Special Report

IV Vitamin C therapy delivers lifesaving results for Sepsis patients

Results have now shown, that by using a
simple, completely safe and inexpensive early intervention,

it gives a reduction in mortality rates in Sepsis

from 40% to almost none ! 

and given the rates of mortality from Sepsis in Ireland,
simple blood test that shows Vitamin C deficiencies,

which would warrant an easy and safe intervention that

could save thousands of lives a year.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis a very serious health condition. Sometimes incorrectly called blood poisoning, resulting from the presence of harmful microorganisms in the blood or other tissues and the body’s response to their presence, potentially leading to the malfunctioning of various organs, shock, and death. It can effect people of all ages, in all states of health, and can have a rapid onset.

Sepsis and septic shock can result from an infection anywhere in the body, such as pneumonia, influenza, or urinary tract infections. Worldwide, one-third of people who develop sepsis die. Many who do survive are left with life-changing effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain and fatigue,  organ dysfunction (organs don’t work properly) and/or amputations.

In Ireland - Seven people die

of ‘silent killer’ sepsis every day,

says microbiologist

60% of all deaths in hospitals are related to a sepsis infection.


Now, a simple blood test, to check a patients Vitamin C levels, could help reduce those numbers dramatically and save countless lives, worldwide.

A few years ago, a doctor in the US, Dr Paul Marik,

who is currently Professor of Medicine and Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, (ICU), Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk,Virginia,

(see his impressive credentials at end of this page),

came up with a new treatment protocol, that is safe, non toxic, inexpensive and has since shown to be very effective in reducing mortality rates from sepsis substantially.

Now known as the "Marik Protocol",
it comprises of Intravenous vitamin C, Hydrocortisone and Intravenous Thiamine (Vitamin B1).

Based on his research of the work undertaken by many doctors before him, he came up with a unique combination that is safe, inexpensive and shown to be effective in sepsis cases.

He knew from previous studies that....
Vitamin C (ascorbate) levels, when actually checked,  are found to be extremely low, sometimes even non-detectable in critically ill patients with Sepsis.


Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient for humans, and is needed by the body as a cofactor to enable a wide variety of functions, especially for our Immune systems.   

It can be heavily depleted during times of illness, injury, stress or disease, as our bodies increase the metabolic demand for it to cope with these conditions.


Although its still undergoing several trials, many hospitals now are not waiting. The Marik Protocol is now being widely used on large numbers of patients around the world, as many physicians are now taking the view, that because it does not supplant or replace existing modalities in their sepsis management protocols, it is extremely safe, non toxic and inexpensive, and showing effective results. While they agree that more studies are needed to explain why exactly this combination is so effective, they now use it, particularly in advanced cases, to save lives.

Many of the patients who do currently survive sepsis can also suffer, in a lot of cases, quite severe organ damage, which causes life changing conditions that can require ongoing intensive medical care. 

However this simple protocol, because it is fast acting, and non toxic, has already been shown to reduce that risk substantially also.

Patients in an ICU setting can have difficulty absorbing sufficient Vitamin C orally from food or even a supplement to help fight off their Sepsis, due to a number of issues, including loss of consciousness,
 nausea and 
vomiting or gastric absorption issues related to other health conditions or medications,

therefore the IV route of administration is critical here.


Unchecked, MRSA can develop into sepsis. 

In elderly patients who have developed sepsis, their vitamin c levels may have already been very low due to poor diet or even dental issues. (ability to chew fruit etc)

And in post surgical cases of sepsis onset, with pre-op fasting, or in patients who have been on fluid supports for several days, with no food intake, all of these will be extremely low in Vitamin C levels.

Hypovitaminosis C (low levels of vitamin C)

is a critical factor in patients with sepsis and in fact can be a factor in all cases where the body is under stress, whether its from injury, infection, surgical recovery or illness and disease.

"Critically ill patients have low vitamin C concentrations despite receiving standard ICU nutrition. Septic shock patients have significantly depleted vitamin C levels compared with non-septic patients, likely resulting from increased metabolism due to the enhanced inflammatory response observed in septic shock."


