Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can treat sepsis
11/01/2018 // Edsel Cook // Views

When it comes to opposing oxidative stress and infections, vitamin C has few equals or superiors. An article in Natural Health 365 stated that the natural antioxidant is a promising means of treating a serious form of blood infection known as sepsis.

Sepsis is a complication where the immune system overreacts to the infection by flooding the blood with inflammatory chemicals. The chemicals trigger inflammation throughout the entire body, which damages multiple organs and causes them to fail. The disease is considered to be responsible for causing the highest number of patient deaths in hospitals.

A new study supported by the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) suggested that vitamin C could help amend this deadly complication. The antioxidant was given to sepsis patients with high risks of mortality.

Vitamin C prevents inflammation by scavenging harmful substances that cause the immune reaction. By reducing the severity of the inflammation, it can protect vulnerable cells and tissues of important organs from being damaged.

The researchers reported that participants who received vitamin C treatment enjoyed much better chances of surviving the infection. This included patients who were practically at death's door. (Related: Father of 2 almost died from sepsis after biting his nails.)

Vitamin C-based infusion helped save the lives of sepsis patients

One particular case was reported by Dr. Paul Marik of the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (SNGH). He was serving in the hospital's intensive care unit in early 2016 when he treated a female sepsis patient. The woman's condition had deteriorated to the point where her kidneys and lungs had all but failed. She was considered to be at high risk of dying.


Marik was aware of the research being conducted on vitamin C as a potential means of treating sepsis. These studies injected large doses of the vitamin into test subjects to fight off the infection.

In an effort to improve his patient's chances of survival, Marik decided to try out the experimental vitamin treatment. He combined vitamin C with thiamine (vitamin B1) and conventional anti-inflammatory drugs.

By the time he injected this infusion into the patient, the woman's condition was considered to be mortal. However, Marik reported that the woman recovered from the severe infection in just a single day.

The positive result of this desperate treatment led Marik to start using the vitamin C-thiamine-anti-inflammatory combination on patients who suffered from sepsis. He eventually detailed the results of treating almost 50 people with the infusion.

He stated that all but four of his patients survived the infection and made full recoveries. The deaths were attributed to other diseases.

Before Marik came up with his alternative treatment, the SNGH handled 45 other cases of sepsis. Nineteen of those patients died due to the infection, which is a 42 percent mortality rate. The rate in the United States is roughly 30 percent.

After his initial report, Marik kept on using vitamin C to treat another 150 cases of sepsis. Of his new cases, only one patient was confirmed to have died because of the disease.

Sometimes, a vitamin C injection is better and faster for emergencies

Vitamin C is normally taken orally by consuming either food or supplements. However, it appears that an intravenous dose of the vitamin is much more effective at stopping infections and strengthening the immune system.

The antioxidant is known to be water-soluble. Directly injecting it into the bloodstream could speed up its anti-inflammatory activity when compared to the natural but longer and slower process of going through the digestive tract first. This is especially important in sepsis cases, which can develop very quickly.

For more stories about the potential of vitamin C and other nutrients as alternative means of treating illnesses, visit

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