In 2017 a paper was published asserting that intravenous vitamin C given to patients with sepsis was literally a life saver. Despite the study only looking at 47 subjects the results garnered international coverage and was adopted in many ICUs worldwide.
The global burden of sepsis is estimated at up to 19 million cases annually killing 5 million mainly in low income countries. The infection affects 1.7 million Americans a year and kills more than 250,000, making it one of the top 10 causes of death. In Australia more than 5,000 die from sepsis each year and it contributes to up to a half of all hospital deaths.
A paper published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Monash researchers comprehensively quashes the idea that the vitamin C-based cocktail has any positive impact on patients with sepsis.
Sepsis is the body's overreaction to a severe infection, leading to multiple organ failure and, frequently, death.
Over the years, there has been indications that vitamin C might be effective against sepsis. For instance, people with sepsis tend to have surprisingly low levels of vitamin C in their blood. In 2014, Dr. Alpha Fowler published a paper involving just 24 patients, hinting that vitamin C was a benefit. In particular, Fowler noted that a measure of organ failure improved far more in the patients who had received vitamin C.
Dr. Paul Marik at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in the US, after reading the study, gave a seriously ill patient with sepsis high dose intravenous Vitamin C, together with thiamine and steroids (the traditional treatment for sepsis) and the patient recovered. Dr Marik started using it regularly in his intensive care unit, reporting that the mortality rate for sepsis in his ICU had plummeted after he switched to this treatment. Related Stories
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