C for Censorship – why is vitamin C being ignored?
Everybody knows that vitamin C is vital for immunity. Sales of vitamin C and citrus fruit spike in the winter months, now more so than ever. An estimated third of the UK population supplement vitamin C, especially in the winter. This is also true in China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and the US.
Now, as covid research streams in, it’s becoming increasingly clear that vitamin C -which is often deficient in those with critical covid, the level of which predicts survival – can be the difference between life and death. Hospitals and their intensive care units (ICUs) the world over, are starting to prescribe from 6 to 24 grams to their covid patients whose vitamin C levels fall precipitously as a consequence of infection. The first randomised trial from Wuhan, published in a peer-reviewed journal, reported 80% less mortality in critical covid ICU patients on ventilators given 24 grams of vitamin C intravenously. Forty-five other vitamin C for covid trials are under way. A report from the Florey Institute from Australia documents an unexpected recovery from covid induced sepsis with high dose vitamin C. A UK hospital in London is testing vitamin C with urine sticks and giving up to 6 grams a day. They have the lowest mortality. The Shanghai Medical Association’s guidelines for doctors in China recommends high dose vitamin C for all covid patients. You’d have to eat more than a hundred oranges to get 6 grams of vitamin C.
Yet, not only do you not read about any of this in the mainstream press, social media channels such as Facebook and YouTube continue to ban mentions of vitamin C for covid prevention or treatment on the grounds of being ‘fake news’. A YouTube film which interviews leading experts in emergency medicine talking about their use of vitamin C was shut down. People sharing our link have been temporarily banned from posting for breaking ‘community standards’. A UK doctor, Sarah Myhill, advising her patients to take 5 or more grams of vitamin C when infected has been reported to the General Medical Council with the potential of losing her medical licence.
Meanwhile, government advisors the world over, from the US Senate to the UK’s NERVTAG, NICE and PublicHealth England, who were presented with a comprehensive review of all the evidence regarding vitamin C for covid (over 100 studies), published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrients, continue to give it the silent treatment. This review has been downloaded by over 10,000. Hundreds of UK MPs have been sent this review and other evidence. They return a standard response, drafted by the Department of Health and Social Care stating : “There is no peer- reviewed evidence at present that taking it regularly can help to prevent COVID-19. There is a large body of research investigating whether it would help to prevent the common cold, and it has been shown not to be effective. There is a small study looking at high doses of Vitamin C, which appears to decrease the time on a ventilator for seriously ill people with COVID-19, but this research has not been verified. Vitamin C is not yet recommended for use.”
All of these sentences are untrue, except for the last. The Government’s PR agencies remain silent when asked for substantiation or a review of their guidelines. Three times now, promised features in national newspapers have been pulled at the last minute.
As covid cases crank up and hospitals become overloaded wouldn’t it make sense to prevent people getting sick enough to need hospitalisation? That’s what vitamin C, if taken in amounts of 6 to 8 grams during an infection does. Intravenous vitamin C for critical covid patients is saving lives in those ICUs using 12 grams reporting 5% mortality, compared to the current 30%.
It might even improve vaccine responsiveness. Supporting healthy immunity with vitamin C and D may seem like a no brainer to many but, without government endorsement or funding, and no mainstream media coverage, the potential preventive power of vitamin C remains sidelined. Wuhan distributed 50 million grams of vitamin C last February. Professor Zhiyong Peng, author of the Wuhan trial, has not had a single critical covid patient in his ICU since May.
Why the censorship? Myths about vitamin C
Why the censorship? One possible explanation is ignorance perpetuated by common myths. The first is that vitamin C doesn’t work for colds. Such claims usually cite a comprehensive Cochrane review by leading vitamin C researcher and Professor of Public Health, Harri Hemila from Finland’s University of Helsinki. The review actually says “given the consistent effect of vitamin C on the duration and severity of colds in the regular supplementation studies, and the low cost and safety, it may be worthwhile for common cold patients to test on an individual basis whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial for them”. “Why don’t they read the review?” says Professor Hemila who has written to the Lancet and the British Medical Journal pointing out all the research showing shorter hospital and ICU stays in patients given vitamin C. His letters conclude “When a patient suffers from a virus infection there may be a vitamin C dose response for up to 6-8 g/day. Vitamin C is a safe and inexpensive essential nutrient and therefore even small to moderate benefits may be worthwhile.” His letters haven’t been published.
Other common myths are that vitamin C will give you kidney stones. Dr James Goodwin, from the Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston decided to investigate this apparent problem for a US medical journal. “A search of the medical literature found no articles in refereed journals reporting instances of high-dose vitamin C causing kidney stones. Instead, review articles
cite book chapters that in turn cite abstracts, letters, and other review articles. Nowhere in the trail of citations is there related any fundamental information on whether or how frequent high-dose vitamin C leads to kidney
stones. Instead, authors simply make the statement that vitamin C may cause kidney stones and as proof cite other authors who have said the same thing.” The risk of kidney stones with vitamin C for the treatment of infection is just hearsay.
Another often cited danger concerns those with certain rare genetic disorders such as G6PD deficiency or haemochromatosis who lack the ability to eliminate iron. Vitamin C, which aids iron absorption, could make this worse. But again, no-one on the hospital floor has reported any problems at all with the use of high dose vitamin C to shorten colds or covid symptoms. Yes, you can get loose bowels if you take too much vitamin C, then you just take less. In fact, this ‘bowel tolerance’ level is used to determine how much a person needs in much the same way that drinking too much water makes you pee a lot. Vitamin C is actually safer than water.
In the UK doctors wanting to give even 6 grams vitamin C to their covid patients are challenged by the hospital pharmacist saying ‘where’s the evidence?’ There’s plenty. Where’s the evidence of harm? There is none.
As part of our petition we want to change this unfounded censorship. Specifically, ‘Content on ‘vitamin C for COVID-19 or corona’ no longer being classified as false information in both digital, broadcast and print media’ and ‘GPs, doctors and nutrition practitioners to be allowed and actively encouraged to recommend vitamin C supplementation for anyone with cold symptoms or coronavirus infection to reduce duration and severity of symptoms as an allowable health claim’.
They’ve contacted social media censors, masterminded by Sir Nick Clegg who is the Vice-President for Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, as well as NHS Chiefs and the General Medical Council. But no response so far. How much longer will vitamin C – an inexpensive, safe, life-saving nutrient – be ignored?