October 2, 2019. The October 1, 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of a trial conducted at seven intensive care units which found a lower risk of mortality among men and women with sepsis who were treated with vitamin C.
The investigation included 167 participants in the CITRIS-ALI trial, which evaluated organ dysfunction, inflammation and vascular injury following a 96-hour infusion of vitamin C or a placebo among individuals with sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. “We conducted this phase II, proof-of-concept trial to explore if vitamin C is a more effective therapy for organ failure than the current standard of care for sepsis,” stated lead researcher Alpha A. Fowler III, MD. “We did not find evidence that vitamin C improves sepsis-related organ failure in this particular trial, but it significantly reduced how long patients were hospitalized.”
At 28 days, 25 of the 84 participants who received vitamin C had died, compared to 38 of the 82 participants who received a placebo. Compared to the placebo group, ventilator use averaged two and a half days less and time spent out of the ICU averaged three days more in the treated group. Twenty-five percent of those treated with vitamin C were transferred out of the ICU within a week in comparison with 12.5% of participants who received a placebo, and treated patients spent an average of six and a half more days out of the hospital.
“This therapy could potentially transform the way we care for sepsis patients,” Dr Fowler predicted. “We may have found a lifesaving therapy. While further research is needed, the results from our preliminary study are encouraging.”