Taking between 2 and 4 grams of the vitamin every day can shorten a hospital stay by up to 9 per cent. It doesn't sound much, but these patients were in intensive care units (ICUs), and it was touch-and-go whether they would leave at all.
The vitamin should be part of the daily care regime at every ICU, say researchers from the University of Helsinki, who took another look at 12 trials that had tracked the progress of 1,766 ICU patients.
Although just 0.1 grams is enough to maintain healthy plasma level of vitamin C in healthy people, the researchers say, typical ICU patients need around 4 grams a day because their levels are dangerously low.
In six trials, patients who were given an average of 2 G of vitamin C orally—not the most efficient way of delivering the vitamin which, ideally, should be administered intravenously—were out of the ICU around 9 per cent sooner.
It's perhaps not surprising. The vitamin influences hundreds of our genes and plays an essential role in the healthy functioning of our immune system. Previous studies have shown how it can reverse cancer, lower blood pressure, decrease atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), and reduce glucose levels in diabetes 2 sufferers.