Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
/ 08:36 PM February 07, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A medical consultant on Friday reminded the public that although taking Vitamin C could prevent contracting diseases such as the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), it does not cure it.

The nCoV has already claimed the lives of 636 people in China.


In an event launched by Stada Philippines in Taguig City, medical consultant Dr. Antonio Ligsay said that Vitamin C “prevents whatever virus.”

“Kasi anti-oxidants siya [Because it’s an anti-oxidant],” Ligsay said about taking Vitamin C. “As I said, it is not the treatment. It just prevents the spread.”


“It can also boost the immune system,” he later added.

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, which is present in most fruits and vegetables. It can also come in tablet or syrup form of medicine.

There are two types of Vitamin C that are taken externally: ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate.

Citing a study released by Cochrane Collaboration, which studied if Vitamin C can prevent and cure a common cold, Ligsay said the researchers found supplementation of Vitamin C “failed to reduce the incidence of colds in the normal population.”

A coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), causes illnesses such as the common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and the new strain, the 2019-nCoV.

“Pag wala kang sakit, ‘pag wala kang risk factor, [If you’re not sick, if you don’t have a risk factor] it’s not going to work,” Ligsay explained.

However, he added that the study also found: “When you’re exposed to a brief period of physical stress, it seems that it shows clinically significant, statistically significant, that Vitamin C in supplementation, will reduce the incidence of the common cold when you’re in a stressful condition.”


In another study conducted by the same researchers from Cochrane Collaboration, Ligsay said that while Vitamin C was proven to prevent the common cold, it showed that it could not prevent pneumonia.

The WHO said that if the 2019-nCoV becomes more severe, it can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties.

Ligsay said that aside from taking Vitamin C, a healthy lifestyle, such as proper diet, adequate sleep and regular exercise, is needed to prevent such diseases.

Asked if Vitamin C will be the next product of panic buyers following the 2019-nCoV rage, Ligsay answered: “Panic buying, because of what’s happening with us right now, as I said sa evidence na pinakita ko, pagka-meron ka nang sakit, the evidence didn’t show that it was good.” 

(As I said with the evidence that I showed, if you’re already sick, it does not show that it was good.)

“Dapat continuously taking siya, kasi bumababa ang levels natin. And supplements nga siya, [It should be taken continuously, because our levels go down. and it’s a supplement] it helps but it is not the trick,” the medical consultant added. 

“Pagka-hindi mo ginawa yung [If you didn’t do the things] like diet, exercise, enough sleep, then the amount of Vitamin C can help.”

Edited by JPV
TOPICS: Antonio Ligsay, novel coronavirus, Vitamin C
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