Intravenous Vitamin C



  • Press release from medical team reporting success – Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University – Wuan
  • Government recommendation (SMA) from Shanghai
  • 3 clinical trials coordinated by Dr. Richard Cheng


  • Study – sepsis mortality rate decreased 40%  (shows that IV C is safe even when patient’s life is threatened)
  • Harvard review
  • Vitamin C reduces mortality in children with pneumonia

The coronavirus, in acute infections, may be expected to be just as susceptible to vitamin C as all of the other viruses against which it has been proven to be extremely effective. There has never been a documented situation in which sufficiently high dosing with vitamin C has been unable to neutralize or kill any virus against which it has been tested.

Shanghai medical team reports successful treatment of coronavirus patients with vitamin C

Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University in China medical team publishes: press release posted on the hospital website.   

  • “On the afternoon of February 20, 2020, another 4 patients with severe new coronaviral pneumonia recovered from the C10 West Ward of Tongji Hospital. In the past 8 patients have been discharged from hospital.   …High-dose vitamin C achieved good results in clinical applications.”
  • Patients suffering from severe coronary pneumonia as a potential fatal complication of COVID-19 recovered after being treated with high doses of the vitamin
  • recommends that for critically ill patients and those with severe neonatal pneumonia, vitamin C treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after admission to hospital.
  • Early application of large doses of vitamin C can have a strong antioxidant effect, reduce inflammatory responses, and improve endothelial function
  • medical team’s past experience shows that high-dose vitamin C can not only improve antiviral levels, but more importantly can prevent and treat acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress (ARDS)
  • Numerous studies have shown that the dose of vitamin C has a lot to do with the effect of treatment
  • discusses claimed side effects of vitamin C treatment, such as the discredited suggestion that it can supposedly cause kidney stones.  See “No Reported Renal Stones with Intravenous Vitamin C Administration: A Prospective Case Series Study” Prier et al, 2018, pubmed # 29883396.

Shanghai Medical Association (SMA) officially recommends high-dose vitamin C for treatment of coronavirus

Consensus ( on the comprehensive treatment of coronavirus disease based on the study of more than 300 clinical patients and developed by 30 experts in the treatment of new coronavirus pneumonia“Shanghai expert group on clinical treatment of new coronavirus disease.”  Chinese Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2020, 38: Pre-published online.  DOI: 10.3760 / cma.j.issn.1000-6680.2020.0016.  The complete English translation of the Shanghai Exeprt Consensus on Covid-19, translated by Dr. Qi Chen, Prof of Pharmacology, KUMC:

  • recommends high-dose vitamin C for even light infection with the virus.
  • dose recommended in the consensus is 50 to 100 mg per kilogram of bodyweight per day.  For severe and critically ill patients, up to 200 mg per kilogram of bodyweight per day is advised, injected intravenously. Described as the ‘Shanghai Plan’, the SMA says its consensus has attracted widespread attention, including on Shanghai TV.
  • These dosages are approximately 4 to 20g for an adult, administered by IV. This specific method of administration is important, says intravenous therapy expert Atsuo Yanagisawa, MD, PhD, because vitamin C’s effect is at least ten times more powerful by IV than if taken orally. Dr. Yanagisawa is president of the Tokyo-based Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy. He says, “Intravenous vitamin C is a safe, effective, and broad-spectrum antiviral.”

Clinical trials in China – results being analyzed and will be published

Richard Z. Cheng, MD, PhD, a Chinese-American specialist physician, has been working closely with medical and governmental authorities throughout China. He has been instrumental in facilitating at least three Chinese clinical IV vitamin C studies now underway. Dr. Cheng is presently in Shanghai continuing his efforts to encourage still more Chinese hospitals to implement vitamin C therapy incorporating high oral doses as well as C by IV Dr. Cheng is now part of the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine (ISOM) worldwide consultation team promoting and providing oral Vit C and high-dose Vit C intravenously in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.  He is the founder and director of Dr. Cheng Integrative Health Center of Columbia, South Carolina since 2003; however, he has been staying in China during the pandemic.  He is also a fellow and board certified A4M Integrative Cancer Therapy.

Quotes from Dr. Cheng:

