Why Too Much Vitamin C Can Make You Ill


Too much Vitamin C almost sounds like a contradicion, but there are times when this can happen.  This article explains ...



too much vitamin cToo much love will kill and so does too much Vitamin C. This even when ascorbic acid is one of the safest, most effective and most accessible nutrients any individual can add to his nutrition plan. Not only is it the popular remedy for the common cold and its complications but it also lowers the risks for cardiovascular diseases, immune system deficiencies, eye diseases and prenatal health problems. And as a potent antioxidant, it can also delay the external signs of ageing like skin wrinkling.

Symptoms and Complications

But of course, healthy individuals taking ascorbic acid in excessive amounts are not in immediate danger of dying from a vitamin overdose. The symptoms are usually experienced after weeks of regular dosages of the vitamin and even then the signs are often minor. Plus, the best way to avoid these minor symptoms of taking too much Vitamin C is to immediately lessen your dosage, which should be no hassle at all.


These minor symptoms include nausea, mouth ulcers, bloating, gas, upset stomach, and strong-smelling urine. Many people will also experience diarrhea although doctors recommend looking at it as the best gauge for maximum ascorbic acid intake. Thus, if you start to experience diarrhea with vitamin C intake, stop at that amount or lessen the dosage by a few milligrams.

However, there are instances when Vitamin C overdose results in major side effects. There are two contributing factors - one, that you are taking over 6,000 mg per day and, two, that you are also taking other nutritional supplements especially iron. This time, you are treading on dangerous grounds as taking too much Vitamin C can result in the following serious health problems:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiencies that leads to pernicious anemia as well as a hot of gastrointestinal and neurological issues

  • Kidney stones that may have to be surgically removed

  • Copper deficiencies resulting to the degeneration of neurological functions and development of anemia

  • Increased need for oxygen


We must warn against changing the dosage of Vitamin C when these major side effects, however, are experienced. Doctor's advice is still very important to avoid other health hazards from complete withdrawal from ascorbic acid overdose in just one go.

Recommended Dosages and At-Risk Individuals

So, the next question will be: How much is too much Vitamin C? The recommended amount is 60-75 mg per day but if you want to take 1,000 mg daily, you should be fine. This is under the assumption that you are not at risk for ascorbic acid overdose, however, so we suggest asking your doctor for the right dosage when you fall into one of these cases:

  • Take two or more additional vitamin and mineral supplements especially iron

  • Suffer from an inflammatory disease

  • Have a muscle sprain or a bruise

  • Have chronic copper deficiencies

We suggest reading the nutritional supplements information on ascorbic acid supplements to determine the manufacturer's recommended dosage. Or better yet, you want to determine if the supplement fits into your nutrition plan.

All in all, fortunately, the ill effects of too much Vitamin C can be avoided simply by following the recommendations of your doctor. When used properly, Vitamin C is your ally in good health.

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