Experimental therapy uses vitamin C to help treat sepsis

Could Vitamin C help fight sepsis infections? Researchers are hopeful but with only 100 patients studied so far, some doctors say it's too soon to tell.

Research suggests vitamin C can help treat cancer, pneumonia, and now sepsis.

Internal medicine physician Kinga Porter says it's a great idea, but it's just one study.

"That’s been shown to actually improve the chance of surviving sepsis; it's been shown decreasing the amount of time on antibiotics and the amount of time on medication needed to support the heart," said Porter.

Sepsis is a complication caused by the body's response to an infection. It shuts down multiple organ systems like the liver, kidneys, heart, and brain.

"Sepsis is actually one of our No. 1 killers once you get into the hospital," said Porter.

Usually treated with fluids and antibiotics, the research finds intravenous vitamin C lends a hand.

"It works as an antioxidant to kind of decrease the inflammatory levels," Porter said. "It's also been shown to help the mitochondria, which are the main energy cells in our bodies, and it helps support that process."

The findings make sense because the worse sepsis is, the more it depletes the vitamin C in your body.

But it's not FDA regulated, and with a study of fewer than 100 people, more research needs to be done.

Experts say if a hospital treats septic patients with vitamin C it would be in addition to other standardized therapies since its use is seen as experimental right now. 

© 2017 KING-TV


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