Treating sepsis with vitamin C is associated with reductions in mortality, duration of mechanical ventilation, and hospital/ICU length of stay, according to the findings of a systemic review and meta-analysis presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2022 International Conference, held in San Francisco, CA, May 13 to 18.

Previous research has indicated that vitamin C may significantly reduce proinflammatory biomarkers in severe sepsis and normalize physiological functions that might otherwise contribute to multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in sepsis, review authors noted. To further explore the potential of vitamin C as a treatment for sepsis, researchers conducted a systemic review search of PubMed, Embase, and Central Cochrane Registry, which yielded 21 prospective, randomized clinical trials in which vitamin C was used as an intervention for a total of 2548 adult patients with sepsis

The researchers found that patients with sepsis treated with vitamin C experienced a significant reduction in mortality risk (odds ratio [OR], 0.788; 95% CI, 0.634-0.979; P =.031). In addition, the researchers found that compared with patients who did not receive vitamin C as an intervention, patients with sepsis receiving vitamin C had less days on mechanical ventilation (standardized mean difference [SMD] = -0.732; -1.307 to -0.157; P =.013), lower SOFA scores (OR = -0.333; 95% CI, -0.510 to -0.157; P <.001), fewer days on vasopressors (SMD = -0.637; -0.987 to -0.287; P =<.001), and fewer days in the intensive care unit (SMD = -0.351; -0.660 to -0.042; P =.026).

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The researchers concluded that vitamin C — whether taken orally or via IV, and whether taken as monotherapy or combined therapy — consistently showed improvements in mortality and other outcomes. “Given its low cost and fewer adverse effects we strongly encourage further large pivotal studies should be conducted to establish vitamin-C as a standard of care in sepsis to reduce mortality,” said the review authors. 


Sattar S, Jahangir A, Kassem A, et al. Efficacy of vitamin C in septic patient population: A Systematic Review and Metanalysis: Presented at: the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2022 International Conference; May 13-18, 2022; San Francisco, CA. Abstract P530.

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor