How To Treat And Prevent Vitamin C Overdose
The single best way to prevent vitamin C overdose is to avoid taking supplements in high doses and to get the vitamin C your body needs from foods instead, especially fresh vegetables and fruits. Some of the foods richest in vitamin C include citrus fruits like oranges, leafy green vegetables, red peppers, melon, berries, kiwi, mango and sweet potatoes.
As mentioned above, vitamin C is water-soluble. What does this mean in terms of getting extra vitamin C out of your body? Do you pee out excess vitamin C?
Because vitamin C is water-soluble, its not as risky to take too much vitamin C as it is to take fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A or D. Unmetabolized ascorbic acid is excreted in the urine.
That said, overdose of vitamin C is still possible if someone takes supplements in high doses for an extended period of time, especially if that person also consumes lots of vitamin C from his or her diet and/or fortified foods.
How long does it take to get vitamin C out of your system?
Vitamin C can stay in the body for weeks. However, excess amounts are usually urinated out in a matter of hours.
Vitamin C will stay in someones body longer if that person doesnt already have high levels or are deficient. In order to prevent vitamin C from being lost in the urine, its best to take smaller, multiple doses spread out throughout the day.
Signs And Symptoms Of Too Much
Taking very large doses of vitamin C has been shown to cause an overdose in this vitamin, also referred to as vitamin C toxicity. Some symptoms of vitamin C overdose can include:
- Digestive issues like diarrhea, nausea or abdominal cramps
- Rebound scurvy
Levels of vitamin C in the blood are controlled by the kidneys. One of the biggest concerns with vitamin C overdose is the risk for kidney stone formation, so vitamin C supplements are not usually recommended for men and others at risk for oxalate stones.
Very high doses can acidify the urine, cause digestive issues and interfere with antioxidant balance in the body. Among people who have the conditions thalassemia or hemochromatosis, too much vitamin C can cause iron overload.
What effects can taking too much vitamin C during pregnancy have?
Pregnant women need about 85 milligrams per day of vitamin C, while breastfeeding women require about 120 mg/day. Too much vitamin C during pregnancy can lead to diarrhea, nausea and possibly dehydration, which can pose a risk to the baby.
Its possible these effects can impact levels of amniotic fluid, especially if vomiting and severe dehydration occur over long periods of time.
Is Too Much Vitamin C Harmful To Your Body
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. Taking supplements in high doses may lead to kidney stones Excess vitamin C is excreted from the body as oxalate, a bodily waste product. Oxalate typically exits the body via urine.
Read Also: Where Can You Buy Usana Vitamins
Rationale For Vitamin C Therapy In Sepsis
Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is an essential vitamin in humans that must be obtained in the diet, as it cannot be synthesised because of mutations in the gene for gluconolactone oxidase, the final biosynthetic enzyme in its synthesis. Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, accounting for the symptoms of scurvy caused by its deficiency. Vitamin C also has numerous pleiotropic effects that would be predicted to be of benefit in sepsis, including as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, immune modulator and stimulant of noradrenaline and vasopressin synthesis . Furthermore, critically ill patients have low plasma vitamin C levels , most likely due to increased metabolic turnover and downregulation of cellular sodium-dependent vitamin C transporters , which is compounded by the inability of humans to synthesise vitamin C. Importantly, intravenous administration is required to produce high plasma levels of vitamin C, as there is a limit on its absorption from the intestine . These observations provided the impetus for clinical trials examining the effects of intravenous vitamin C in sepsis.
What Happens When You Take Megadoses Of Vitamins
Vitamin D in megadose quantities also causes both acute and chronic toxic effects, among them abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, excessive urination and thirst, dangerously elevated calcium in the blood, calcium deposits in soft tissues, bone pain, weakness, mental confusion,
Likewise, what dangers are associated with megadoses of dietary supplements? Megadoses of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K can cause problems, and even some standard doses may interfere with certain prescription medicine. Some people may experience adverse effects from too much calcium or iron.
Also know, what is considered a megadose of vitamins?
Vitamin supplementation and megadoses. When vitamins are taken in excess of the Recommended Dietary Allowances or the individual’s needs, the vitamins no longer function as vitamins but instead act as drugs, with such pharmacological effects as clinical toxicities and the abnormal utilization of vitamins.
What vitamins can you overdose on?
An overdose of vitamins A, D, E, or K can cause serious or life-threatening side effects. Certain minerals contained in a multivitamin may also cause serious overdose symptoms if you take too much. Do not take this medicine with milk, other dairy products, calcium supplements, or antacids that contain calcium.
Read Also: What Vitamins Are Good For Acne Prone Skin
Getting C From Food Vs Supplements
Natural vitamin C from food and synthetic vitamin C in supplements show the same bioavailability meaning, the body seems to absorb both forms of the nutrient equally well, per the Oregon State University.