Epidemiological studies have indicated that hypovitaminosis C (plasma vitamin C < 23 μmol/L) is relatively common in Western populations, and vitamin C deficiency (<11 μmol/L) is the fourth leading nutrient deficiency in the United States [13,14]. There are several reasons why vitamin C dietary recommendations are not met, even in countries where food availability and supply would be expected to be sufficient. These include poor dietary habits, life-stages and/or lifestyles either limiting intakes or increasing micronutrient requirements (e.g., smoking and alcohol or drug abuse), various diseases, exposure to pollutants and smoke (both active and passive), and economic reasons (poor socioeconomic status and limited access to nutritious food) [15,16].

Even otherwise ‘healthy’ individuals in industrialized countries can be at risk due to lifestyle-related factors, such as those on a diet or eating an unbalanced diet, and people facing periods of excessive physical or psychological stress.


Humans are one of the very few mammals that do not produce vitamin c within our bodies.

Nearly all other mammals do, and in times of stress, injury, infection, illness or disease, they will automatically raise their vitamin c production levels to boost their immune systems and help in the healing process. Humans cannot do this.

Adequate Vitamin C levels are essential for life.

Humans rely primarily on our Vitamin C requirements being met by our food intake. 


That is why it is essential for treating physicians to be aware of and monitor vitamin c levels in extremely ill patients.

The current RDA (recommended daily allowance) for Vitamin C was originally identified as being enough to prevent an adult from getting scurvy. 


That one-size-fits-all amount does not even address other issues such as the body mass of the person, the current nutritional intake, or the current state of health in a person, or the needs of the body in times of stress or illness, when our metabolic demand for vitamin c becomes much higher.


Just like all other mammals, our bodies will need to utilize even more vitamin C as our metabolic demand for it increases during stress, injury, infection, illness or disease.
There are no known toxic levels for Vitamin C.

With severe illness or health conditions, the most effective route of administration is intravenously, as it helps to achieve higher saturation levels when needed and also bypasses the oral route where absorption issues are limited.

In this short interview, see Dr Marik discuss:

  • Describes his first case

  • His previous knowledge of IV Vitamin C

  • His success then became routine

  • Recovery with no organ damage

  • Now used as routine care in his ICU

  • Reduces length of stay in ICU

  • Lab studies show synergistic action of components

  • Readily available components and inexpensive

  • Other centers now using it around US and in other parts of the world

  • Extremely safe, no side effects, remarkable intervention

  • Nothing to lose in trying it

  • Significant science to back it up.

  • A backlash against him from Drug Companies.

  • Acknowledgement of Dr Klenner, an early vitamin c pioneer.

  • The importance of IV administration.

  • Supported by powerful mechanistic biology data

  • Nobody will make money from this

  • But millions of lives will be saved

  • No reason to wait on trials

  • Millions more lives will be lost in the wait

  • Enough data to support using it right now

ICU Nurses talking about the amazing results for patients with sepsis who get Dr Marik's IV Vitamin C treatments and then recover rapidly.

One of the many TV appearances by Dr Marik

Vitamin C is also known as "Ascorbic acid" and L-ascorbic acid, is a very highly studied element in medical literature.


You can search PubMed for additional peer reviewed studies for any subject mentioned on this page.

Pubmed- "Ascorbic acid"

- 54,109 studies *

This is on Pubmed alone.

There are many more in other Journals and Publications going back to the 1930's..

*as of January 2019 - more may be added since

Vitamin C - A vital Adjunct in Sepsis Management

Ascorbate-dependent vasopressor synthesis:

a rationale for vitamin C administration in severe sepsis and septic shock

Patients with severe sepsis present with hypovitaminosis C, and pre-clinical and clinical studies have indicated that administration of high-dose ascorbate decreases the levels of pro-inflammatory biomarkers, attenuates organ dysfunction and improves haemodynamic parameters.

