effectual against the COVID-19 pneumonia. Furthermore, vitamin C boosts up the immune system function by means of various mechanisms like reduction of cytokines storm or strengthening an antiviral effectiveness.

American Journal of Food Technology

Al-Obaidiet al. (2020) with his team members conducted a research that is published in The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries (JIDC). The central theme of this study was to determine the effect of vitamin C on blood glucose level measurements during the period of COVID-19 pandemic.For this study, thirty samples were collected randomly then; the blood glucose was measured prior and posts the addition of spiked standard concentrations of vitamin C. The interference of vitamin C with glucose readings in COVID-19 pandemic were evaluated and observed employing the Auto Chemistry Analyzer machine.

Heller and Feldman (2020) apprise that the use of different doses of vitamin C has been associated with falsely elevated blood glucose measurements. Therefore, vitamin C is considered as a prototypical example of a substance that has a strong effect in changing blood glucose measurements.The result of this study showed that the addition of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) standards into the isolated samples shows a correlated increment in the reading measures. Thereafter, the increments of Random Blood Sugar (RBS) readings after being spiked with the vitamin C standards shows a logarithmic correlation with good interesting R-squared (R2 = 0.9921).

Primarily, the presence of vitamin C in blood actively and significantly alters the glucose level readings due to their structural proximity especially with the highly consumption of vitamin C during the COVID-19 pandemic.


SARS-CoV-2; Vitamin C; Ascorbic Acid; Antioxidant; Blood Glucose; COVID-19 disease; Pandemic; Random blood sugar (RBS).

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