Can vitamin C prevent you from getting infected with COVID-19?

vitamin c coronavirus
Photo via hans-juergen/Flickr (CC BY ND 2.0)
  • It’s unknown right now whether vitamin C can prevent the coronavirus
  • Two trial studies are underway to study the possibilities
  • Vitamin C can help fight off the common cold, upper respiratory diseases

Found naturally in both foods and in diet supplements, vitamin C is an essential nutrient and antioxidant that can help boost your immune system to fight off illnesses such as the common cold and other upper respiratory diseases. Taking that into consideration, some wonder if vitamin C could also be beneficial when it comes to coronavirus patients.

Medical researchers are still learning about COVID-19, and the jury is still out when it comes to how beneficial vitamin C is at treating the disease, if at all. There are currently two trial studies being conducted—in New York and China, respectively—that are investigating the use of vitamin C to treat severe cases of COVID-19.

However, these types of studies have remained largely inconclusive, mostly because they cannot measure the amount of vitamin C concentrations both before and after supplementation. Those who had high levels of vitamin C before becoming sick are less likely to exhibit a positive effect than those who previously had low levels of the vitamin.

But while there may be no evidence that taking vitamin C will help prevent coronavirus infection, it certainly can’t hurt for those who wish to continue to take standard doses. High doses of vitamin C, on the other hand, may cause side effects such as nausea, cramps, and increased risk of kidney stones.

Ultimately, there are not yet any known effective treatments for COVID-19, as scientists around the world race to develop a vaccination.

Sources: Harvard Health, Drugs.com, Forbes

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