(TMU) — As New York state’s hospital system faces an unprecedented surge of sick coronavirus patients, some doctors have reportedly found success in improving their symptoms through the application of massive Vitamin C doses.
The administering of 1,500 milligrams of intravenous Vitamin C is over 16 times the recommended dietary allowance of the antioxidant, but has resulted in patients treated with the vitamin faring “significantly” better than those patients who aren’t receiving the treatment, reports the New York Post.
According to pulmonologist and critical-care specialist Dr. Andrew G. Weber, who is affiliated with two Northwell Health facilities on Long Island, intensive-care patients infected with the novel virus are immediately administered the massive dosage when they arrive in ICU. The powerful vitamin C dosage is re-administered intravenously three or four times per day, he added.
Weber explained that the inspiration for the treatment comes after doctors in Shanghai, China, also used it.
China is conducting a clinical trial of 24,000 mg/day of intravenous vitamin C for coronavirus patients. They will receive it for 7 days straight at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University. Honor and thanks to Zhiyong Peng, MD, for making this happen. https://t.co/x9lpnmoXVm
— Yardley W (@yardleywong) February 12, 2020
Weber told the Post:
“The patients who received Vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get Vitamin C.
It helps a tremendous amount, but it is not highlighted because it’s not a sexy drug.”
The Vitamin C is administered along with medicines including the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as well as the antibiotic azithromycin, various biologics and blood thinners, Weber added.
While there is no scientific research that supports the use of high doses of Vitamin C in the treatment of CoViD-19, intravenous Vitamin C has long been used by some doctors to treat cold and flu symptoms.
According to a study published in 1999, “Overall, reported flu and cold symptoms in the test group decreased 85% compared with the control group after the administration of megadose Vitamin C.”
The study concluded:
“Vitamin C in megadoses administered before or after the appearance of cold and flu symptoms relieved and prevented the symptoms in the test population compared with the control group.”
Weber said that coronavirus patients see dramatic falls in their levels of Vitamin C when they suffer sepsis, the lethal inflammatory response to CoViD-19 infection.
“It makes all the sense in the world to try and maintain this level of Vitamin C.”
Clinical trials of the treatment began February 14 at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China, where the disease rapidly emerged last December. The study is expected to run through the end of September after which study findings will be published.
On Tuesday, hospitals in New York were granted permission from federal authorities to use a mixture of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat severely ill patients on the basis of “compassionate care.”
President Trump has tweeted that the cocktail has “a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” despite health officials urging caution about treating the drug as some panacea prior to rigorous clinical studies.
However, some experts have cautioned that the experimental intravenous treatment’s ability to fight off pneumonia remains unproven.
“Although vitamin C does have some small effect on the common cold, it’s unlikely that taking large amounts of vitamin C supplements will cure a COVID-19 infection—or have a large effect at all,” Peter McCaffery, professor of biochemistry at the University of Aberdeen, wrote in the Conversation.
Carol DerSarkissian, MD told MedicineNet:
“Your immune system does need Vitamin C to work right. But extra won’t help you avoid a cold. It may make it go away faster or not feel as bad—if you were taking it before you got sick.”
Biden to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Citing Health Impact on Youth and Black People
The Biden administration is reportedly planning to propose an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been targeted by anti-smoking advocates and critics who claim that the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed to Black people in the U.S.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the administration could announce a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as soon as this week.
Roughly 85 percent of Black smokers use such menthol brands as Newport and Kool, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Research has also found that menthol cigarettes are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than unflavored tobacco products, along with other small cigars popular with young people and African Americans.
Civil rights advocates claim that the decision should be greeted by Black communities and people of color who have been marketed to by what they describe as the predatory tobacco industry.
Black smokers generally smoke far less than white smokers, but suffer a disproportionate amount of deaths due to tobacco-linked diseases like heart attack, stroke, and other causes.
Anti-smoking advocates like Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also greeted the move to cut out products that appeal to children and young adults.
“Menthol cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of youth smoking in the United States,” he said. “Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars used by so many kids will do more in the long run to reduce tobacco-related disease than any action the federal government has ever taken.”
However, groups including the American Civil Liberties Group (ACLU) has opposed the move, citing the likelihood that such an action could lead to criminal penalties arising from the enforcement of a ban hitting communities of color hardest.
In a letter to administration officials, the ACLU and other groups including the Drug Policy Alliance said that while the ban is “no doubt well-intentioned” it would also have “serious racial justice implications.”
“Such a ban will trigger criminal penalties, which will disproportionately impact people of color, as well as prioritize criminalization over public health and harm reduction,” the letter explained. “A ban will also lead to unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”
Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say
With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.
According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.
The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.
The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.
While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.
Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.
“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.
“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.
Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced
However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.
Visualizing The World’s Deadliest Pandemics By Population Impact
Humanity has been battling against disease for centuries.
And while most contagious outbreaks have never reached full-blown pandemic status, Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes that there have been several times throughout history when a disease has caused mass devastation.
Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest pandemics to date, viewed from the lens of the impact they had on the global population at the time.
Editor’s note: The above graphic was created in response to a popular request from users after viewing our popular history of pandemics infographic initially released a year ago.
Death Toll, by Percent of Population
In the mid-1300s, a plague known as the Black Death claimed the lives of roughly 200 million people – more than 50% of the global population at that time.
Here’s how the death toll by population stacks up for other significant pandemics, including COVID-19 so far.
The specific cause of the Black Death is still up for debate. Many experts claim the 14th-century pandemic was caused by a bubonic plague, meaning there was no human-to-human transmission, while others argue it was possibly pneumonic.
Interestingly, the plague still exists today – however, it’s significantly less deadly, thanks to modern antibiotics.
History Repeats, But at Least We Keep Learning
While we clearly haven’t eradicated infection diseases from our lives entirely, we’ve at least come a long way in our understanding of what causes illness in the first place.
In ancient times, people believed gods and spirits caused diseases and widespread destruction. But by the 19th century, a scientist named Louis Pasteur (based on findings by Robert Koch) discovered germ theory – the idea that small organisms caused disease.
What will we discover next, and how will it impact our response to disease in the future?
Like this? Check out the full-length article The History of Pandemics
Republished from ZH with permission.