Vitamin C for pneumonia

Dr. Frederick R. Klenner published a series of 42 patients successfully treated for viral pneumonia with intravenous high-dose vitamin C [1]. Dalton in 1962 reported positive results from intravenous vitamin C in three pneumonia patients [2]. A systematic Cochrane review thoroughly analysed vitamin C treatment in pneumonia [3].

For over eighty years, a number of scientific publications, beginning with the studies by Jungeblut [4], have supported that vitamin C therapy in many different viral infections can be effective alone or combined with other treatment. For optimal benefit it was important to use ascorbate in many-thousand-milligram-sized doses. Klenner often combined injected with oral vitamin C. In viral infections, which usually lack specific treatment, vitamin C should be considered in research as well as in clinical work. Successful case reports can be very inspiring. One such example is the story of Alan Smith [5].

Dr. Klenner remembers a man, who was lying near death from severe virus pneumonia, but refused to be hospitalized. « I went to his house and gave him one big shot with five grams or 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C,’ he recalled. ‘When I went back later in the day, his temperature was down three degrees and he was sitting on the edge of the bed eating. I gave him another shot of C, 5,000 milligrams and kept up that dosage for three days, four times a day. And he was well. » [6]

Pneumonia is an all too common disease. The origin of the inflammation is usually an infection from virus or bacteria. However, pneumonia can also be caused by toxins, some medical drugs and autoimmune reactions.

As there are different etiological backgrounds to pneumonia, it is important for physicians to know that vitamin C is very safe and functions positively in the medical treatment of both infections and many other diseases. Also, in acute illness, Klenner emphasized starting vitamin C treatment immediately even if the diagnosis was unclear [7]. To get high concentrations of vitamin C in body tissues it is reasonable to combine different forms of vitamin C in the treatment: conventional oral vitamin C, liposomal vitamin C and, if needed, intravenous vitamin C [8].

[Dr. Bo H. Jonsson is a medical doctor at the Center for Affective Disorders, North Stockholm Psychiatry in Sweden and is president of the Swedish Society for Orthomolecular Medicine. He has been in practice for over 35 years.]



1. Klenner FR. Virus pneumonia and its treatment with vitamin C. South Med Surg 1948;110:36-8.

2. Dalton WL. Massive doses of vitamin C in the treatment of viral diseases. J Indiana State Med Assoc1962;55:1151-4.

3. Hemilä H, Louhiala P. Vitamin C for preventing and treating pneumonia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013, 2013 Aug 8;(8):CD005532. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD005532.pub3.

4. Jungeblut CW. Inactivation of Poliomyelitis Virus in Vitro by Crystalline Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). J Exp Med1935;62:517-21. Twenty-one additional Jungeblut papers were published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. They are available for free online access at:

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6. Miller F. Dr. Klenner urges taking vitamins in huge doses. Greensboro Daily News, Tues, Dec 13, 1977, p A8-A10.

7. Saul AW. Hidden in plain sight. The pioneering work of Frederick Robert Klenner, M.D. J Orthomolecular Med2007;22:31-8. and

8. Duconge J, Miranda-Massari JR, Gonzalez MJ, et al. Pharmacokinetics of Vitamin C: insights into the oral and intravenous administration of ascorbate. P R Health Sci J 2008;27:7-19.

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