The role played by vitamins is becoming more evident every day, thanks to the continuous medical research being carried out. Some time back vitamin D earned the status of a “prohormone” and was the center for all medical research while vitamin C felt left out. However, the spread of the novel coronavirus brought vitamin C into the spotlight too.
Its role in fighting infectious agents has always been commended by the medical fraternity, therefore, soon it became a necessity for all households. Today we are going to discuss the most significant health benefits of IV vitamin C that everybody needs to know.
Role Played By Vitamin C In The Human Body
Also known as ascorbic acid, this very vitamin is stratified as an essential vitamin which means that we need to have it externally in the diet as it can't be produced by the human body itself. The average recommended daily intake for vitamin C is around 90mg for men and 75mg for women.
This water-soluble vitamin is a necessary component for the growth and repair of the body. Vitamin C plays a role in the following bodily activities:
- Formation of collagen
- Maintenance of cartilage and repair of cells
- Smooth working of the immune system
- Intestinal absorption of iron
- Healing of wounds
The exceptional antioxidant properties of vitamin C help protect the body against damage caused by free radicals. This role acts as a shield against chronic diseases (cancer, diabetes, arthritis, etc.)
Why Take Intravenous (IV) Vitamin C?
Drug bioavailability is defined as the extent of the drug that is available for its biological destination. A lot of drugs/substances offer lesser bioavailability (i.e. actual amount of the substance present in the body) due to an effect called first-pass metabolism (effect). According to this effect, some part of the drug is broken down into the liver (major site of drug metabolism) when passing through the gut. Therefore, the IV route of drugs is preferred over the oral route.
Taking an IV injection of vitamin C is beneficial over oral intake. When taken through the mouth, vitamin C requires specialized transporters to be absorbed in the intestines. These transporters are subject to saturation, thereby, decreasing the amount of vitamin C reabsorbed into the bloodstream. There is no such hurdle and loss in the case of IV vitamin C because the vitamins are released directly into the bloodstream.
Evidence suggests that IV vitamin C provides high doses of the essential substance in the body that can help in managing moderate to severe cases of COVID-19. As per a study, only IV vitamin C produces high enough levels of vitamin C that impart antitumor activities.
Advantages Of Taking An IV Vitamin C Injection
Although the vitamin packs numerous therapeutic benefits, the most noteworthy are discussed below:
- Boosts Immune System
Vitamin C supplements have been endorsed as active natural immune boosters for a long time and rightly so. This essential vitamin boosts the immune system in multiple ways:
It enhances the production of white blood cells (lymphocytes, phagocytes) to increase protection against infections. It also improves the efficiency of the protective cells by keeping them safe from free radical damage.
A 2018 study concludes that vitamin C positively impacts the development and function of lymphocytes.
This vitamin gets transported to the skin too, where it promotes the immune functionality and integrity of the body’s first barrier to microorganisms (i.e. skin).
Since the beginning of the pandemic, immune-boosting substances/drugs have become a dire need of the hour. Amidst this misery of pain, disease, and death, vitamin C has emerged as a savior.
According to a meta-analysis, vitamin C administration is linked to the alleviated and shortened duration of upper respiratory tract infections. High IV doses of vitamin C have shown promising results in improving symptoms of SARS-Cov-2.
The low cost and excellent safety profile validate the use of IV vitamin C monotherapy as an effective treatment strategy in COVID-19 patients (and patients with severe respiratory infections).
- Helps Manage Blood Pressure
Hypertension (persistently high blood pressure) is a widespread infirmity that leads to a variety of serious illnesses.
According to WHO, as of 2020 more than 1.1 billion people were affected by hypertension. It is the leading cause of death worldwide.
Vitamin C deficiency is associated with arterial hypertension. It is believed that there is a decreased availability of endothelial nitric oxide with a deficiency of vitamin C, which leads to hypertension.
An animal study revealed that vitamin C administration helps relax arteries that eventually alleviate systolic blood pressure. Reduction of systolic Bp by 3.8mmHg and diastolic by 1.5mmHg are expected with vitamin C usage.
Research shows that vitamin C supplementation results in a significant reduction in blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension.
- Reduces Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
In a lot of cases, heart disease is a consequence of persistent hypertension. The lack of vasodilators such as nitric oxide in the endothelial cells of the arteries makes them prone to atherosclerosis and wear and tear. This lack is found in patients suffering from vitamin C deficiency.
Abnormal lipid profiles (raised cholesterol and LDL) are also major contributors to cardiovascular disease. Intravenous vitamin C administration can help reduce these risk factors and thereby, impart sufficient cardioprotective effect.
A detailed study concluded that vitamin C improves the ejection fraction of the heart. IV vitamin C therapy can be used as a cardioprotective maneuver to prevent reperfusion injury that occurs during the Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or commonly known as cardiac stenting.
The antioxidant role of this water-soluble vitamin promotes its use in protecting the hearts of patients suffering from heart failure, a study suggests.
- Imparts Superb Antioxidant Properties
A number of chronic diseases find their roots in the oxidative stress of the body. Increased oxidative stress (due to environmental toxins) leads to diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.
Taking an IV injection of vitamin C can keep you safe from these maladies. As per a study, vitamin C and E supplementation improve the antioxidant ability of the human body. A randomized controlled trial showed that vitamin C administration can decrease serum MDA levels and suppress lipid peroxidation. Ascorbic acid supplementation also helps in imparting anti-inflammatory effects in obese and heart patients.
This very property of intravenous vitamin C can be beneficial in promoting skin health. It is readily made a part of the cosmetic products to be used in combination with other agents such as aloe vera.
By halting the oxidative process taking place in the body, vitamin C can disregulate the growth of cancerous cells. Research suggests that vitamin C inhibits cancer transformation in several pathways, thanks to the strong antioxidant properties.
Scientists are in the hope of establishing intravenous vitamin C therapy as a successful treatment modality in the treatment of cancer.
- Elevates Mood And Enhances Memory
Every young student intends to become a genius like Newton or Einstein. In addition to working hard and spending sleepless nights, it is imperative that these students take up vitamin C in their bodies. Supplementation or intravenous injections of ascorbic acid help enhance memory.
It also keeps mental health disorders such as dementia at bay. As per studies, oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain cells are contributing factors to dementia. Moreover, patients suffering from dementia have reported having lower than normal blood levels of vitamin C.
Vitamin C deficient individuals are at greater risk of falling prey to depression.
Research suggests that vitamin C imparts a protective role against major mental health disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder. Vitamin C supplementation is regarded as an effective and inexpensive way to prevent cognitive impairment in old adults. Therefore, the neuropsychiatric effects of vitamin C are highly commendable.
- Good For People Suffering From Iron Deficiency
Iron is an essential nutrient necessary for the optimal working of the body. The most important role is played in the transportation of oxygen via red blood cells. An inability to reabsorb iron from the diet can lead to iron deficiency anemia.
Vitamin C also plays a strong role in improving iron reabsorption in the body. As per a study, vitamin C supplementation of 100mg per day can improve iron absorption by as high as 67%. This water-soluble vitamin does more than just enhance the absorption of iron.
Research declared vitamin C to be a “double agent” because it boosts iron absorption and also prevents liver damage that entails excessive iron intake. In order to obtain superior results, anemia patients must be given a combination of fortified iron and vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that is necessary for the proper working of the immune system. It is an integral component in the production of cartilage. Therefore, the most evident roles played by IV vitamin C injections include boosts in the immune system, wound healing, improvements in mental health, provision of anti-oxidant effects, and protection from chronic ailments (hypertension, obesity, and cancer). IV vitamin C is pivotal for growth, repair, and overall health.