KUALA LUMPUR: More in-depth research is needed to determine if Vitamin C can play a role in combating dengue and Zika viruses, said the Health Ministry.
Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said there had been initial studies to test Vitamin C’s effectiveness in curing common viral infections, but they were not substantial enough.
“One study involved intravenous injections of Vitamin C for patients with the Epstein Barr virus, and another involved administering Vitamin C for oral consumption for patients with influenza.
“Both have shown positive results so far, with shorter recovery period and lighter symptoms, but more studies are needed because the sample patient pool was small,” he said in reply to a question by Dr Azman Ismail (PKR–Kuala Kedah) in Parliament Tuesday.
Dr Hilmi noted that in-vitro studies were also being conducted on the effects of Vitamin C on HIV, and that it helps to prevent the virus from replicating.
“However, for now, there is no research being done on the effects of Vitamin C on dengue and Zika because they are from different groups of viruses.
“In this matter, the best thing the ministry can do is to get the Institute for Medical Research to conduct a detailed study, including clinical trials on patients if needed,” he added.