  • “Early and sufficiently large doses of intravenous vitamin C are critical. Vitamin C is not only a prototypical antioxidant, but also involved in virus killing and prevention of viral replication. The significance of large dose intravenous vitamin C is not just at antiviral level. It is acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that kills most people from coronaviral pandemics (SARS, MERS and now NCP). ARDS is a common final pathway leading to death.”
  • “Vitamin C is very promising for prevention, and especially important to treat dying patients when there is no better treatment. Over 2,000 people have died of the COIV-19 outbreak and yet I have not seen or heard large dose intravenous vitamin C being used in any of the cases. The current sole focus on vaccine and specific antiviral drugs for epidemics is misplaced.”
  • Dr. Cheng video discussing Hospital treatment of moderate to severe COVID-19 infection with high-dose VIt C:
  • One of the clinical trials was registered on “Vitamin C Infusion for the Treatment of Severe 2019-nCoV Infected Pneumonia”  China is conducting a clinical trial of 24,000 mg/day of intravenous vitamin C to treat patients with coronavirus and severe respiratory complications. Participants will receive IV vitamin C for 7 days straight at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University. Honor and thanks are due to Zhiyong Peng, MD, for making this happen. He is chief physician and professor at the hospital, which is close to ground zero for coronavirus. This important study was filed and announced yesterday and details may be confirmed at
    • out of the 360 confirmed coronavirus patients in Shanghai at the time, 50 were treated with intravenous vitamin C.  
    • Not one of the 50 patients died
    • The average stay for patients with severe cases is 30, but with intravenous vitamin C the average stay was reduced 3 – 5 days. 
    • The group of 50 included patients who were rapidly deteriorating, but whom improved real time with intravenous vitamin C.

Sepsis recovery – intravenous combo of vitamin C, vitamin B1, and the hormone hydrocortisone reduces mortality from 40% to 8.5%. 
Eastern Virginia Medical School in the United States, led by intensive-care unit physician Dr. Paul E. Marik published study in the journal Chest in 2017: 

  • Hear from the nurses at Eastern Virginia Medical School hospital in this video:
  • Sepsis, a life-threatening condition resulting from the body’s response to an infection…a leading cause of death among hospitalized patients
  • During the last 3 decades over 100 drug trials have failed to improve clinical outcomes for sepsis patients.  However, a treatment based on the use of vitamin C shows remarkable results.
  • Study describes how an intravenous combination of vitamin C, vitamin B1, and the hormone hydrocortisone saw just 4 deaths among 47 sepsis patients who received it, reducing mortality from 40% to 8.5%.  Simply using vitamin C exclusively intravenous has been shown to improve survival in patients with sepsis and acute respiratory failure, reducing mortality from 46% to 30%.   Follow up article by some of the same researchers for vitamin C:   It also reduced the number of days they needed to remain hospitalized. On average, those who received vitamin C had by Day 28 spent three fewer days in the intensive care unit than the placebo group (seven days compared to 10). By Day 60, the treatment group had also spent seven fewer days in the hospital overall –15 days compared to 22.19  You can also review Marik’s PowerPoint presentation, “Hydrocortisone, Ascorbic Acid and Thiamine for the Treatment of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock,” presented at the 2020 Critical Care Reviews meeting in Australia.

Read the author/doctor’s thoughts on how well it works and why doctors are slow to embrace the protocol from the June 2017 Smithsonian magazine article: “Could Vitamin C Be the Cure for Deadly Infections?”:

“Four of the 47 patients Marik documented in his paper died in the hospital. But their deaths, Marik reported, were from underlying diseases, not from sepsis. By comparison, 19 of the 47 patients he’d treated before trying vitamin C and steroids had died. So far, he’s treated more than 150 patients with the protocol and he says only one has died from sepsis.”  Today, Marik gets about 100 emails a day on the subject, and says more than 50 medical centers are using his protocol. “My goal was never to find a cure for sepsis,” he says. “It happened. It’s certainly the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. People are doing this across the world and they’re getting the same results.” 

For many doctors, Marik’s protocol represents a dilemma. There seem to be no ill effects. Yet, there are also no randomized clinical trials. Should they embrace an untested treatment? 

Online, the debate is raging. After Marik published his results, a discussion on PulmCrit, a blog by an assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Vermont, generated 96 comments. Doctors at one extreme were arguing that the evidence showed it was about as effective as healing incantations; those on the other side called it promising and worth trying, given the mortality statistics. Another blog run by doctors, the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine, published a post titled “Don’t Believe the Hype – Vitamin C Cocktail for Sepsis.” 

Marik and others enthusiastic about the treatment agree with skeptics who say blind, randomized clinical trials need to be done to validate the treatment’s efficacy. However, they also say that the dramatic results so far mean doctors should embrace the treatment in the meantime—an unorthodox proposition, to say the least. 

During an interview in his office, Marik called up Dr. Joseph Varon, a pulmonologist and researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. “It does sound too good to be true,” Varon said over the phone. “But my mortality rates have changed dramatically. It is unreal. Everything we have tried in the past didn’t work. This works.”

As of this week, Coopersmith of the Emory University School of Medicine is involved in planning a national, multi-center trial to test the efficacy of the vitamin C protocol, with funding from the Marcus Foundation. “If this is validated, this would be the single biggest breakthrough in sepsis care in my lifetime,” he says.

Although Coopersmith is not using the protocol himself, he says some of his colleagues are. “While some components of this are assuredly safe, there are with every medication risks involved,” he says. “I think people who are early adopters of this because the results are so tremendous, I fully support. I also fully support people who would want to wait for additional data.” 

Kurt Hofelich, Norfolk General’s president, says he wants to see a double-blinded study. But the hospital, an academic medical center, has already made the protocol its standard of care and is in the process of deciding when to roll it out to other intensive care units in Sentara’s 12 hospitals.

