COVID-19 and Vitamin C: The truth, the myth, and the hype

(NIH photo of cut citurs fruit)


The Bible warns:

13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13)

In view of that prophecy, notice the following headline from “”:

Why vitamin C won’t ‘boost’ your immune system against the coronavirus

It poses little risk but is very unlikely to help.

March 10, 2020

The myth, the legend

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, became known as an immune-boosting supernutrient after two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling touted the substance’s supposed benefits in a series of books, …

Since Pauling published his books, in the 1970s, his bolder claims have not stood up to scientific scrutiny. However, recent research does suggest that vitamin C supplements reduce the duration of colds in the general population, according to a 2013 review of several dozen studies.

The review found that vitamin C supplements taken during a cold can reduce the duration of the illness by 8% in adults and 14% in children. …

Several of the reviewed studies included people under intense physical stress, including marathon runners and soldiers training in the Arctic. Among these individuals, those who took vitamin C were about half as likely to catch a cold as those who did not take such supplements. But in the general population, the supplements did not prevent the common cold.

Likewise, no evidence suggests that vitamin C supplements can help prevent COVID-19, Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee, told New York Times Parenting.

“If there’s going to be an advantage, it’s going to be very modest,” Schaffner said.

Notice that the headline says “Why vitamin C won’t ‘boost’ your immune system against the coronavirus,” yet some of the article details actually suggest otherwise. Also notice that right after stating a study found a 50% reduction in getting a cold, the article claims that is “no evidence,” and that vitamin C could only help a “modest” amount.

Wouldn’t people want even modest protection?

Furthermore, note what else that same article contains:

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, meaning it neutralizes free radicals generated by the body’s normal metabolism and by exposure to environmental stressors, including ultraviolet radiation and air pollution. Free radicals are charged particles that can damage cells, tissues and genetic material if left unchecked, and thus trigger harmful inflammation.  …

Vitamin C may also bolster the fatty membranes in skin and connective tissue, thus protecting organs like the lungs from pathogens, according to cell culture and preclinical studies. When bugs do infiltrate the body, vitamin C helps direct immune cells called neutrophils to the site of infection and defends these cells against free radicals, the 2017 report noted.

In short, the body relies on vitamin C to launch an effective immune response while sustaining minimal damage.

So, the same article states that vitamin C helps protect the lungs and helps the human body launch an “effective immune response.”

Is that not what people would want when facing a respiratory pathogen like COVID-19?

The same article also has the following:

“Be wary of hype and headlines”

While vitamin C supplements pose little risk to consumers, other so-called “immune-boosting” products could be harmful.  …

Note that no evidence suggests that other so-called immune-boosting supplements — such as zinc, green tea or echinacea — help to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections, Dr. Mark Mulligan, division director of the infectious diseases and vaccine center at NYU Langone Medical Center, told New York Times Parenting. “I do not recommend spending money on supplements for this purpose,” Mulligan said.

“The medical profession still doesn’t know exactly how to influence the immune system, despite what supplement products may claim,” Julie Stefanski, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, told The Washington Post.

The FDA does not vet dietary supplements as it does pharmaceutical medications; that means that supplement manufacturers can place new products on the market without first proving that the substances are either safe or effective.

Let’s look at some of the above.

First, the claim that there is “no evidence” that certain substances, like Zinc can help is wrong. While there probably have not been specific studies for it against the coronavirus, low zinc levels do make one more susceptible to infection (Ross AC, et al, editors. Modern Nutrition in Health & Disease, 11th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Balt., 2014; Cunnane SC.  Zinc: Clinical and Biochemical Significance.  CRC Press, Boca Raton (FL), 1988). And as far as echinacea goes, there are many published studies pointing to it being helpful for respiratory viruses (e.g. Vimalanathan S, Schoop R, Suter A, Hudson J. Prevention of influenza virus induced bacterial superinfection by standardized Echinacea purpurea, via regulation of surface receptor expression in human bronchial epithelial cells. Virus Res. 2017 Apr 2;233:51-59).

Second, yes, there are major gaps of knowledge in the “medical profession” on how to influence the immune system. Part of the reason for that is that it looks to synthetic medicines as opposed to foods to do that.

