Vitamin C Overdose


A Vitamin C overdose isn't necesarily fatal, but it still something which can be unpleasant ...





Too much of a good thing is not good for everybody concerned. And so it is with an overdose of Vitamin C, which happens more times than you can think mainly because of the hype that surrounds this particular micronutrient.

Ascorbic acid, as Vitamin C is also called, is touted to prevent plenty of illnesses from the common cold to cancer. It is then not surprising that many will overdose on it in the belief that the more ascorbic acid in the body, the higher level of protection one can enjoy from these diseases. But the body can only absorb, use and tolerate ascorbic acid circulating through its cells.


Adverse Side Effects

A Vitamin C overdose is not without its adverse side effects. Although your life is not in danger when these symptoms are experienced, you will definitely not wish to suffer from them, nonetheless. You can suffer from excess gas, bouts with diarrhea and an upset stomach as well as cramps, nausea and the increased risks for kidney stones.

But there are cases when ascorbic acid should be totally avoided even when the recommended doses for healthy individuals are followed. These special exemptions include:

  • Iron Overload Disease - People with this condition must avoid ascorbic acid overdose because the micronutrient increases iron absorption, thus, worsening its symptoms.

  • Kidney Stones - When you already have kidney stones, your doctor may recommend stopping on the vitamin C to avoid the development of new ones.

  • Pregnant Mothers - Vitamin C in excess of 6,000 mg is dangerous to the baby as rebound scurvy is a definite risk.


Even when you do not fall into one of these special exemptions, you must still avoid Vitamin C overdose. Toxicity even in such a beneficial micronutrient is as dangerous as deficiency in it. With the latter, by the way, severe deficiency of ascorbic acid results to scurvy, which has potentially severe consequences including sudden death.

Steps to Avoid Overdose

Fortunately, ascorbic acid overdose can be avoided with a few simple steps. For one thing, you must ask your doctor about the recommended daily allowance for your age, gender and physical condition. The general rule is that relatively healthy adults will do well with 1,000 mg of Vitamin C daily although the upper tolerable limit is 2,000 mg.

For another thing, you should learn how to understand the nutritional supplements information printed on multivitamin products. You want to ensure that you are taking the right dosage of the vitamin in accordance with your doctor's recommendations.

Better yet, you can skip on the nutritional supplements if and when you are already eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables. This is because Vitamin C overdose is virtually impossible through a balanced diet. Natural food sources for ascorbic acid include fruits (oranges, mandarins, lemons, grapefruits, kiwis and tomatoes) and vegetables (broccoli, spinach, and green peppers). Plus, you will be getting other nutrients in the process, too.

The good news about Vitamin C overdose is that you can treat it on your own. It's simple - just gradually lessen your intake or stop taking the vitamin supplement. Your diet will do for your Vitamin C daily requirements.

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