The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), Public Health England and the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition was tasked by the Government to look into the evidence for taking vitamin D to help prevent or treat Covid.
Today, they released their findings of the ‘fast review’ saying that there is ‘not enough evidence’ to recommend it for preventing or treating the disease, and more research is needed.
What about vitamin C?
In the meantime, they are currently ignoring the evidence for the use of vitamin C to help prevent and treat Covid.
Results from more than 100 studies have shown that vitamin C can help prevent, treat and reduce the severity of symptoms in patients with Covid. The research included a gold-standard RCT (randomised controlled trial) which showed that Vitamin C could cut the death rate of critically ill patients in intensive care units by 68%. The patients on ventilators got vitamin C or sterile water from a drip.
The evidence for the use of vitamin C has been published in the journal Nutrients.
One of the authors David Smith, Emeritus Professor of pharmacology at the University of Oxford has presented the evidence to NICE over a week ago.
Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the centre for guidelines at NICE, said: ‘We are continuing to monitor evidence as it is published and will review and update the guidance if necessary.’ They have so far given no indication of when they will release their findings.
Co-author Professor Smith says: ‘Vitamin C is, we believe, important in two areas: first, a person’s vitamin C status will influence their susceptibility to suffering harm from Covid, which can be reduced by oral pre-treatment; second, during hospitalisation, there is evidence that the course of the disease can be influenced by intravenous administration of high-dose of vitamin C.’
‘Any encouragement that NICE can give for public awareness and for further trials in this area would be most welcome and would have public health benefit.’
Co-author Dr Anitra Carr says: ‘When you get a severe infection, your body uses up vitamin C at a much faster rate in order to support the immune system.
‘That’s because humans are one of the few animals that can’t make vitamin C, so we can’t increase supplies when needed.’ Dr Carr, who is an associate professor at the University of Otago in New Zealand, points out that only animals that don’t make vitamin C – primates, guinea pigs and bats – are susceptible to COVID-19.
The lead author of the report, Patrick Holford, along with his co-authors including Professor Smith, Dr Carr, NHS Swansea Professor Iain Whitaker and leading US emergency medicine expert Professor Paul Marik, whose ICU is posting 5% mortality compared to the UK average of over 40% have, this month, launched a campaign, Vitamin C 4 Covid to highlight the importance of vitamin C.
Vitamin C 4 Covid is backed by 250 doctors and nutritionists from 50 countries, and 20 medical and nutritional health associations.
The campaign is calling on the government and its public health and nutrition agencies to thoroughly assess the evidence and fund studies of Vitamin C, and that the government, NHS, health care and medical associations should start to recommend, based on the available evidence, all citizens supplement vitamin C during this viral epidemic.