Third, the FDA does NOT allow new ingredients for dietary supplements to go to the market. Only ingredients that were in use by 1994 are allowed without extensive FDA review. To suggest that the FDA allows supplement manufacturers to legally include ingredients it knows is unsafe is false.

It has been speculated that the inability to properly maintain vitamin C levels may increase problems associated with COVID-19:

Oxidation of vitamin C

While vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant itself by virtue of its ability to donate two electrons to unbalanced atoms, vitamin C is vulnerable to oxidation itself.

While it is commonly said vitamin C blood levels are solely determined by dietary intake (fruits, vitamin pills), some is determined genetically by the type of haptoglobin that is predominant.

Haptoglobin & vitamin C

The type of unstable haptoglobin that leads to the oxidation of vitamin C is very prevalent among Asians.

Unstable haptoglobin is prevalent in up to 56.4% of Chinese males and females, whereas the two more stable forms are distributed in 10% and 33.6% of genetic groups in Chinese populations.  The more stable form of HAPTO-G is prevalent among 35% of Caucasians.

Vitamin C blood concentrations are lower among Asians with unstable Hapto-G.  Among individuals who don’t consume the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin C from their diet, the likelihood a person will be vitamin C-deficient is ~3-fold greater among individuals who inherit the unstable form of HAPTO-G.

Because unstable HAPTO-G does not as efficiently bind to iron, blood storage levels of iron (ferritin) are obviously higher among many Asians.

Haptoglobin & viral growth

Stable HAPTO-G controls growth of viruses and bacteria.

Mortality rates are higher among virally-infected individuals with unstable HAPTO-G.

Among virally-infected adults, median survival was 7.3 years in the unstable haptoglobin group vs. 11.0 years for the stable HAPTO-G group. 03/07/20

While I am not certain all the above is totally accurate (nor is it clear about the prevalence of disorders of vitamin C metabolism in subgroups of populations), it does give some additional speculation as to why some may be at greater risk of death from COVID-19 than others–though, from what I have seen, age seems to be a greater factor in mortality.

Now, notice another article warning about vitamin C and the coronavirus. This one was in the “Fact Check” column at Google News today:

Coronavirus: it’s time to debunk claims that vitamin C could cure it

March 9, 2020

Vitamin C is a common remedy that some people believe will cure the common cold and flu. Although it helps us maintain good immune function, there’s little evidence that it can prevent or substantially reduce either of these diseases. But in the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak, some “influencers” are claiming that taking mega-doses of vitamin C can cure COVID-19 (the disease caused by novel coronavirus).

So let’s cut to the chase. Can vitamin C cure the coronavirus? Considering that novel coronavirus belongs to the same family of viruses – coronaviruses – as the common cold and flu, it’s unlikely that taking vitamin C will prevent or cure you of a COVID-19 infection. …

Although vitamin C doesn’t have miraculous disease-curing properties, some research has also shown it can help the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses. Its role in protecting against viral infections was shown in a recent review which found that immune cells need vitamin C to produce proteins that activate the immune system throughout the body against virus attacks. …

Vitamin C is plentiful in many fruits and vegetables, including oranges, broccoli and potatoes. …

Though I have said vitamin C is unlikely to be a dramatic cure for COVID-19, the fact that it can promote good immune function means it would be going too far to say there will be no effect. …

Even if intravenous vitamin C works to shorten or cure COVID-19, it will likely only be a stop-gap before therapies directed at the virus, such as vaccinations, take over. The most effective way to avoid the virus still remains washing hands, not touching the eyes, nose or mouth, and keeping your distance from anyone exhibiting symptoms.

So, yes, vitamin C can be helpful. And the above article suggests that perhaps it should be used until the medical profession can come up with something else.

How helpful?

Well, although I do not consider taking a lot of the isolate known as ascorbic acid is optimal–as I believe it is much better in foods or supplements which are 100% food, without added USP isolates, the government in Shanghai, China officially sees a use for it:

Shanghai Government Officially Recommends Vitamin C for COVID-19

The government of Shanghai, China has announced its official recommendation that COVID-19 should be treated with high amounts of intravenous vitamin C. (1)

Dosage recommendations vary with severity of illness, from 50 to 200 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day to as much as 200 mg/kg/day.

