Lemons pack a nutritional punch, and a lot of that has to do with their high Vitamin C content. From protecting blood vessels to helping prevent Type II Diabetes, researchers all over the world are exploring its beneficial properties.
Researchers at a New Zealand hospital are currently at work looking at how Vitamin C can be used to treat sepsis.
What is Sepsis?
Technically, sepsis simply refers to the presence of harmful bacteria in the body’s tissues. In practical terms, it’s most often the result of infection that takes hold in wounds. As the body tries to fight off the harmful effects, it triggers the release of specific chemicals into the bloodstream. That’s a normal response. If it leads to septic shock, there is inflammation throughout the body as it becomes overwhelmed by the response to the infection.
- It is a potentially life threatening condition.
- In toxic shock, blood pressure drops drastically, and it can result in multiple organ failure.
- Older adults, or people with weakened immune systems, are most at risk.
- Early treatment is essential, and typically involves antibiotics and I.V. fluids.
Naturally, the intensive care section of any hospital will be at risk, and that’s where the study took place at Christchurch Hospital in the capital of New Zealand. The rate of deaths from septic shock varies across the globe, from 50 percent in some areas. In New Zealand, where the current research is taking place, it’s about 20 percent.
The study, running through summer 2018, will see patients from the intensive care ward who develop sepsis treated with doses of Vitamin C, in addition to the usual treatments.
Two small previous studies in other locations did find that deaths from sepsis were reduced by about 80 percent. Many researchers thought the results could be exaggerated, but if they can be reproduced, it is hoped that the treatment will essentially revolutionize how sepsis is handled in ICUs. In addition to its clinical potential, there are no harmful side effects to worry about with natural Vitamin C.
- In a finding that may add to the link between Vitamin C and curing septic shock, another recent study found that about 40 percent of patients in ICUs who developed sepsis were already Vitamin C deficient.
It seems like new clinical and protective properties of Vitamin C are being discovered every day. It only adds to the reputation of lemons and other citrus fruits as superfood superstars.