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What Happens If You Take Too Much Vitamin C?


Vitamin C is an important nutrient and can be found in many fruits, vegetables, and other foods.

This vitamin is essential for maintaining a healthy immune response. It is also important in wound healing, bone strength, brain function, and brain health (source).

Some people claim vitamin C supplements have more benefits than vitamin C in food.

Vitamin C supplements are often taken in the belief that they prevent the common cold (source).

Some supplements may contain high levels of vitamin D, which can lead to undesirable side effects.

This article examines the safety of vitamin C and whether you can consume too much. It also discusses the potential side effects of large amounts of vitamin C.

What Is Vitamin C, And What Does It Do?

Vitamin C, also known by the name ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient that can be found in certain foods. It acts as an antioxidant in the body and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that occur when our bodies turn food into energy. Free radicals are also present in the environment due to cigarette smoking, air pollution, and the ultraviolet light of the sun.

Vitamin C is also required by the body to create collagen, which is a protein that helps wounds heal. Vitamin C also improves iron absorption from plant-based foods. It helps to maintain a healthy immune system and protects the body against disease.

Vitamin C, Which Is Water-Soluble, Is Not Stored In Your Body.

Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning it dissolves in water.

Contrary to fat-soluble Vitamins, water-soluble Vitamins are not stored in the body.

Instead, vitamin C is transported to your tissues through body fluids and excreted in urine.

Your body doesn’t store vitamin C, nor can it produce it itself, so it is important to eat foods rich in vitamins every day .

Supplementing with large amounts of vitamin C may cause adverse side effects such as diarrhea and kidney stones.

This is because if your body receives too much of this vitamin, it can cause overdose symptoms .

It is important to remember that vitamin C supplements are not necessary for most people. You can get enough from fresh food, particularly fruits and vegetables .

What Are The Signs Of Vitamin C Deficiency, And How Can You Treat It?

Health professionals recommend vitamins to correct vitamin C deficiencies and restore normal body function.

Vitamin C deficiency can be manifested by:

  • Gum bleeding and tooth Loss
  • Weight gain with no obvious cause
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Weak bones
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Skin that is rough and bumpy
  • Corkscrew-shaped body hair
  • Follicles for bright red hair
  • Spoon-shaped fingernails may have lines or red spots.
  • Dry and damaged skin
  • Bruises
  • Anemia caused by chronic iron deficiency
  • Low mood and Tiredness
  • Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Stone formation in the kidneys

Too many vitamin C supplements can cause serious side effects. Consuming excess vitamin C-rich foods does not cause any adverse effects. A person who has had adverse reactions to vitamin C in the past must consult their doctor before they start taking vitamin supplements.

How Much Vitamin C Is Too Much?

Vitamin C can cause side effects if taken in excess. The Food and Nutrition Board has established “tolerable upper intake levels.”

The Office of Dietary Supplements(ODS) states that the maximum intake of vitamin C for people over 19 years old is 2,000 mg. For pregnant and breastfeeding women, the limit is unchanged.

These are the upper daily vitamin C levels that infants and children should be taking:

  • 400 mg for infants aged 1-3 years  
  •  650 mg for children aged 4-8 years  
  •  1,200 mg for children aged 9-13 years  
  •  1,800 mg for teenagers aged 14-18 years  
  •  1,800 mg in pregnant or breastfeeding teenagers aged 14-18 years

These limits can be modified by exceptions that are only applicable if the person’s doctor has not prescribed a different intake. For medical reasons, some people may need to consume higher amounts of vitamin C.

Severe Side Effects

Vitamin C may cause severe side effects, but less often.

There are potential health risks associated with too much vitamin C.

Nutrient imbalances

A second concern about excessive vitamin C intake is the possibility of a decrease in the body’s ability for other nutrients to be processed.

Vitamin C, for example, may lower the levels of vitamin B-12 or copper within the body.

Vitamin C may also increase iron absorption, which can lead to high levels.

Cause bone spurs

The Arthritis Foundation found that people with high vitamin C levels are more likely to develop painful bone spurs.

However, the Foundation also cited a research study that found that people with low levels of vitamin C had a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, a painful inflammatory joint condition.

These results emphasize the importance of vitamin C supplementation that is both adequate and balanced.

Reduce the effectiveness of niacin–simvastatin

Evidence suggests that taking vitamin C supplements may impair the body’s ability to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL)

Talk to your doctor if you take vitamin C supplements or niacin–simvastatin. Doctors don’t know if vitamin C can also affect the effectiveness of Zocor-like medicines.

Kidney stones

According to doctors, excessive vitamin C supplementation can lead to the excretion of uric acid and oxalate in the urine. These compounds could lead to kidney stone formation.

The authors of a case study in the journal Kidney International reported that a woman developed kidney stones after taking 4 g or more of vitamin C each day for 4 months.

Researchers have not done large-scale studies on vitamin C intake and kidney stone formation. According to the ODS, they know kidney stones can be more common in people with a history.

The Bottom Line

Vitamin C is safe for most people.

This is especially true when you get it through foods rather than supplements.

Supplemental vitamin C users are more likely to experience side effects.

Consuming excessive amounts of vitamin C can lead to more serious problems, including iron overload and kidney stones (source).

These side effects can be avoided by simply avoiding vitamin C supplements.

It is unlikely that you will have a vitamin C shortage. This rare condition occurs in healthy individuals.


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