These dosages are approximately 4,000 to 16,000 mg for an adult, administered by IV. …

An official statement from Xi’an Jiaotong University Second Hospital (2) reads:

“On the afternoon of February 20, 2020, another 4 patients with severe new coronaviral pneumonia recovered from the C10 West Ward of Tongji Hospital. In the past 8 patients have been discharged from hospital…

“[H]igh-dose vitamin C achieved good results in clinical applications. We believe that for patients with severe neonatal pneumonia and critically ill patients, vitamin C treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after admission…

“[E]arly application of large doses of vitamin C can have a strong antioxidant effect, reduce inflammatory responses, and improve endothelial function… Numerous studies have shown that the dose of vitamin C has a lot to do with the effect of treatment…

“[H]gh-dose vitamin C can not only improve antiviral levels, but more importantly, can prevent and treat acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress (ARDS).” 03/08/20

While I am NOT recommending those amounts as a preventative, the Shanghai government sees this as a treatment. Shanghai is 4-5 hours away from Wuhan via a high speed train. Wuhan is where the first cases of COVID-19 seem to have been identified.

Considering what we DO KNOW about vitamin C and the immune system, the press and medical people should be telling everyone that they should at least consider eating two or three servings of fruit per day, as opposed to ‘debunking’ information about vitamin C.

Anyway, when I was asked in an interview for a new television program last month about supporting the immune system in the era of the novel coronavirus, I commented that I felt consuming foods high in vitamin C, such as citurs fruits, could be helpful. This morning, for example, I had two tangerines for breakfast. I also take a 100% food nutrient supplement of vitamin C each evening. Now this is NOT a change in response to COVOD-19 as I have tended to have citrus fruit or juice for breakfast for years and have consumed a food vitamin C supplement for even more years.

Part of the reason is that I tend to touch sick people most days and want my immune system to function well. As I rarely ‘catch’ what sick people have, I consider that evidence of the wisdom of food vitamin C (I also take a 100% food zinc supplement every evening and have done that for many years as well).

As far as vitamin C goes, here is a chapter on it from a book I wrote titled The Truth About Vitamins and Minerals in Supplements:

Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid (AA) is not a synonym for vitamin C, though it certainly has vitamin C (antiscorbutic) properties; dehydroascorbic acid, DHAA, is the other biologically active form [1-3].  As will be shown later in this chapter, this does not mean that isolated ascorbic acid has the same beneficial properties that vitamin C has in food. Foods generally contain two biologically active forms of vitamin C [1,4,5], yet most synthetic vitamin C only contains isolated ascorbic acid [6,7].  In foods that contain ascorbate, it never exists as an isolate [1,4]. In foods, vitamin C is complexed with carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and other components of food [1,4].

Ascorbate complexed in food is not the same as isolated ascorbic acid [8]. Under an electron microscope ascorbic acid appears to be crystalline, whereas vitamin C complexed in food appears rounded [9]. The body does not retain isolated ascorbic acid as well as vitamin C from foods [10-12]; this is probably why many who advocate isolated ascorbic acid tell people they need to take it throughout the day.

It is of interest to note that even Albert Szent Gyorgyi, while accepting the Nobel prize for isolating ascorbic acid, told scientists that isolated ascorbic acid did not work by itself, that vitamin C worked best with the factors that are naturally found with it in foods such as citrus.  It has been correctly written that “it was not honest to use the term ‘vitamin C’ for ascorbic acid.  That term should be reserved for the vitamin C COMPLEX.”  “As recently as 1993, to differentiate articles sold as drugs from nutritional supplements, the US Pharmacopoeia referred to ‘ascorbic acid’ as a recognized drug name and ‘vitamin C’ as a recognized food name” [11].   That is a good way even today to think of the difference: Food vitamin C is a real food, while regular ‘natural’ ascorbic acid is pharmaceutically manufactured.   JUST BECAUSE A LABEL CLAIMS THAT IT IS NATURAL, IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT DOES NOT CONTAIN AN UNNATURAL SUBSTANCE SUCH AS ISOLATED ASCORBIC ACID, WHICH IS ALWAYS SYNTHETICALLY PRODUCED.

