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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

High Dose Vitamin C : SAFE

"Vitamin C: intravenous use by complementary and alternative medicine practitioners and adverse effects," Padayatty SJ, Sun AY, et al, PLoS One, 2010; 5(7): e11414. (Address: Molecular and Clinical Nutrition Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America).
In a study designed to assess the use and safety of high-dose intravenous (IV) vitamin C administration by complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners, the authors found that a) high-dose IV vitamin C is widely used by CAM practitioners, most commonly in the treatment of patients with infection, cancer, or fatigue; and b) aside from already known complications of IV vitamin C in patients with renal impairment or glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, high-dose IV vitamin C use was found to be "remarkably safe." Of 199 practitioners who responded to a survey, 172 administered IV vitamin C to their patients, totaling 11,233 in the year 2006 and 8,876 in the year 2008. On average, the dose administered was 28 grams every 4 days, with a total of 22 treatments per patient. Data from 9,328 patients was available, and of these patients, 101 were found to have mostly minor side effects including lethargy/fatigue in 59 patients, change in mental sta tus in 21 patients, and vein irritation/phlebitis in 6 patients. Regarding serious adverse events, the authors found that there had been 2 deaths, both in patients known to be at risk for IV vitamin C. The authors conclude, "Physicians should inquire about IV vitamin C use in patients with cancer, chronic, untreatable, or intractable conditions and be observant of unexpected harm, drug interactions, or benefit."
Reference these and other vitamin C related posts from Natural Health News -


Anonymous said...

It is possible that brief exposure to high levels of vitamin C offers antioxidant effects with a minimum of side effects, while prolonged exposure results in deleterious effects.

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lorna vanderhaeghe said...

That's good to know then. I always love taking vitamin C. Knowing that too much intake of it is still safe, I might not have problems taking more of it.

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