Too much Vitamin C: Is it harmful and what are the side effects?

Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient that our body needs to function correctly. It is known for its many health benefits, including boosting the immune system, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and promoting healthy skin.

Humans take vitamin C supplements or consume foods rich in vitamin C to meet their daily recommended intake. However, some individuals may take too much vitamin C, which can adversely affect their health.

too much vitamin c

In this article section, we will explore the effects of taking too much vitamin C and whether or not it is harmful.

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions. It is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, and bell peppers.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also plays a role in collagen synthesis, which helps keep our skin, bones, and muscles healthy.

What happens when you take too much vitamin C?

While vitamin C is generally safe and well-tolerated, taking too much can adversely affect your health. Adults’ recommended daily vitamin C intake is 75-90 milligrams per day. However, some people may take much higher doses than this through supplementation or excessive consumption of vitamin C-rich foods.

The most common side effect of taking too much vitamin C is digestive upset, such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. This is because excess vitamin C is excreted through the kidneys, which can cause an increase in urine production.

Other potential side effects of taking too much vitamin C include:

  • – Headache
  • – Insomnia
  • – Fatigue
  • – Skin rash
  • – Kidney stones
  • – Interference with blood thinning medications

Is too much vitamin C harmful?

While taking too much vitamin C may lead to unpleasant side effects, it is not usually harmful to your health. This is because excess vitamin C is excreted through the kidneys and is not stored in the body.

However, in rare cases, taking extremely high doses of vitamin C for a prolonged period can lead to more severe health problems, such as:

– Vitamin C toxicity: Taking more than 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day can lead to toxicity, which can cause kidney damage and interfere with the absorption of other nutrients.
– Increased risk of kidney stones: High doses of vitamin C can increase the risk of developing kidney stones in susceptible individuals.
– Interference with medical tests: Taking high doses of vitamin C can interfere with specific medical tests, such as blood glucose and stool tests.

Conclusion

While vitamin C is an essential nutrient that offers many health benefits, taking too much can adversely affect your health. Adults’ recommended daily vitamin C intake is 75-90 milligrams per day. However, take higher doses than this through supplementation or excessive consumption of vitamin C-rich foods. You may experience unpleasant side effects such as digestive upset, headache, and skin rash. In rare cases, taking extremely high doses for a prolonged period can lead to more severe health problems. If you have concerns about vitamin C intake, speak to your healthcare.