In a limited sense, isolated ascorbic acid is natural.  It originates from corn, but by the time it is processed and sold it bears no resemblance to any natural food [11].  Specifically, non-food, ‘natural’ ascorbic acid is made by fermenting corn sugar into sorbitol, then hydrogenating it until it turns into sorbose.  Then acetone is added to break the molecular bonds, which creates isolated, crystalline, ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid does not contain both forms of vitamin C nor bioflavonoids, thus is too incomplete to properly be called vitamin C.  Isolated ascorbic acid is not considered to be natural vitamin C and should not be called vitamin C.

Also, the various patented ‘vitamin C’ compounds that are touted as less acidic than ascorbic acid also are not food.  It is not possible to get a US patent on naturally occurring vitamins as found in food.  For the record, it should be noted that Food vitamin C (as found in tablets) is about ten times less acidic than ascorbic acid.

Bioavailability of Vitamin C

Jacob has written, “The bioavailability of vitamin C in food and ‘natural form’ supplements is not significantly different from that of pure synthetic AA” [4].  For proof he cites two papers.  The first citation is a paper by Mangels (et al) [7]. It is a study that concludes since serum ascorbic acid levels were at similar levels after various vitamin C containing foods and synthetic ascorbic acid were consumed, that the bioavailability is similar.  The study itself appears to be an excellent one, but its conclusions ignore that fact that it may be possible that DHAA or other food constituents associated with natural vitamin C may have positive effects other than raising serum ascorbate levels.  The second citation is a study done by Johnson and Luo [13].  This particular study should not have been cited as it never compared vitamin C as complexed in food versus synthetic ascorbic acid.  It is an excellent paper which compared synthetic ascorbic acid to Ester-C (a commercial blend of ascorbic acid and select metabolites) and to synthetic ascorbic acid mixed with some bioflavonoids.  The data in this study showed that absorption was minimally better with the product with added bioflavonoids, though the authors concluded the differences were not significant [13].

Also Levine (et al) has written, that “There are no data for true bioavailability of vitamin C administered with foods or with compounds in foods,” yet the same chapter also states, “Diets with high vitamin C content from fruits and vegetables are associated with lower cancer risk, especially for cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, colon, and lung.  In contrast, consumption of vitamin C as a supplement in experimental trials had no effect on development of colorectal adenoma and stomach cancer” [2]. In other words, whether it is vitamin C or other components of food, foods which are naturally high in vitamin C are better than isolated ascorbic acid.

Although “the bioavailability of vitamin C in humans and… our current understanding of that process and factors that influence it are incomplete” [14], it appears that slower disintegration times improve the bioavailability of vitamin C [15], and that is what foods have.

Other reports seem to give a reasonable hint about the comparison of vitamin C in foods compared to isolated ascorbic acid [11,16-23]; they suggest that foods are superior.

A human study found that a food complex containing 500mg of vitamin C was 2.16 times more effective in reducing sorbitol in diabetics than was isolated ascorbic acid [24]. One study by Vinson and Howard showed an average decrease of 46.8% in protein glycation after four weeks using 1000mg per day of vitamin C complexed in food [25], while a study by Davie, Gould, and Yudkin only had a 33% reduction in three months using 1000mg of isolated ascorbic acid per day [22]. An animal study found that after one month of feeding, vitamin C complexed with food (it was not a simple mixture) induced a significant reduction of 77%, 66%, and 40% in plasma total cholesterol, LDL + VLDL, and triglycerides respectively and that USP ascorbic acid or bioflavonoids alone were ineffective (though isolated USP ascorbic acid did raise HDL); this same study also found that the natural food complex vitamin C strongly inhibited atherosclerosis [26]. Another animal study found that vitamin C complexed in food was 41% more effective than isolated ascorbic acid in decreasing galactiol when cataracts were present [27]. These studies suggest that there may be multiple benefits associated with natural vitamin C that are not always apparent when only serum ascorbic acid levels are measured.

