Vitamin C has many health benefits but is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? Find out what happens if you take too much Vitamin C.
Unlike in the 1700s when scurvy ran rampant, today it’s incredibly easy to get our hands on plenty of Vitamin C. Which is great since there are so many incredible health benefits that Vitamin C does for our bodies.
But sometimes people go a little overboard and start consuming too much Vitamin C. What they don’t realize is that there can be side effects when you take too much of anything.
In fact, you can actually overdose on Vitamin C. To learn more about Vitamin C toxicity, keep reading. We’re sharing with you everything you need to know about the harmful side effects of too much Vitamin C.
How Much is Too Much Vitamin C
We all know we need to take Vitamin C in some form every single day to stay as healthy as possible. That’s partly because our bodies can’t produce or store this vitamin on its own.
But that doesn’t mean we should go overboard taking Vitamin C. Generally speaking, any male 19 years or older should take 90 mg of Vitamin C per day. For females, it’s 75 mg.
Those who smoke or are pregnant are advised to take slightly higher doses of Vitamin C.
For the most part, if you are getting your Vitamin C from produce, you shouldn’t have to worry about taking excess amounts. The side effects typically occur in those people taking the vitamin in supplement form.
If you’re taking Vitamin C supplements and you consume more than 2,000 mg at once, you may begin to experience Vitamin C toxicity. At that point, you’ll notice certain side effects.
The Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin C
There are actually quite a few side effects related to excessive Vitamin C consumption. Your digestive tract will probably be the first thing to notice that something isn’t right.
Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and esophagitis. You may also notice stomach cramps, diarrhea or intestinal obstruction.
However, you can also experience symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, feeling sleepy or insomnia. Flushed skin is also a symptom.
A more serious side effect is kidney stones. And the longer you consume 2,000 mg or more of Vitamin C each day, it increases your risk of experiencing significant side effects.
Excessive Intake of Vitamin C Can Produce Negative Interactions
Taking a Vitamin C supplement in a higher dosage than what’s recommended can have adverse interactions, especially if you’re on certain medications.
Some medicines contain aluminum such as phosphate binders. Taking more than 2,000 mg in supplement form can increase your absorption of aluminum. This can be harmful to people suffering from kidney problems.
If you’re taking an oral contraceptive or are on a hormone replacement therapy, taking an excess of Vitamin C in supplement form may increase your estrogen levels.
Talk to your doctor if you’re on chemotherapy. Using antioxidants like Vitamin C while undergoing chemotherapy may reduce the drug’s effects. However, speak with your physician first as there is a difference in opinion on antioxidants and its effects on chemotherapy.
Taking Vitamin C orally in supplement form may reduce the effects of protease inhibitors. And if you’re taking Vitamin C with niacin, Warfarin, Coumadin or Jantoven, it may reduce the effects the prescribed drug is supposed to have on your body.
How to Handle an Overdose on Vitamin C
If you’re healthy, there’s no way you can die from a Vitamin C overdose. However, if you do have health conditions, taking too much Vitamin C in supplement form can have some serious consequences.
If you’re experiencing symptoms such as nausea, cramping or headaches, you could also benefit from using some over-the-counter drugs.
If you suspect you’re overdosing on Vitamin C and you’re taking prescription medicines or have a health condition, speak with your doctor. And, if the conditions persist or you’re experiencing serious side effects such as difficulty breathing or kidney stones, contact your doctor.
Your physician can then assess the situation and take actions such as ordering tests and procedures and/or offering a prescription to help ease your symptoms and preventing any further harm being done to your body.
Stop Taking Vitamin C Supplements if You’re Overdosing
However, the easiest and best way to handle a Vitamin C overdose is to either lower your daily intake significantly or stop taking the supplement altogether. That does not mean you need to stop eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C.
In most cases, lowering or eliminating Vitamin C in supplement form should be enough to eliminate most or all overdose symptoms. Drinking more water should also help to flush out your body and help you recover from an overdose.
However, be careful how much water you drink. Too much water or drinking a high volume of water too quickly can significantly reduce your sodium levels and lead to death.
Fruits and Vegetables With High Levels of Vitamin C
There are many fruits and vegetables that have high levels of Vitamin C. If you’re worried about taking supplements and the side effects, eating fruit ensures you get your daily dose of Vitamin C without the problems.
Guava has 377 milligrams of Vitamin C. Kiwis have 167 mg.
Bell peppers have 190 milligrams per cup and only 46 calories. Berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries all contain Vitamin C. Strawberries contain the highest amount at 98 mg per cup.
Surprisingly, oranges, often synonymous with high amounts of Vitamin C have only 96 mg per cup. Clementines, lemons, and grapefruits are also good sources of Vitamin C but contain fewer milligrams than oranges.
Broccoli, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts are also good sources of Vitamin C. Kale is also a good source with 53 mg per cooked cup.
With so many choices, it’s easy to start your day with a healthy breakfast that contains enough Vitamin C to keep you healthy.
Stay Healthy With a Good Health Insurance Plan
Part of staying healthy is not taking too much Vitamin C or other supplements that can have adverse effects on your body and health. Another part of staying healthy is seeing your doctor regularly.
Having good health insurance ensures that you can keep your health in check all year round. And that starts by picking a good medical network.
We can help. Click here to enroll.