Commonly used in the treatment of Sepsis, are

Vasopressors , which are a powerful class of drugs that induce vasoconstriction and thereby elevate mean arterial pressure.

Ascorbate enhances the synthesis of the vasopressors norepinephrine and vasopressin by acting as a cofactor for their respective biosynthetic enzymes.

As such, administration of high-dose ascorbate in conditions of hypovitaminosis C (e.g. severe sepsis and septic shock) may support the endogenous synthesis of these vasoactive compounds and thus ameliorate the need for exogenously administered vasopressors.


Ascorbate-dependent vasopressor synthesis represents a plausible physiological mechanism whereby ascorbate could act as an adjuvant therapy for severe sepsis and septic shock. 


How Vitamin C is beneficial for Sepsis

  • Vitamin C is required for normal endothelial function.​

  • Vitamin C can reduce endothelial permeability in sepsis.

  • Vitamin C reduces leukocyte plugging of microvessels.

  • Critical pro-inflammatory proteins are attenuated by vitamin C.

  • Vitamin C stabilizes immune function in sepsis.

  • Vitamin C helps relieve hypotension associated with sepsis.

  • Vitamin C preserves lung barrier function and improves alveolar fluid clearance in sepsis.

  • Vitamin C normalized the coagulopathy of sepsis.

  • Vitamin C is anti-infective and has profound bacteriostatic effects.

source: Pubmed-Various   

Effects of Vitamin C.png

Hypovitaminosis C and vitamin C deficiency in critically ill patients despite recommended enteral and parenteral intakes


Metabolic origin of hypovitaminosis C in acutely hospitalized patients.


Vitamin C in the critically ill - indications and controversies


Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview


According to some sources, Doctors and Hospitals around the world could now be leaving themselves open to possible future litigation.

With the publicity given to Dr. Marik's protocol, especially on television and in videos on the internet, treating physicians may no longer be able to say that they have not heard of it.


Physicians have an obligation of due diligence in educating themselves on the most current of treatment recommendations for a given condition.


This is especially true when the treatment is completely safe, non-toxic, inexpensive, and does not supplant existing treatments.

With that in mind, many physicians and hospitals around the world are not waiting on RCT results, due to the above reasons and are now using this protocol successfully, in conjunction with their existing treatments, as it does not supplant them. 

Evidence Based -

Using the Science and Simple Logic for better Patient Outcomes

In 2018, a study in Australia, found that 76% of the 200 patients they checked, had Hypovitaminosis C, which also correlated with longer lengths of hospital stay. 


As we have seen in the above data and linked studies, if no interventions are taken to remedy this, the patients at these low levels of Vitamin C usually have much poorer outcomes.

With all that is now known about the very important role of vitamin C in the healing and immune processes, and evidence gained from over 50,000 studies that reference the role of 'Ascorbate',

 simple logic suggests that:


  • all critically ill patients should have vitamin c blood plasma levels at least checked, to allow for positive intervention when needed.

  • that any patient who has not eaten for a prolonged period, post surgical etc. needs C levels checked.

  • that Hospital Dietitians should be aware of patients with extra dietary needs for additional Vitamin C foods or supplements and that it is addressed and monitored by them.


A simple Blood Test

We are told that there several drugs in development for Sepsis, including here in Ireland, however these may be years away, allowing time for them to go through safety trials.

Meanwhile our sepsis mortality numbers will remain high.


Even if the Marik protocol is not adopted immediately in Irish Hospitals,

because our doctors are choosing to wait for even more studies,

what it has highlighted and brought into public awareness,

is the critical role Vitamin C levels play in patients with Sepsis.

Some experts have now said the the existing research evidence and science now very strongly indicates that our treating physicians could be leaving themselves exposed to possible future litigation, by not checking a critically ill patients Vitamin C levels and applying an intervention when it is obviously needed.

Thousands of Lives Saved and  Freeing up Resources and Cost Savings

In addition to much improved patient outcomes, as already demonstrated, a simple blood test, to check for plasma vitamin c levels, in seriously ill patients,  would then allow doctors to make an intervention that could save thousands of lives a year in this country,  and the cost savings alone to our already overburdened health service would be substantial. 

