Is Too Much Vitamin C Harmful and What is the Normal Level?

6 minutes

Is Too Much Vitamin C Harmful and What is the Normal Level?

Vivoo Nutrition Team

Vitamin C is a vital component found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. It's very crucial to get enough of this vitamin to keep your immune system in good shape. It also helps to heal wounds, keep bones healthy, and improve cognitive function.

Surprisingly, some suggest that vitamin C pills give advantages in addition to those acquired from food-based vitamin C.

The belief that vitamin C pills will help prevent the common cold is one of the most prevalent reasons individuals use them.

Many supplements, on the other hand, contain too much vitamin C, which might have unfavorable side effects in certain situations. Taking excessive amounts of this vitamin may result in negative effects.   

This article looks at the general safety of vitamin C, whether it's possible to overdose on it, and the risks of taking big dosages.

Vitamin C Is A Water-Soluble that Can Not Be Stored in The Body

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it dissolves when it comes in contact with water. Water-soluble vitamins, unlike fat-soluble vitamins, are not stored in the body.

Instead, the vitamin C you eat is carried to your tissues via your bodily fluids, and any excess is eliminated in urine. Thus, you don’t need too much vitamin C (more than the body needs).

On the other hand, your body can neither retain nor create vitamin C on its own. Thus, it is essential to take vitamin C-rich foods on a regular basis.

Taking too much vitamin C in supplements, on the other hand, might cause side effects including digestive upset and kidney stones.

Vitamin C

This is because if you take higher-than-normal dosages of this vitamin, it may begin to build in your body, possibly causing overdose symptoms.

It's crucial to remember that most individuals don't need vitamin C pills since they may easily obtain enough from fresh meals, particularly fruits and vegetables.

Too Much Vitamin C Might Cause Stomach Problems:

Digestive upset is the most prevalent negative effect of increased vitamin C consumption. In general, these negative effects are caused by taking too many vitamin C supplements rather than consuming meals containing the vitamin.

If you take more than 2,000 mg at once, you're more likely to have stomach problems. As a result, a daily tolerated upper limit (TUL) of 2,000 mg has been set. Diarrhea and nausea are the most typical digestive effects of too much vitamin C.

Excessive consumption has also been linked to acid reflux. However, this has not been proven.

If you're having digestive issues as a result of too much vitamin C, just reduce your supplement dosage or stop taking vitamin C for a while.

High-Dose Supplementation May Cause Kidney Stones

Too much vitamin C is eliminated as oxalate, a waste product in the body.

Oxalate is usually excreted in the urine. However, oxalate may bind to minerals and form crystals, which can contribute to the production of kidney stones in certain cases.

Too much vitamin C in your diet might raise the quantity of oxalate in your urine, increasing your chances of getting kidney stones.

The quantity of oxalate excreted rose by 20% in one research in which people took a 1,000-mg vitamin C supplement twice daily for six days.

High vitamin C consumption is connected not only to higher levels of urinary oxalate but also to the formation of kidney stones, particularly if you ingest more than 2,000 mg per day.

People who consume 2,000 mg per day have been documented to get renal failure. This is, however, relatively uncommon, particularly in healthy persons.

How Much Is Vitamin C Too Much?

It's difficult to overdose on vitamin C since it's water-soluble and your body excretes excess levels after a few hours of consumption.

In fact, getting too much vitamin C from your diet alone is practically impossible. Any vitamin C ingested more than the required daily quantity is simply flushed out of the body in healthy persons.

To put that in perspective, you'd have to eat 29 oranges or 13 bell peppers before reaching the maximum limit of acceptable consumption. When individuals take supplements, however, the dangers of vitamin C overdose are increased, and it is possible to ingest too much of the vitamin in rare cases.

Vitamin C

Those with illnesses that raise the risk of iron overload or those who are prone to kidney stones, for example, should limit their vitamin C consumption.

When patients consume massive amounts of vitamin C larger than 2,000 mg, all of the negative consequences, including digestive discomfort and renal stones, seem to occur.

If you decide to take a vitamin C supplement, be sure it contains no more than 100% of your daily requirements. That's 90 mg for males and 75 mg for women each day.

How Much Is Vitamin C Recommended on A Daily?

So, how much vitamin C per day? The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has established a set of reference values for various nutritional consumption levels, including vitamin C intake.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is a set of standards that takes into account average daily nutritional consumption from meals and supplements.

RDA standards for various gender and age groups should fulfill 97–98% of healthy people's nutritional requirements.

The RDAs for vitamin C are as follows:

Life stage RDA
Kids (1–3 years) 15 mg
Kids (4–8 years) 25 mg
Adolescents (9–13 years) 45 mg
Teens (14–18 years) 65–75 mg
Adult women (aged 19 and older) 75 mg
Adult men (aged 19 and older) 90 mg
Pregnant women (aged 19 and older) 85 mg
Breastfeeding women (aged 19 and older) 120 mg

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a recommended Daily Value for vitamin C in addition to the RDA guidelines (DV).

The DV is a unit of measurement used on food and supplement labels. It allows you to compare the number of nutrients in a single serving of food to your daily needs. This is expressed as a percentage of the daily value (DV) on food labels (12Trusted Source).

The current DV for vitamin C is 60 mg for adults and children aged 4 and above, regardless of gender. However, this will rise to 90 mg in January 2020.

Final Thoughts

Watch your vitamin C supplement intake. Take more natural vitamin C. Try Vivoo today to know more about your body’s needs.

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