Can Overdose Of Vitamin C Be Harmful?

Shocking! Right?  What we think as the safest nutrient to keep us young and energetic has side effects too? Yes, I am talking about vitamin C, the ultimate bracer to enhance our beauty and wellness. It’s true that Vitamin C is a very important nutrient to maintain a healthy immune system. It also plays an important role in wound healing, keeping your bones strong and enhancing brain function. Being powerful antioxidant it helps the body to form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin preventing aging. And as our body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C, we need a daily intake of the same with an upper limit of 2000 mg for the adults.  To boost up our beauty and wellness Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, but an overdose of it may cause the below side effects.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Common side effects of vitamin C overdose involve the digestive tract. If you consume more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C, you may develop severe gastrointestinal irritation and diarrhea. In addition to significant discomfort, extended episodes of diarrhea or vomiting can lead to dehydration, causing extreme thirst, fatigue, low urine output and reduced blood pressure. Diarrhea and vomiting can also cause additional mineral imbalances in the body.

Kidney Stones

Vitamin C is broken down by the body into a substance called oxalate. Some oxalate is secreted in urine, however high urinary oxalate levels may cause formation of deposits, known as kidney stones. High vitamin C intake is associated with an increased risk of oxalate kidney stones , accounting for approximately 80 percent of all kidney stones.


Hemochromatosis is a condition caused by excess iron build-up in the body. This condition is commonly inherited, and most often affects the liver, heart and pancreas. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Although vitamin C overdose does not cause hemochromatosis, it can worsen the condition. One study in adults found that iron absorption increased by 67% when they took 100 mg of vitamin C with a meal .Since vitamin C increases iron absorption, consuming too much of it is a concern for individuals with conditions that lead to iron accumulation in the body.

Vitamin C is Water Soluble


Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it dissolves in water. In contrast to fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins do not get stored within the body. Instead, the vitamin C that you consume gets transported to your tissues via body fluids, and any extra gets excreted in urine. That’s because if you overload your body with larger-than-normal doses of this vitamin, it will start to accumulate, potentially leading to overdose symptoms. It is important to note that it’s unnecessary for most people to take vitamin C supplements, as you can easily get enough by eating fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables. If you have a serious health problem, such as scurvy or methemoglobinemia, your healthcare provider may prescribe or administer much higher doses of vitamin C. It's always important to share with your doctor and pharmacist all of the medications you're taking.

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