Earlier this year, a Virginia doctor claimed to have found that vitamin C could be an essential part of treatment for sepsis, a life-threatening complication of infection in which the pathogenic load and immune response are too great. As sepsis kills thousands every year, including over 44,000 in the U.K., it’s time to take notice of the power of vitamin C. 
Dr. Paul Marik, a critical care specialist, says he came up with the treatment as a last resort when a 48-year-old woman arrived with a case of sepsis that would have otherwise killed her. Her kidneys and lungs were failing; but after his “outside the box” treatment, she left the hospital after two days.
The treatment? An injected infusion of vitamin C, a low dose of steroids, and vitamin B1, also known as thiamin. 
While other experts believe that this is “too good to be true,” Dr. Marik has already published some results of his own research showing that this was not a once-off miracle. In his team’s retrospective, before-after clinical study, 47 consecutive patients were treated with this infusion over a seven-month time frame and were compared with 47 control (no infusion) patients from the previous seven months. 
The treated group had a mortality rate of only 4 out of 47 patients (8.5%), compared to 19 out of 47 (40.4%) in the control group. This is about an 80% reduction! No patients in the treated group developed progressive organ failure. All treated patients also stopped needing vasopressors after an average of 18 hours, whereas the control patients used them for an average of 54 hours, a bit over two days.
Although these findings were described as preliminary and in need of larger follow-up studies, they were clinically significant and seen as a way to prevent organ failure and death from sepsis. 
The dismissal of this case as “too good to be true” is also frustrating because of just how far research on vitamin C and infections goes back. In an article from over 60 years ago, a doctor describes studies and cases of vitamin C injections resolving a range of infections.
One case, which was similar to prior research, saw a young girl’s chickenpox disappear in a day or 2 as opposed to the typical “7 to 9 days.” Children with polio and encephalitis from severe cases of infections were also described as having rapid, uneventful recoveries after beginning vitamin C injections. Even a baby recovered from measles in 60 hours, without developing a rash or having to deal with a fever for long.
Many studies and case reports on vitamin C and infections came in the decades after, including three controlled studies analyzed in a review showing an 80% drop in pneumonia incidence. In another study of several hundred young adults, vitamin C administration cut cold and flu symptoms by 85%.
Even a report on New Zealand’s 60 Minutes of a man saved from viral pneumonia by vitamin C after doctors initially refused to administer it seems to have failed to change opinion on using the vitamin as a mainstream medical treatment.