Overdose: Vitamin C Side Effects


Most people hardly think about vitamin C side effects, but since it is so widely used and known, it might be useful to ask "What happens if ..."



vitamin CHave you ever stopped to think about possible vitamin C side effects? Well, the average person hasn't. Vitamin C is one of the most highly recommended vitamins by doctors and nutritionists.

Dr. Linus Pauling made vitamin C world famous in the early 1970s when he announced that it can help prevent and fend off colds and strengthen the immune system. With the knowledge that the C vitamin is readily available in oranges, which had gone from being summer fruits and winter delicacies (children sometimes received an orange or two in their Christmas stockings through the 1950s) to year-round foods, along with orange juice,  the side effects vitamin C were not even considered as people began trying to get as much of it into their systems as possible.

Too much of a good thing?

Well, vitamin C is definitely a powerful vitamin. Our bodies need it and need a lot of it compared to many other vitamins because we don't biochemically manufacture it and it is easily passed out our systems because it is water soluble. But ... is it possible to get too much of a good thing? Of course it is. Music is a good thing, a great thing for that matter, but listen to it at too high a volume for an extended period and you will not be able to hear it, or any other sounds, as well ever again. Alcoholic beverages relieve stress, encourage merriment, and have other proven real medical benefits; but, do I really need to start in on the negative consequences of drunkenness?


Researchers have reported a number of undesirable vitamin C side effects, but it should be noted that some of these effects are very specific to the ways the vitamin was administered and may have been influenced by whether the vitamin was being used in a natural or synthetic form:

  • Abdominal Cramps.

  • Decreased Vitamin B12. Excessive vitamin C inhibits vitamin B12 uptake. Among several other negative things, a lack of vitamin B12 is linked to muscular weakness.

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). These are blood clots in the deep veins of the legs. No need for explication here.

  • Diarrhea. Vitamin C helps prevent constipation. Perhaps it therefore comes as no surprise that excessive amounts of it would give you "the runs".

  • Drowsiness. Yes, chugging that orange juice all day long actually makes you more tired or fatigued. Kind of like the effect of drinking too much coffee.

  • Erosion of Teeth. Too much citric acid upon the teeth causes the teeth erodes those teeth. If you have been using citric acid-laden toothpaste, or if you chew vitamin C supplement tablets, stop it immediately.

  • Gastritis. This can lead to ulcers or acid reflux.

While all of these vitamin C side effects have been reported by bona fide studies of vitamin C, the editor has had some very different personal experience with this vitamin, just as did Dr. Pauling and new studies are currently underway to reevaluate his findings. 

New studies are suggesting that there may be considerable differences in the effects produced by this vitamin, both positive and negative which depend on the quality of the vitamin (natural or synthetic), how it is ingested, whether it is  administered as an extract or as it is found in natural foods, and various other factors.

Over a 3 month course of treatment, the editor, personally received as much as 70 grams, intravenously per dose, without suffering any ill effects. (This was 10 times the RDA.)

His advice,  if you're contemplating using high dosages: do your homework and make an informed decision in consultation with qualified specialists. 

There are other problems with the vitamin C side effects of too much dosage: insomnia; indigestion; kidney stones; esophageal irritation; red blood cell killing; and even inhibitions of cancer treatments.

So, how can you avoid these side effects while still getting the amount of vitamin C you need--an amount that, as usual, exceeds FDA recommendations and that of the amounts you get from the average diet today? The best way is to get a well-formulated supplement that contains the right amount of vitamin C.  For an easy-to-use complete supplement, the Total Balance line from Xtend-Life offers special formulas especially for Children, Men and Women.

What you see on Nutritional Supplements Information is just a sample of what's available for you in our Secrets of Natural Healthy Living. Check it out now!


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