Megadose of Vitamin C for Rheumatoid Arthritis Inflammation: Pilot Study


High doses of intravenous vitamin C may reduce arthritic pain.


Chronic inflammation is a hallmark symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, a notion further supported by clinical evidence that subjects with rheumatoid arthritis bear higher levels of inflammation-inducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) within the body.

Any number of ROS-scavenging ingredients, then, might alleviate inflammation in those with rheumatoid arthritis. But researchers at the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, Kansas are looking at rheumatoid arthritis and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Vitamin C isn’t just an ROS scavenger; it aids in collagen formation, and clinical trials indicate that rheumatoid arthritis sufferers often have vitamin C deficiency and low levels of vitamin C in their synovial fluid, the primary lubricant of human joints. All of this led Riordan Clinic researchers to investigate the potential for relieving rheumatoid arthritis pain with very high vitamin C doses.

In a pilot study on 11 rheumatoid arthritis patients, subjects were assigned to intravenous doses of vitamin C ranging from 7.5 g to 50 g. The primary endpoint was C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation that dropped by an average of 44% in the nine subjects who experienced decreases.

Riordan Clinic researchers are hopeful that future arthritis research will focus on vitamin C doses and specific levels of proinflammatory cytokines.

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