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Samantha Putterman
By Samantha Putterman February 29, 2020

No, vitamin C cannot slow or stop the spread of the coronavirus

If Your Time is short

  • The claim was originally shared on an alternative medical website that promotes nutritional supplementation.

  • There’s currently no vaccine or medicine recommended to treat the current coronavirus, and there’s no evidence high doses of vitamin C has any effect.

 Dubious methods to treat the coronavirus continue to spread online.

The most recent alleged miracle cure? Vitamin C.

A Facebook post by Andrew Saul, the self-proclaimed "Megavitamin Man," states: "The coronavirus pandemic can be dramatically slowed, or stopped completely, with the immediate widespread use of high doses of vitamin C." 

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

While vitamin C may slightly help ward off common illnesses, there is no evidence high doses of the supplement can slow or stop the current coronavirus.

The story appears to have originated with a press release that Saul wrote for a website called Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, of which Saul is listed as an editor. (Orthomolecular medicine is a form of alternative medicine that aims to maintain human health through nutritional supplementation.)

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Despite the blog’s lengthy claims about the powers of vitamin C, there’s no credible evidence that a high intake of it will have any impact on the virus. Health professionals have even said the mineral has a marginal effect on the common cold.

The CDC and World Health Organization both state that there’s currently no vaccine or specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus. (WHO also has a page dedicated to some of the most common coronavirus myths.)

The organizations say the best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed. 

Everyday preventive measures that are recommended include: avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering your cough or sneeze, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, washing your hands thoroughly and often, and staying home when you are sick. 

Our ruling

A Facebook post says that taking high doses of vitamin C will slow or even stop the coronavirus. 

There’s no evidence that the supplement has any effect on the coronavirus. There is currently no vaccine or medicine recommended for the virus. 

We rate this False.

Our Sources

Facebook post, Jan. 27, 2020 

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, Vitamin C Protects Against Coronavirus, Jan. 26, 2020

Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Prevention & Treatment, Feb. 15, 2020

World Health Organization, Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus, Accessed Feb. 29, 2020, Fake Coronavirus Cures, Part 3: Vitamin C Isn’t a Shield, Feb. 12, 2020

Lead Stories, Fake News: Vitamin C Does NOT Slow Or Stop Coronavirus, Feb. 6, 2020

Harvard Health, Can vitamin C prevent a cold?, January 2017

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Complementary & Integrative Health Approaches, June 24, 2019

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More by Samantha Putterman

No, vitamin C cannot slow or stop the spread of the coronavirus

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