Some studies have found much more vitamin C in the blood after 4 hours after ingesting a food vs. a non-food form [e.g. 28-29]. That could be almost infinitely better, depending on what is going on in the body at that time or have basically no benefit at all. It would seem that the body having sufficient vitamin C to deal with free radicals, support the immune system, etc. than to possibly have less than an optimal amount is not the best.

Antioxidant Properties

Although ascorbic acid is a power antioxidant in vitro, it does not have proven significant antioxidant effects in vivo.  How substances react in biological systems and in tests tubes is not always the same.

“Despite epidemiological and some experimental studies, it has not been possible to show conclusively that higher than anti-scorbutic intake of” ascorbic acid  “has antioxidant clinical benefit” as ascorbic acid “may be a weak antioxidant in vivo, or its antioxidant actions may have no physiological role, or its role may be small.  The oxidative hypothesis is unproven” [30].  On the other hand, high vitamin C containing foods do have proven in vitro and in vivo antioxidant effects [31].

De-emphasizing vitamin C containing foods by attempting to consume higher quantities of isolated ascorbic acid simply will not have the effects on plasma vitamin C levels, ORP, ORAC, or other health aspects that many consumers of isolated ascorbic acid hope it will.

 Oxidative Redux Potential

An in vitro study (see Table 1) found that Food vitamin C tablets have negative ORP (oxidative reductive potential), yet the Merck Index shows that so-called ‘natural’ ascorbic acid has positive ORP.  Negative ORP is much better as it helps ‘clean up’ oxidative damage whereas items with positive ORP do not.  Since it takes negative ORP to clean up oxidative damage, it is logical that only vitamin C in food would be chosen by any interested in dealing with the consequences of free radical damage.

Table 1

USP Ascorbic Acid vs. Food Vitamin C

Nutrient                                pH       Oxidative Reduction Potential

USP ascorbic acid                    3.3                   129 mV

Buffered USP ascorbic acid        4.8                   27  mV

Food vitamin C                        4.8                  -78  mV

While this study was done in vitro, since Food vitamin C has proven antioxidant effects in vivo [30] and isolated ascorbic acid does not [23], it seems reasonable to conclude that food vitamin C both prevents oxidative damage and ‘cleans up’ damage much better than isolated ascorbic acid.


ORAC is an abbreviation for oxygen radical absorbance capacity and is considered one of the best current ways to determine the free-radical fighting abilities of foods/nutrients.

One study found that a specially-grown orange C complex was proven to have 492 micro moles per gram T.E. (Trolox equivalents) of hydrophilic ORAC [19]—ORAC is essentially a measurement of the ability to quench free radicals (antioxidant ability)—while blueberries (one of the highest ORAC sources [20]) only had 195 micro moles per gram T.E. [19]—thus specially-grown orange C complex has 2.52 times the ORAC ability of blueberries.  Vitamin C containing food has over 15.6 times the ORAC of isolated ascorbic acid [20].


Bioflavonoids are normally yellowish substances that are derivatives of flavones. Some have called them vitamin H. They help to maintain capillary walls, which helps to prevent the likelihood of hemorrhaging and bruising. They are also believed to enhance the effectiveness of vitamin C. And while some ascorbic acid formulas contain some bioflavonoids, they normally do not have the full complement of them that nature provides.  Citrus fruits, for example, contain a variety of truly organic bioflavonoids including flavanone glycosides, naringin, neorioctrin, neohesperidin, hesperiden, flavone glycosides, rhoifolin, luteolin, neodiosnin, flavon aglycones, tetra-o-methylisoscutellaren, sinensetin, isosinensetin, tangeretin, nobiletin, 5-0-desmethyl-nobiletin.


The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is currently 90mg per day.  Many feel that the RDA for vitamin C should be 200mg per day [2]. Consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables per day will result in an intake of least 210mg per day of natural vitamin C [2]. There may be more in fresh organic produce; a recent study found that organically grown tomatoes have more vitamin C than “conventionally” grown ones [31].

Although there have been many studies involving isolated ascorbic acid that show it has benefits to human health, studies that have compared it to vitamin C complexed in food tend to show more benefits for the vitamin C in food.


