Vitamin C may prevent and help sepsis

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Immune system

A single injected dose of vitamin C may not only prevent the onset of sepsis, but also reverse the disease, according to data from a mouse study from The University of Western Ontario and Lawson Health Research Institute.

Sepsis is caused by a bacterial infection that can begin anywhere in your body. Your immune system goes into overdrive, overwhelming normal processes in your blood. The result is that small blood clots form, blocking blood flow to vital organs. This can lead to organ failure. Babies, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are most likely to get sepsis. But even healthy people can become deathly ill from the disease. Severe sepsis has a mortality of 40 percent.

According to data from a mouse study, Dr Karel Tyml and his co-workers report that a single bolus of vitamin C injected early at the time of induction of sepsis, prevents capillary plugging.

"Our research in mice with sepsis has found that early as well as delayed injections of vitamin C improves chance of survival significantly,"​ explains Dr. Tyml. "Furthermore, the beneficial effect of a single bolus injection of vitamin C is long lasting and prevents capillary plugging for up to 24 hours post-injection."

"Vitamin C is cheap and safe. Previous studies have shown that it can be injected intravenously into patients with no side effects,"​ he added. "It has the potential to significantly improve the outcome of sepsis patients world-wide. This could be especially beneficially in developing countries where sepsis is more common and expensive treatments are not affordable."

Related topics: Research

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