The Nutrition in Medicine Research Group carries out translational nutrient-based clinical studies with the aim of having a positive impact on patient health outcomes and quality of life.
Critical illness and septic shock
We have shown that critically ill patients, particularly those with septic shock, have severely depleted vitamin C status, despite recommended intakes. This indicates enhanced requirement for the vitamin during inflammatory and infectious conditions.
We are currently administering intravenous vitamin C to patients with septic shock to assess the effects on patient health outcomes as vitamin C has been shown to support the cardiovascular and other organ systems.
- Hypovitaminosis C and vitamin C deficiency in critically ill patients despite recommended enteral and parenteral intakes
- Stability of intravenous vitamin C solutions: a technical report
- Appropriate handling, processing and analysis of blood samples is essential to avoid oxidation of vitamin C to dehydroascorbic acid
- Circulating myeloperoxidase is elevated in septic shock and is associated with systemic organ failure and mortality in critically ill patients
Review articles and commentaries
- Ascorbate-dependent vasopressor synthesis: a rationale for vitamin C administration in severe sepsis and septic shock?
- Can a simple chemical help to both prevent and treat sepsis?
- Duration of intravenous vitamin C therapy is a critical consideration
- Vitamin C administration in the critically ill: a summary of recent meta-analyses
Infectious diseases and immune function
Vitamin C supports the immune system and has important roles to play in immune cell function. We are carrying out observational and interventional studies in patients with pneumonia, which is one of the major causes of sepsis. If we are able to attenuate the symptoms of pneumonia, this may decrease the likelihood of sepsis developing.
- The role of physiological vitamin C concentrations on key functions of neutrophils isolated from healthy individuals
Review articles and book chapters
- Vitamin C and immune function
- Vitamin C in pneumonia and sepsis
- Vitamin C and neutrophil function: findings from randomized controlled trials
Neurological disease and mental health
The brain and neuroendocrine glands contain the highest levels of vitamin C in the body indicating an important role for the vitamin in the nervous system. We are currently carrying out observational studies investigating the vitamin C status and biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in patients with Parkinson’s disease and mood disorders.
Individuals with diabetes mellitus are under enhanced inflammatory and oxidative stress. Our research shows that they have lower vitamin C status.
- Inadequate vitamin C status in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus: associations with glycaemic control, obesity, and smoking
- SunGold kiwifruit supplementation of individuals with prediabetes alters gut microbiota and improves vitamin C status, anthropometric and clinical markers
Patient quality of life
Acute and chronic illnesses can dramatically impact on patients’ quality of life. Furthermore, various drugs, such as those used during cancer chemotherapy, can also impact negatively on quality of life.
We have carried out a number of case studies showing dramatic improvement in quality of life of oncology patients administered intravenous vitamin C. We are currently carrying out observational and interventional studies investigating the vitamin C status and the quality of life of myeloma patients undergoing conditioning chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation.
- Relief from cancer chemotherapy side effects with pharmacologic vitamin C
- Parenteral vitamin C for palliative care of terminal cancer patients
- Parenteral vitamin C relieves chronic fatigue and pain in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis and mononeuritis multiplex secondary to CNS vasculitis
- The role of vitamin C in the treatment of pain: new insights
- Intravenous vitamin C for cancer therapy - identifying the current gaps in our knowledge
- The effect of intravenous vitamin C on cancer- and chemotherapy-related fatigue and quality of life