Therapeutic potential of megadose vitamin C to reverse organ dysfunction in sepsis and COVID-19


megadose vitamin C

Overview of the systemic and organ specific effects of ovine sepsis, the effects of treatment we have observed with intravenous megadose vitamin C and the possible mechanisms of action that require investigation

Sepsis induced by bacteria or viruses can result in multiorgan dysfunction, which is a major cause of death in intensive care units. Current treatments are only supportive, and there are no treatments that reverse the pathophysiological effects of sepsis. Vitamin C has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant and immune modulatory actions, so it is a rational treatment for sepsis. Here, we summarise data that support the use of megadose vitamin C as a treatment for sepsis and COVID-19. Megadose intravenous sodium ascorbate (150 g per 40 kg over 7 h) dramatically improved the clinical state and cardiovascular, pulmonary, hepatic and renal function and decreased body temperature, in a clinically relevant ovine model of Gram-negative bacteria-induced sepsis. In a critically ill COVID-19 patient, intravenous sodium ascorbate (60 g) restored arterial pressure, improved renal function and increased arterial blood oxygen levels. These findings suggest that megadose vitamin C should be trialled as a treatment for sepsis and COVID-19.

Conflict of interest statement

YRL, RB and CNM have a provisional patent on vitamin C use in sepsis (2020901120).


  • 1Preclinical Critical Care Unit, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
  • 2Department of Critical Care, Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.
  • 3Department of Intensive Care, Austin Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.
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