But, it’s better to get vitamin C from food than to follow a nutrient-poor diet and then take supplements to make up for vitamin shortfalls.
Research on the benefits of multivitamins has mixed findings, and, as a result, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend vitamin supplements to prevent diseases like heart disease or cancer.
By including more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, you’ll get all the nutrients you need on a daily basis, which leads to overall good health and disease prevention.
Protects The Heart And Cardiovascular System
The endothelium is the lining of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels and changes in this lining are the first steps towards developing atherosclerosis. Vitamin C has been found to improve endothelial dysfunction in subjects who had heart failure, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. The doses were above 500mg vitamin C a day.
Recommended Reading: Which Vitamins To Take When Pregnant
What Is Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Your body needs vitamin C to form collagen, which makes up the connective tissues in the body and helps heal wounds.
Vitamin C also contributes to the overall health of your bones, cartilage and teeth.
It also plays a role in your body’s absorption of non-heme iron, which comes from plant sources. That’s why it’s best to eat iron-rich foods like spinach with vitamin C-rich foods, like tomatoes or peppers.
Because it’s an antioxidant, vitamin C supports your overall immune function, according to a November 2017 review in Nutrients.
Antioxidants like vitamin C scavenge for free radicals, those wayward molecules that can cause DNA damage in the body. And regularly eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C is linked to better protection against cancer and heart disease, per the NIH.
What Drugs Interact With High
A drug interaction is a change in the way a drug acts in the body when taken with certain other drugs. High-dose vitamin C, when combined with some anticancer drugs, may cause them to be less effective. So far, these effects have been seen only in some laboratory and animal studies. No clinical trials have been done to further research these drug interactions in humans.
- Combining vitamin C with an anticancer drug called bortezomib has been studied in cell cultures and in animal models. Bortezomib is a targeted therapy that blocks several molecular pathways in a cell, causing cancer cells to die. Several studies showed that vitamin C given by mouth made bortezomib less effective, including in multiple myeloma cells. A study in mice transplanted with human prostate cancer cells, however, did not show that giving the mice different doses of vitamin C by mouth made bortezomib therapy less effective.
- An oxidized form of vitamin C called dehydroascorbic acid has been studied in cell cultures and in animals with tumors. Several studies have found that high doses of dehydroascorbic acid can interfere with the anticancer effects of several chemotherapy drugs. Dehydroascorbic acid is found in only small amounts in dietary supplements and in fresh foods.
You May Like: What Vitamins Are Good For Joints And Bones
What Research Has Shown The Benefits Of High
Have any clinical trials of high-dose intravenous vitamin C been conducted?
Several studies of high-dose vitamin C in patients with cancer have been done in recent years, including the following:
Studies of vitamin C alone
- Intravenous vitamin C was studied in patients with breast cancer who were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The study found that patients who received IV vitamin C had better quality of life and fewer side effects than those who did not.
- A study of IV vitamin C and high doses of vitamin C taken by mouth was done in patients with cancer that could not be cured. Vitamin C was shown to be a safe and effective therapy to improve quality of life in these patients, including physical, mental, and emotional functions, symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, and appetite loss.
- Vitamin C has been shown to be safe when given to healthy volunteers and cancer patients at doses up to 1.5 g/kg, while screening out patients with certain risk factors who should avoid vitamin C. Studies have also shown that Vitamin C levels in the blood are higher when taken by IV than when taken by mouth, and last for more than 4 hours.
Studies of vitamin C combined with other drugs
Studies of vitamin C combined with other drugs have shown mixed results:
More studies of combining high-dose IV vitamin C with other drugs are in progress.
Why Getting Vitamin C Through Your Diet Is Important
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for your body since it:
- Acts as an antioxidant
- Supports your immune system
In addition, vitamin C is thought to have beneficial effects on your overall health, including reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and the most common causes of vision loss .
While vitamin C is an important nutrient, your body doesn’t actually make it so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C from your diet.
The amount you need depends on your age and gender, but, in general, adults should aim to get between 65 to 90 mg of vitamin C per day. You can get all the vitamin C you need by drinking a glass of orange juice or eating a cup of strawberries, bell pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or kale. In addition, some of the herbs you commonly cook with also contain significant amounts of vitamin C, including thyme and parsley.
Another reason to get the recommended amount of vitamin C through your diet, rather than a supplement, is that healthy, whole foods also contain other beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Most people following a healthy diet have no problem getting the recommended amount of vitamin C every day. However, if you think you aren’t, you can always consider taking a multivitamin as most contain the recommended amount of vitamin C you need every day.
Read Also: What Should Be In Your Prenatal Vitamin
Vitamin B12 Megadose Is More Always Better
Extreme vitamin B12 extra high dose! This is how some manufacturers advertise their vitamin B12 products. Yet are such high doses of the vitamin genuinely useful?
