(NaturalHealth365) Vitamin C is being hailed as a safe, inexpensive and effective way to reverse the course of sepsis, a potentially life-threatening type of blood poisoning. In an animal study conducted at Lawson Health Research Institute at the University of Western Ontario and published in 2010 in Intensive Care Medicine, researchers found that vitamin C injections significantly improved the survival rate of septic mice.
Researchers are eager to see if the results are applicable to human patients. Noting that the injections had no harmful side effects, study leader Dr. Karel Tyml predicted that inexpensive, safe vitamin C treatments could improve the outlook for sepsis patients worldwide, and be a particular boon in developing countries, in which the rates of sepsis are higher.
The number one cause for sepsis is completely avoidable
Sepsis, commonly called blood poisoning, is a bacterial infection which can cause the immune system to overreact and form dangerous blood clots that plug the capillaries and interrupt blood flow, jeopardizing adequate oxygenation and waste removal from major organs. As a result, multiple organ failure and death can occur.
Sepsis can develop from a variety of causes, including surgery, pneumonia and infection. And, although relatively healthy people can get sepsis – the vast majority of these cases tend to develop due to a weakened immune system – especially among infants and the elderly. Generally speaking, doctors will treat sepsis with antibiotics, fluid resuscitation, vasodilator drugs and the institution of glycemic control, but there is currently no ‘cure’ for this condition, and the mortality rate for severe sepsis cases hovers at close to 40 percent.
Of people who die of sepsis, nearly a third of them die from organ failure – a fact that makes the vitamin C findings particularly significant.
How exactly does vitamin C treat, prevent and even reverse blood poisoning?
Experts say that oxidative stress is a major factor in sepsis. Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, achieves its lifesaving effects by fighting the oxidative reaction, while stimulating the production of nitric oxide and alleviating the microvascular dysfunction that can lead to organ failure. It also reduces platelet adhesion, making blood platelets less likely to form clots.
Even a single (high dose) vitamin C injection can cause a dramatic improvement in physical health.
According to researchers, one bolus injection of vitamin C during the development of sepsis is sufficient to prevent the plugging of capillaries. When given later in the course of disease, a lone injection can unblock impaired capillaries and restore blood flow. This single injection can also prevent capillary plugging for up to 24 hours post-injection – a finding that led the team to remark on vitamin C’s “rapid and persistent” beneficial effects.
Critically ill patients benefit the most from high dose vitamin C therapy
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 216 critically ill patients published in 2004 in Anesthesia and Analgesia, researchers found that administering vitamin E and vitamin C significantly reduced mortality. In a randomized trial published in 2002 in Annals of Surgery, 595 patients given vitamins C and E within 24 hours of their traumatic event or major surgery had a reduced risk of major organ failure and pulmonary edema.
It’s not so surprising that vitamin C has dramatic effects on blood poisoning; this indispensable water-soluble vitamin is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and a powerful anti-aging substance.
Vitamin C plays a vital role in helping to grow and repair tissues and heal wounds, but also helps to keep blood vessels flexible. It’s even an enzyme cofactor, and helps to make collagen – which is needed for healthy skin.
Although severe deficiencies are rare, many people have low levels of vitamin C. Many medical health experts like, Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD warn the public that inadequate levels of vitamin C increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis and many forms of cancers.
How much vitamin C should I be getting?
Since vitamin C can NOT be stored in the body, it must be obtained through the diet and supplementation. While the National Academy of Sciences recommends a daily value of 75 milligrams a day for women and 90 milligrams a day for men, these figures are dramatically lower than what most natural health experts suggest. In fact, if you’re suffering from any degenerative illness, you’ll need much more.
Dr. Linus Pauling, the founder of modern chemistry, holder of 48 honorary Ph.D.s, and the world’s only 2-time unshared Nobel prize laureate recommends that ‘every person who is at risk of heart disease should take 5 or 6 g of vitamin C and at least 2 g of lysine, although larger amounts may be necessary.” Obviously, when dealing with life-threatening conditions like blood poisoning – one should consult with a qualified, medical professional about how to best proceed – just be sure they have an experience with vitamin C or you’ll be wasting your time.
Is there anything else I need to know about vitamin C?
Since every person is different – in terms of medical/health history – optimal levels of vitamin C may vary depending on bowel tolerance and severity of the health condition. Generally speaking, the sicker the patient – the more vitamin C is needed, until symptoms go away.
If you should experience intestinal upset or diarrhea, by taking vitamin C powder, tablets or capsules – just reduce the amount you’re taking and you should be fine. If you’re considering high-dose IV vitamin C – this must be done by a qualified medical professional and you’ll need to check for a ‘G6PD deficiency’ before starting IV vitamin C therapy. Remember, a sick person needs much more vitamin C versus a healthy individual.
In addition, when taking vitamin C supplements – be aware that many brands are produced with genetically modified corn. Like any other food or nutritional supplement – it pays to know your supplier and ask questions before making your purchase.
Naturally, it’s always a good idea to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants – which help to reduce the risk of free radical damage in our blood. Eat lots of organic fruits and vegetables (juicing is great) and for maximum benefit, eat these foods raw or slightly cooked – as vitamin C is sensitive to heat.
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