[1] Ross AC, et al, editors. Modern Nutrition in Health & Disease, 11th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Balt., 2014
[2] Levine, M, et al.  Vitamin C.  In Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 7th ed.  ILSI Press, Washington, 1996:146-159
[3] Burr-Madsen A.  Gateways College of Natural Health, Module 1.  Gateways College, Shingle Springs (CA), 1996
[4] Jacob RA. Vitamin C. In Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed.  William & Wilkins, Balt.,1999:467-483
[5] Vanderslice JT, Higgs DJ.  Vitamin C content of foods: sample variability.  Am J Clin Nutr, 1991;54(Supp 6):1323S-1327S
[6] The United States Pharmacopeial Convention.  USAN and USP Dictionary of Drug Names.  Mack Printing, Easton (PA),1986
[7] Mangels AR, et al.  The bioavailability to humans of ascorbic acid from oranges, orange juice and cooked broccoli is similar to that of synthetic ascorbic acid.  J Nutr, 1993;123(6):1054-1061
[8] Turner G.  Spectral Data Services, Tests conducted Feb. 1993
[9]  Thiel R.  Vitamins are naturally found in food complexes.  ANMA Monitor, 1999; 3(1):5-9
[10] Curto TM, Giovannucci EL, McKinlay JB, Maserejian NN. Associations between supplemental or dietary intake of vitamin C and severity of lower urinary tract symptoms. BJU Int. 2015 Jan;115(1):134-42
[11] DeCava J.  Of foods and supplements.  Nutrition News and Views, 1999;3(3):1-10
[12] Summary of bioavailability study results.  Technical Bulletin #s-13.  IntraCell Nutrition, Fort Lee (NJ), 1993
[13] Johnson C, Luo B.  Comparison of the absorption and excretion of three commercially available sources of vitamin C.  J Am Diet Assoc, 1994;94:779-781
[14] Mayersohn M.  Vitamin C bioavailability.  J Nutr Sci Vitaminol,1992;Spec:446-449
[15] Bhagavan HN, Wolkoff BI.  Correlation between the disintegration time and the bioavailability of vitamin C tablets. Pharm Res,1993;10(2):239-242
[16] Mack A.  All vitamin supplements not created equal.  Med Trib, May 21, 1998:17
[17] Thiel R.J, Fowkes S.W.  Can cognitive deterioration associated with Down syndrome be reduced?  Med Hypo. 2005; 64(3):524-532
[18] Thiel R.J.  Natural vitamins may be superior to synthetic ones.  Med Hypo. 2000; 55(6):461-469
[19] ORAC Test by Brunswick Laboratories, Wareham (MA), February 2006
[20] Williams D. ORAC values for fruits and vegetables. Alternatives, 1999;7(22):171
[21] Weisburger JH.  Vitamin C and disease prevention.  J Am Coll Nutr, 1995;14(2):109-111
[22] Davie SJ, Gould BJ, Yudkin JS.  Effect of vitamin C on glycation of proteins.  Diabetes, 1992;41:161-173 D.C.,1995
[23] Sebastian J, et al. Vitamin C as an antioxidant: evaluation of its role in disease prevention. J Am Coll Nutr. 2003;22(1):18-35
[24] Vinson JA, et al. In vitro and in vivo reduction of erythrocyte sorbitol by ascorbic acid. Diabetes, 1989;38:1036-1041
[25] Vinson JA, Howard TB. Inhibition of protein glycation and advanced glycation end products by ascorbic acid and other vitamins and nutrients. Nutr Bioch, 1996;7:659-663
[26] Vinson JA, Hu S, Jung S. A citrus extract plus ascorbic acid decreases lipids, lipid peroxides, lipoprotein oxidative susceptibility, and atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic hamsters. J Agric Food Chem, 1998;46:1453-1469
[27] Vinson JA, Courey JM, Maro NP. Comparison of two forms of vitamin C on galactose cataracts. In Nutrition Research, Vol 12. Pergamon Press, 1992:915-922
[28] Vinson JA, Bose P. Comparative bioavailabililty of humans to ascorbic acid alone or in a citrus extract. Am J Clin Nutr, 1988;48:601-406
[29] Vinson JA, Bose P. Bioavailability of synthetic ascorbic acid and a citrus extract. Ann NY Acad Sci, 1987, vol. 498: 525-526
[30] Proteggente AR, et al. The antioxidant effect activity of regularly consumed fruit and vegetables reflect their phenolic and vitamin C composition. Free Radic Res. 2002;36(2):217-233
[31] Organic tomatoes, vitamin C, and calcium.  Nutr Week, 1998;45(1):7

Note: Not all of the above were peer-reviewed sources so the results may not be conclusive.

