Back To Archive

This article may be reprinted free of charge provided 1) that there is clear attribution to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and 2) that both the OMNS free subscription link and also the OMNS archive link are included.

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, September 14, 2016

Vitamin C for Pneumonia?

by Bo H. Jonsson, MD, PhD

(OMNS, Sept 14, 2016) In 1948, Dr. Frederick R. Klenner published a series of 42 patients successfully treated for viral pneumonia with intravenous high-dose vitamin C [1]. Dalton in 1962 reported positive results from intravenous vitamin C in three pneumonia patients [2]. A systematic Cochrane review thoroughly analysed vitamin C treatment in pneumonia [3].

For over eighty years, a number of scientific publications, beginning with the studies by Jungeblut [4], have supported that vitamin C therapy in many different viral infections can be effective alone or combined with other treatment. For optimal benefit it was important to use ascorbate in many-thousand-milligram-sized doses. Klenner often combined injected with oral vitamin C. In viral infections, which usually lack specific treatment, vitamin C should be considered in research as well as in clinical work. Successful case reports can be very inspiring. One such example is the story of Alan Smith [5].

Dr. Klenner remembers a man, who was lying near death from severe virus pneumonia, but refused to be hospitalized. "I went to his house and gave him one big shot with five grams or 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C,' he recalled. 'When I went back later in the day, his temperature was down three degrees and he was sitting on the edge of the bed eating. I gave him another shot of C, 5,000 milligrams and kept up that dosage for three days, four times a day. And he was well." [6]

Pneumonia is an all too common disease. The origin of the inflammation is usually an infection from virus or bacteria. However, pneumonia can also be caused by toxins, some medical drugs and autoimmune reactions.

As there are different etiological backgrounds to pneumonia, it is important for physicians to know that vitamin C is very safe and functions positively in the medical treatment of both infections and many other diseases. Also, in acute illness, Klenner emphasized starting vitamin C treatment immediately even if the diagnosis was unclear [7]. To get high concentrations of vitamin C in body tissues it is reasonable to combine different forms of vitamin C in the treatment: conventional oral vitamin C, liposomal vitamin C and, if needed, intravenous vitamin C [8].

[Dr. Bo H. Jonsson is a medical doctor at the Center for Affective Disorders, North Stockholm Psychiatry in Sweden and is president of the Swedish Society for Orthomolecular Medicine. He has been in practice for over 35 years.]


1. Klenner FR. Virus pneumonia and its treatment with vitamin C. South Med Surg 1948;110:36-8.

2. Dalton WL. Massive doses of vitamin C in the treatment of viral diseases. J Indiana State Med Assoc 1962;55:1151-4.

3. Hemilš H, Louhiala P. Vitamin C for preventing and treating pneumonia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013, 2013 Aug 8;(8):CD005532. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005532.pub3.

4. Jungeblut CW. Inactivation of Poliomyelitis Virus in Vitro by Crystalline Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). J Exp Med 1935;62:517-21. Twenty-one additional Jungeblut papers were published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. They are available for free online access at:

5. or

6. Miller F. Dr. Klenner urges taking vitamins in huge doses. Greensboro Daily News, Tues, Dec 13, 1977, p A8-A10.

7. Saul AW. Hidden in plain sight. The pioneering work of Frederick Robert Klenner, M.D. J Orthomolecular Med 2007;22:31-8. and

8. Duconge J, Miranda-Massari JR, Gonzalez MJ, et al. Pharmacokinetics of Vitamin C: insights into the oral and intravenous administration of ascorbate. P R Health Sci J 2008;27:7-19.

More details about high-dose vitamin C therapy:

Hickey S, Roberts H, Downing D. Can Vitamin C cure Ebola? Orthomolecular Med News Service 2014, 10:13, Aug 20.

Levy TE. The clinical impact of Vitamin C. My personal experiences as a physician. Orthomolecular Med News Service 2014, 10:14, Sept 3.

Saul AW. Vitamin C and polio. The forgotten research of Claus W. Jungeblut, M.D. Orthomolecular Med News Service 2013, 9:16, Aug 7.

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information:

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you:

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael J. Gonzalez, N.M.D., D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Ron Hunninghake, M.D. (USA)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Joseph Mercola, D.O. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Jeffrey A. Ruterbusch, D.O. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Ken Walker, M.D. (Canada)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)

Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA), Assistant Editor
Helen Saul Case, M.S. (USA), Assistant Editor
Michael S. Stewart, B.Sc.C.S. (USA), Technology Editor

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email: This is a comments-only address; OMNS is unable to respond to individual reader emails. However, readers are encouraged to write in with their viewpoints. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

To Subscribe at no charge:

To Unsubscribe from this list:

Back To Archive

[Home] [History] [Library] [Nutrients] [Resources] [Contact] [Contribute]
Back To Molecule

This website is managed by Riordan Clinic
A Non-profit 501(c)(3) Medical, Research and Educational Organization
3100 North Hillside Avenue, Wichita, KS 67219 USA
Phone: 316-682-3100; Fax: 316-682-5054
© (Riordan Clinic) 2004 - 2024c

Information on is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice.
Consult your orthomolecular health care professional for individual guidance on specific health problems.