articles, clinical trials and government orders

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First Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States

This fascinating article from the New England Journal of Medicine describes the first case of Covid-19 in the United States, describing how it was identified early on and the experience of the hospital staff. Read this paper here:  https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa2001191

Vitamin C Infusion for the Treatment of Severe 2019-nCoV Infected Pneumonia

2019 new coronavirus (2019-nCoV or Covid-19) infected pneumonia, namely severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) has caused global concern and emergency. There is a lack of effective targeted antiviral drugs, and symptomatic supportive treatment is still the current main treatment for SARI.

Vitamin C is significant to human body and plays a role in reducing inflammatory response and preventing common cold. In addition, a few studies have shown that vitamin C deficiency is related to the increased risk and severity of influenza infections.

We hypothesize that Vitamin C infusion can help improve the prognosis of patients with SARI. Therefore, it is necessary to study the clinical efficacy and safety of vitamin C for the clinical management of SARI through randomized controlled trials during the current epidemic of SARI.

Health Departments in six San Francisco Bay Area Counties Order Shelter in Place for 3 weeks

Alameda County joined Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties with the City of Berkeley on a legal order directing their respective residents to shelter at home for three weeks beginning March 17.  The order limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most essential needs. The guidance comes after substantial input from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and best practices from other health officials around the world due to the rapid spreading of Covid-19.

Peer reviewed paper on Vitamin D supplements to prevent acute respiratory tract infections

OBJECTIVES

To assess the overall effect of vitamin D supplementation on risk of acute respiratory tract infection, and to identify factors modifying this effect.


CONCLUSIONS

Vitamin D supplementation was safe and it protected against acute respiratory tract infection overall. Patients who were very vitamin D deficient and those not receiving bolus doses experienced the most benefit.

This journal article is relevant to the current Covid-19 crisis.

Vitamin C and Immune Function

 Abstract

Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient for humans, with pleiotropic functions related to its ability to donate electrons. It is a potent antioxidant and a cofactor for a family of biosynthetic and gene regulatory enzymes. Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin C supports epithelial barrier function against pathogens and promotes the oxidant scavenging activity of the skin, thereby potentially protecting against environmental oxidative stress.  Vitamin C accumulates in phagocytic cells, such as neutrophils, and can enhance chemotaxis, phagocytosis, generation of reactive oxygen species, and ultimately microbial killing. It is also needed for apoptosis and clearance of the spent neutrophils from sites of infection by macrophages, thereby decreasing necrosis/NETosis and potential tissue damage. The role of vitamin C in lymphocytes is less clear, but it has been shown to enhance differentiation and proliferation of B- and T-cells, likely due to its gene regulating effects. Vitamin C deficiency results in impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infections. In turn, infections significantly impact on vitamin C levels due to enhanced inflammation and metabolic requirements. Furthermore, supplementation with vitamin C appears to be able to both prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections. Prophylactic prevention of infection requires dietary vitamin C intakes that provide at least adequate, if not saturating plasma levels (i.e., 100-200 mg/day), which optimize cell and tissue levels. In contrast, treatment of established infections requires significantly higher (gram) doses of the vitamin to compensate for the increased inflammatory response and metabolic demand.