  • the reduction of the length of stay in our ICU beds and overall hospital stay time needed per patient.

  • reduction of post sepsis life changing health conditions, which normally warrant prolonged and intensive medical care for life.

  • but most importantly, the reduction in fatalities, and the number of families grieving over lost loved ones, and knowing that at least now, all the available knowledge had been utilized and acted upon.

Our Essential Needs for Vitamin C:

Sadly Overlooked - Dismissed - even scoffed at, by many in modern medicine.

In our modern age of science and evidence based medicine,

it is quite disconcerting to the small but steadily growing number of physicians who have actually taken the time to study Vitamin C beyond their medical school training,

  • that while most physicians are quick to make an intervention when a patient may dehydrate - IV fluid support.

  • that while most physicians will prescribe iron for anemia, both supplements and IV infusions.

  • that while most physicians will prescribe for patients low in B12, both supplements and injections.

  • that while most physicians will prescribe Calcium and vitamin D for osteoporosis. 

  • that while most physicians will prescribe folic acid for some types of anemia, and during pregnancy

  • that they will rarely, if ever,  check a patients Vitamin C levels

All of these are essential elements that our bodies need to maintain health,

and yet when it comes to one of the most essential and basic elements of all, that a human body needs to deal with illness - Vitamin C, it is very often overlooked, it is never routinely checked for in the seriously ill patients (who need it most), outside of cases presenting as possible scurvy,

and there is also a situation where that the very mention of it is even scoffed at by many in medicine.

However the good news is that this is changing, albeit very slowly.

Science and Evidence led doctors, like Dr Marik , who has impeccable credentials, (see below) have thrown IV Vitamin C firmly back into the spotlight for all the world to see, and there are also thousands of doctors now around the world who have been using IV Vitamin C to help their patients for many years.


And the numbers of these doctors are growing, because the science and abundance of research is easily available now online, and the results for patients when IV Vitamin C is used, is quite remarkable, which is very inspiring for these doctors.

Dr Marik himself refers to this protocol as 'HAT', (hydrocorsitone,ascorbate,thiamine). A sign of his modesty, as it is others who named it the 'Marik Protocol'.

Since this story broke, Dr Marik has been widely praised for going public with his findings, however he has also been criticized by a few within the medical industry. Some people say thats because he may have found a treatment that works and costs just $40 in the US, and so it is now a threat to the many vested interests within the $24b annual spend on sepsis in the US. 

However, as Dr Marik says, for him, it was never about money, there is no money, it is about what works.

Dr Marik has shone a spotlight on the glaring fact that Hypovitaminosis C (critical deficiencies of Vitamin C) has been overlooked previously when treating sepsis, but perhaps more alarmingly for the medical industry, is that it is overlooked in nearly all other illnesses too. (with the exception of suspected scurvy)

And now, given the many previously published studies, coupled with Dr Marik's outstanding credentials (below),

it is proving very difficult for his detractors to belittle and dismiss his findings.

Dr Paul Marik.png


Dr Marik  is Professor of Medicine and Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia.


He received his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and was an ICU attending at Baragwanath Hospital, in Soweto, South Africa.


During this time he obtained a Master of Medicine Degree, Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacology, Diploma in Anesthesia as well as a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


Dr Marik did a Critical Care Fellowship in London, Ontario, Canada, during which time he was admitted as a Fellow to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.


Dr Marik has worked in various teaching hospitals in the US since 1992. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Neurocritical Care and Nutrition Science. 


Dr Marik has written over 400 peer-reviewed journal articles, 80 book chapters and authored four critical care books, including Evidence-Based Critical Care (3rd edition, Springer, 2015).


He has been cited over 25,000 times in peer-reviewed publications and has an H-index of 76. He has delivered over 300 lectures at international conferences and visiting professorships.  

This report was compiled using publicly available online resources and references peer reviewed studies throughout.