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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, August 16, 2020

Preliminary Report of Chinese High Dose Vitamin C for Covid-19 Treatment Studies

by Richard Z. Cheng, M.D., Ph.D.

(OMNS August 16, 2020) Covid-19 has caused more than 700,000 deaths and USD$86 trillion economic losses worldwide in just over half a year! And yet, there are still no specific drugs or treatments that the top medical advisors (medical agencies) in US are willing to recommend. Really? No specific treatments for Covid-19? Effective, safe and inexpensive treatments for viral infections including Covid-19 do exist. But these medical advisors (medical agencies) either have turned a blind eye or are suppressing these treatments intentionally or not.

Since my early reports of high dose IV vitamin C (HDIVC) for Covid-19 treatment, by Dr. Zhiyong Peng's group in Wuhan and Dr. Enqian Mao's group in Shanghai [1,2], I have been receiving regular inquiries about the results. The studies have been analyzed and papers have been written up. These studies show very promising results including statistically significant reduction in mortality and inflammation of Covid-19 patients treated with HDIVC, with no significant side effect. But no major medical journals have agreed to publish the papers.

While we are waiting for journals to publish these important studies, I'd like to share some of the key results of these studies, as they may help the world in combating Covid-19.

A randomized, controlled clinical trial was carried out in 3 different hospitals in Hubei Province, China, with (Dr. ZY Peng et al). A total of 54 confirmed critical Covid-19 patients were enrolled. Patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome were randomly assigned to either HDIVC or placebo in a 1:1 ratio. HDIVC group received 12 grams of vitamin C in 50 ml IV infusion every 12 hours for 7 days at a rate of 12 ml per hour. The placebo group received sterile water in the same manner. The primary outcome is invasive mechanical ventilation days in 28 days (IMVFD28), the secondary outcome is 28-day mortality, organ failure and inflammation progression.

The results are mixed. Although no statistically significant difference was seen in IMVFD28 between the 2 groups, HDIVC group did show steady improvement in blood oxygenation levels and a significant reduction in 28-day mortality, as well as reduction in inflammation (as measured by IL6), compared to the placebo group. The authors concluded that HDIVC may provide a protective clinical effect without any adverse events in critically ill Coivd-19 patients (Dr. ZY Peng, personal communication).

The second study is a case series study carried out in Shanghai, China by Dr. EQ Mao and his colleagues. Covid-19 patients admitted to the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center between Jan. 22 and Apr 11, 2020 were retrospectively screened and analyzed. Severely or critically ill patients with confirmed Covid-19 pneumonia, who received HDIVC within 24 hours after disease aggravation, were included. Main clinical outcomes were compared before HDIVC and 3-5 days (Day 3) and 7-10 days (Day 7) after HDIVC. A total of 12 qualified patients (18 years or older), 6 critically ill and 6 severely ill patients, were identified and included in the final analysis. C reactive protein, lymphocyte count and CD4+ T cell counts returned to normal on Day 3. Similar trend of improvement in blood oxygenation levels (PaO2/FiO2) and SOFA (an organ failure measurement) score was also observed, after HDIVC. Please note that we reported earlier that there were no deaths in HDIVC treated Covid-19 patients in Shanghai. Dr. Mao and his colleagues concluded that "HDIVC might be beneficial in aspects of inflammatory response, immune and organ function for aggravation of Covid-19 patients" (Dr. EQ Mao, personal communication).

Over 80 years of lab research and clinical studies have shown beyond doubt that vitamin C is effective in the treatment of many viral infections. An NIH document (updated in February 2020) clearly states that HDIVC is safe even at very high doses [3]. Early clinical studies show HDIVC is highly promising in Covid-19 treatment [3-7]. Based on these and their clinical experience of HDIVC, the governments of Shanghai and Guangdong officially included HDIVC in their Covid-19 treatment protocols [8,9]. The science and rationale for HDIVC in treatment of Covid-19 were reviewed and presented in my NIH guest speech [10].

It should be plain common sense to try HDIVC in Covid-19 treatment. The FDA even allows "compassionate drug use" which stipulates the use of new and unapproved drug to treat seriously ill patient when no other treatments are available [11].


1. Cheng, R. Video conference with Dr. ZY Peng, of the world's first high-dose IVC trial | Cheng Integrative Health Center Blog.

2. Cheng, R. Hospital treatment of serious and critical COVID-19 infection with high-dose Vitamin C | Cheng Integrative Health Center Blog.

3. NIH PDQ. High-Dose Vitamin C (PDQ(r))-Health Professional Version - National Cancer Institute.

4. Cheng, R. Z. (2020) Can early and high intravenous dose of vitamin C prevent and treat coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)? Medicine in Drug Discovery 5, 100028.

5. Cheng, R. Covid-19 Presentations.

6. Cheng, R., Kogan, M. & Devra, D. Ascorbate as Prophylaxis and Therapy for COVID-19-Update From Shanghai and U.S. Medical Institutions - Richard Z Cheng, Mikhail Kogan, Devra Davis, 2020.

7. Richard Z. Cheng. Protected Population Immunity, Not A Vaccine, Is The Way To Stop Covid-19 Pandemic. J Clin Immunol Immunother 6, 1-4 (2020).

8. Shanghai Government Officially Recommends Vitamin C for COVID-19.

9. Cheng, Richard. Shanghai and Guangdong Governements' official recommendation of Vit C in Covid-19 treatment.

10. Cheng, Richard. NIH Guest Speech: HDIVC on Covid-19.

11. Compassionate Drug Use.

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