Wearing face masks and protective Tyvek suits with yellow boots, FBI investigators recently raided a medical building in metro Detroit to gather evidence about an alleged fake treatment being sold for COVID-19.

It looked like a drug bust. Authorities sealed off the building’s entrance, carried away boxes and enlisted local police to secure the area.

But this wasn’t a rogue lab getting seized for illicit substances.

In this case, agents were investigating a suspected scheme involving an essential nutrient found in orange juice, broccoli and strawberries:

Vitamin C.

Otherwise known as ascorbic acid, this powerful antioxidant has become the subject of faith, controversy and even frequent government crackdowns during the pandemic. It’s also become more popular than ever, benefiting from religious-like claims and beliefs about its effectiveness against COVID-19 despite not even having the power to cure the common cold.

Vitamin C has become more popular than ever, benefiting from religious-like claims and beliefs about its effectiveness against COVID-19 despite not even having the power to cure the common cold.

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“I am aware of no other nutrient that causes such emotion,” said Dr. Daniel Monti, chair of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

Consumers have shown that with their wallets, including some who mainline it into their veins or just load up on tablets. Vitamin C supplement sales soared to about $209 million during the first half of 2020, up 76% compared with the same period last year, according to Nielsen research.





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