Coronavirus treatment: Can Vitamin C prevent or cure Covid-19? Here’s what experts say

Mayank Kumar

The number of Coronavirus cases in India is increasing and so are the rumours surrounding its cure and prevention. Among a majority of fake news and misinformation floating in the public domain and social media is that Vitamin C can help in the prevention and cure of the Coronavirus.

The claims of Vitamin C's role in direct prevention and cure of the Coronavirus is false and based on unsubstantiated information. However, Vitamin C has a huge role to play in shaping one's response to illness by helping them increase in immunity. The fact that Vitamin C has no role in curing common cold which is one of the symptoms of Coronavirus, establishes the limited role it can play in prevention against the Covid-19 infection, claimed multiple scientists.

Experts have also said that except Vitamin C has some antagonistic effects on human's body as well. A paediatric infectious disease specialist Dr Frank Esper was quoted by The Newyork Times as saying that excessive vitamin C can damage the stomach and kidneys of human beings. Dr Mark J Mulligan, another infectious diseases specialist was quoted by The Newyork Times that they have not found enough conclusive evidence to validate the claims that supplements like zinc, green tea and echinacea can prove beneficial to prevent coronavirus.

Vitamin C is a crucial micronutrient for humans, with multiple roles for the immunity in human beings. It is a potent antioxidant and a cofactor for a family of enzymes controlling the biosynthesis and genes. By promoting various cellular functions of both the innate and acquired immune system, vitamin C contributes to immune defence.

Vitamin C accumulates in phagocytic cells, such as neutrophils, and can enhance chemotaxis, phagocytosis, reactive oxygen species production and eventually microbial killing. It is also essential to apoptosis and clears the spent neutrophils from macrophage infection sites, thereby reducing necrosis and possible tissue damage.

The number of cases of Coronavirus has crossed the 400 level. Covid-19 has killed 8 people in the country. Many state governments have ordered lockdown for the people to prevent the community transmission of the disease. The disease which had originated in the Wuhan city of China has been declared a pandemic by the WHO and it has affected more than 3 lac people and killed more than 11,000 people across the world.