Hofelich says there are no skeptics among the nurses who treat patients. “Do I have the level of evidence and confidence this should be imposed on the entire industry? No,” he says. “Do I think we’re going to get there? Absolutely.”

Marik knows it will take time for his protocol to be tested and eventually adopted, even if his results are reproduced. The history of medicine contains many stories of doctors whose unlikely cures were spurned for decades. In 1983, for instance, two Australian doctors discovered a bacteria that caused ulcers, but it took about two decades before most doctors began prescribing antibiotics. In 2005, they received the Nobel Prize for their discovery.

When he speaks at conferences, Marik often tells the story of Ignaz Semmelweis, the Hungarian physician who went on a quest to discover why so many women were dying in a maternity clinic at a hospital in Vienna in 1847. There were two wards, one attended by doctors, and one attended by midwives. Over time, Semmelweis realized women in the doctors’ ward were dying because the doctors were doing autopsies then delivering babies without washing their hands.

He ordered the staff to clean their hands and instruments with a chlorine solution. Semmelweis didn’t know anything about germs; Louis Pasteur and his famous fermentation experiments wouldn’t come along for another decade. He thought the solution would remove the smell from autopsies. Just like that, illness and death in the ward dropped dramatically.

But doctors were upset because his action made it look like they were making the women ill. Eventually, they stopped washing their hands. Semmelweis lost his job. He continued pushing his theory with few takers, and only published his findings 13 years later. At the age of 47, he was committed to an insane asylum in 1865. He died two weeks later of an infection, likely sepsis.

Marik draws a parallel for his audience between his solution and the one championed by Semmelweis, now considered a pioneer in antiseptic treatment. “It’s a simple intervention based on an observation that changed treatment of the disease,” he says. “And nobody wants to believe it. It’s going to take time for people to accept it.”

In the meantime, Marik continues to use the protocol and continues to see good results. “It is the most amazing thing. When it happens, every time I have to pinch myself,” he says. “These people come in with septic shock and they leave within three days.”

Mass Gen Hospital of Harvard Medical School reviews World’s Journal of Critical Care Medicine in which parts of vitamin C’s biological effects in critical care management

Nabzdyk CS, Bittner EA.  “Vitamin C in the critically ill – indications and controversies.”  World J Crit Care Med. 2018 Oct 16;7(5):52-61: 

  • Antioxidant, radical oxygen scavenger protecting cells from oxidative Steroid- and catecholamine synthesis, cofactor in catecholamine, vasopressin and steroid synthesis, improves hemodynamics, may accelerate resolution of shock
  • Immune cell function. Increases neutrophil phagocytosis and chemotaxis, affects macrophage migration, enhances T and NK cell proliferation, modulates their function, may increase antibody formation.
  • Endothelial cell function. Decreases endothelium ICAM expression and leukocyte adhesion, improves endothelial barrier function, improves microcirculation
  • Carnitine production, modulates fatty acid metabolism, may improve microcirculation and cardiac function
  • Wound healing, cofactor of collagen synthesis, mitogen for fibroblasts

Vitamin C reduces mortality in children with pneumonia

A recent placebo controlled study concluded that “vitamin C should be included in treatment protocol of children with pneumonia so that mortality and morbidity can be reduced.” In this study, the majority of the children were infants under one year of age. By body weight, the modest 200 mg dose given, to tiny babies, would actually be the equivalent of 2,000-3,000 mg/day for an adult.

  • “Vitamin C is effective in reducing duration of severe pneumonia in children less than five years of age. Oxygen saturation was improved in less than one day.”

Khan IM et al. (2014) Efficacy of vitamin C in reducing duration of severe pneumonia in children. J Rawalpindi Med Col (JRMC). 18(1):55-57.

Summary and Conclusion of Vitamin C Intravenous Therapy

High-dose vitamin C therapies are on the verge of becoming mainstream.  Orthodox medicine will continue using drugs for some time yet, in other words, but its invasion by vitamins is well underway.

In a further illustration of this, the U.S. government’s National Cancer Institute recently published an article on intravenous high-dose vitamin C in cancer therapy.  Examining the history and use of vitamin C in the treatment of cancer, the writers concluded that “given the current high financial cost of new cancer drugs, it seems rational to improve the effectiveness of current therapies by studying their clinical interactions with vitamin C.” They added that in their view, “the implementation of this treatment paradigm could provide benefit to many cancer patients.”

Not so many years ago it would have been unthinkable for the U.S. National Cancer Institute to have written about vitamin C in this way. Clearly, therefore, as described in the groundbreaking book ‘Victory Over Cancer‘, published by Dr. Rath and Dr. Aleksandra Niedzwiecki in 2011, the ‘Age of Intoxication’ in the treatment of cancer is on the way to being replaced by the ‘Age of Cellular Regulation’.

While we have not yet reached the point where heart disease is widely accepted by doctors as an early form of the vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy, as Dr. Rath’s research has decisively proven, this too will eventually follow. 

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