Vitamin B12 is a healthy and vital vitamin, which benefits the body in many ways. This sometimes leads people to believe that the more they consume, the healthier they will become a sentiment that is only true to a very limited extent. If optimal doses are exceeded, vitamins can upset the bodys sensitive balance and overburden the excretory organs.
To this end, megadoses of vitamin B12 should be criticised: they are unnecessarily high for meeting the bodys requirement. But are there any instances where this kind of B12 dosage can be helpful?
Randomization Allocation And Blinding
Each ICU was assigned with an independent random numeric table generated by Microsoft Excel 2019 by the primary investigator alone. Each table had equal numbers of 1 and 2, which represented the placebo group and treatment group , respectively. The generated random list was stored by the principal investigator who was not involved in the treatment of patients and hidden to the other investigators. When a patient was transferred to the ICU and met the enrollment criteria, the clinician on duty would inform the principal investigator and obtain a number from the list. Then, participants were enrolled in the corresponding group according to the chronological order of ICU recruitment. The grouping and intervention were unknown to the participants and investigators who were responsible for data collection and statistical analysis. VC injection and sterile water for injection were both colorless and contained in the same brown syringes with different marks and without explanations on the syringe to make sure that patients could not distinguish the treatment they receive.
Read Also: What Foods Give You Vitamin B
What Does Vitamin C Do
Vitamin C has many roles when it comes to promoting health, such as:
- Acting as an antioxidant, helping protect against free radical damage and slowing the effects of aging.
- Counteracting the negative effects of sun damage, cigarette smoke, air pollution and other environmental stressors.
- Supporting the immune system to protect against illnesses.
- Helping form collagen and maintain connective tissue, including the skin, bones, joints and blood vessels.
- Supporting eye health/vision and potentially reducing the risk for cataracts.
- Helping reduce the risk of certain types of cancers and cardiovascular disease.
- Facilitating absorption of iron.
Certain people can benefit from getting even higher amounts of vitamin C than the general population, including those who:
- smoke or around secondhand smoke
- people who eat a poor diet lacking vegetables and fruits
- those with medical conditions, such as severe malabsorption, cancer and kidney disease
Researchers shows that vitamin C deficiency symptoms most often affects those with severe malnourishment, drug and alcohol abusers, or those living in poverty.
To Learn More About Cam
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health facilitates research and evaluation of complementary and alternative practices, and provides information about a variety of approaches to health professionals and the public.
- NCCIH Clearinghouse
- Post Office Box 7923 Gaithersburg, MD 208987923
- Telephone: 1-888-644-6226
- TTY : 1-866-464-3615
Don’t Miss: What Vitamin Helps Tighten Skin
The Recommended Dietary Allowance
The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is based on the amount of vitamin C intake necessary to maintain neutrophil vitamin C concentration with minimal urinary excretion of vitamin C and is proposed to provide sufficient antioxidant protection . The recommended intake for smokers is 35 mg/day higher than for nonsmokers, because smokers are under increased oxidative stress from the toxins in cigarette smoke and generally have lower blood concentrations of vitamin C .
Vitamin C In Human Clinical Applications In Viral Infections Pneumonia And Sepsis
In a study looking at the impact of vitamin C on oxidative stress and inflammation in community-acquired pneumonia , a common infectious disease, researchers measured values including reactive oxygen species , DNA damage, superoxide dismutase activity, tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6 in patients with CAP. The results show that patients with severe CAP had significantly increased ROS, DNA damage, TNF and IL-6, but significantly decreased SOD . Administration of vitamin C improved these redox imbalances by mitigating oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory markers, suggesting a possible therapeutic benefit for vitamin C in patients with severe CAP and other types of pneumonia. This antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property has been shown in a multitude of studies, demonstrating efficacy in preventing lung injury and protection against damage to other organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver in animal models of oxidative stress , , .
Optimal dose and administration of vitamin C for treatment of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome
In one trial, 80% of the administered dose of vitamin C had been filtered by the kidneys in 6 h following IV administration, suggesting that the optimal frequency of vitamin C treatment should be four times daily .
Also Check: What Foods Are High In Zinc And Vitamin C
Supports The Immune System
The immune system needs vitamin C to function optimally. Dr. Thomas Levy describes this vitamin as the muscle of the immune system. Vitamin C helps with the production and function of several parts of the immune system. This includes phagocytes , leukocytes , and T-cells whose main role is to scan the body for infections and abnormalities.
Viral respiratory infections can be prevented with a megadose of vitamin C. The cells responsible for immunity accumulate vitamin C and use it to destroy invading viruses and bacteria. Research also shows that the immune system is weakened by inflammatory reactions to infections. With vitamin C, you can indirectly counter this by mitigating oxidative stress. All-in-all, vitamin C is essential for immune function and can help fight infections.
For more on the immune system, you might like to read: COVID 19 – What you need to know plus how to support your immune system.