So, yes, I consider that vitamin C in foods, like citrus and acerola cherries, is superior than in products that have isolated USP ascorbic acid. And the supplement I personally take contains only citrus and acerola cherries for its vitamin C.

Anyway, the truth is that eating at least two servings of fruit per day is good for your health. I tend to think that three or more servings is better and tend to do that most days. Let me also add that many vegetables are also naturally high in vitamin C.

While consuming fruits and vegetables high in vitamin is NOT a guarantee that one will not get sick or not be infected with COVID-19, it, in my opinion is a wise thing to do.

As, also is prayer and fasting (see also ZH: How The Super Rich Are Preparing For The Coronavirus; COGwriter: What physical steps can others take?).

Jesus warned that pestilences would come:

8 And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. (Mark 13:8)

36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:36)

Coronaviruses are a type of pestilence consistent with troubles and sorrows.

Pray and eat right.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

COVID-19 Leading to 666? The novel coronavirus of Wuhan, China fame, is now called COVID-19. It has also been called the ‘Coronapocalypse.’ Does COVID-19 have any prophetic ramifications? What did Jesus teach about pestilences and sorrows in the Olivet prophecy in Matthew 24? Could COVID-19 be the ride of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse? Why was this type of disease expected according to the Old Testament prophecies in Deuteronomy and Leviticus? What has the US Centers for Disease Control warned about? What has the CDC reported about the flu? Were there lessons about fear and infections in the 2011 movie ‘Contagion’? Because of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO), nation of Iran, and certain French locations are telling people not to use cash, but instead electronic forms of payment. The US Federal Reserve is now quarantining money repatriated from Asia to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus on US currency bills. Is COVID-19 worse than we have been told or could this all be a ‘false flag’ event to encourage people to move towards a cashless society? If the thousands of deaths associated with COVID-19 are pushing parts of the world towards cashlessness, how much more likely will the ride of the fourth horseman and over a billion human deaths motivate people to move to making electronic payments that can be monitored? The Bible tells of a soon coming society that controls buying and selling to force allegiance to a coming European Beast power, known as 666 (Revelation 13:16-18). Does the ‘great tribulation’ begin before ride of the fourth horseman or with the opening of the fifth seal of Revelation 6? Do the words of Jesus helps us better understand the sequence of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the start of the Great Tribulation? Will the ride of the fourth horseman help lead to the rise of 666? Is that ride very close? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video.
Biological Warfare and Prophecy. Is biological warfare possible? Was it prophesied? Scientists have long warned that pathogenic organisms like the coronavirus could be weaponized. Furthermore, back in 2017, there were concerns that the biological research facility being constructed in Wuhan, China was risky and that a coronavirus from it could be released. On January 25, 2020, China’s President Xi Jinping publicly stated that the situation with the Wuhan-related strain of the coronavirus was grave. Did Church of God writers like the late evangelist Raymond McNair warn that engineered viruses (the “Doomsday bug”) were consistent with prophecies from Jesus? Did a warning from CCOG leader Bob Thiel warn about risks of genetically-modified (GMO) mosquitoes come to pass? Could human research and/or the consumption of biblically-unclean animals such as bats and snakes be a factor in current outbreaks or coming future pestilences? What about famines? How devastating have pestilences been? How devastating are the prophesied ones going to be? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video.
Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilences? What will it bring and when? Some related videos may include Amphibian Apocalypse: Threat to Humans?, Zombie Deer Disease is Here! Are the 10 Plagues on Egypt Coming?, and Biological Warfare and Prophecy. Here is a version of the article in Spanish: El cuarto jinete de Apocalipsis, el caballo pálido de muerte y pestilencia.
The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats; a short video is also available: Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues? A video of related interest is Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2027 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2020, 2021, or 2022? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Could the Great Tribulation Begin in 2020?

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