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How Much Vitamin C Is Too Much

How To Get More Vitamin C In Your Diet

Taking too much vitamin C could lead to kidney stones

This antioxidant is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.

The foods richest in vitamin C are citrus fruits, green peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, white potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Other good sources include dark leafy greens, cantaloupe, papaya, mango, watermelon, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, winter squash, and pineapples.

Here are eight easy ways to work more fruits and veggies into your diet each day:

  • Add pureed or grated fruits and veggies to recipes for muffins, meatloaf, and soups.
  • Keep cut-up fruits and veggies on hand so they are ready for a quick snack.
  • Frozen fruit slices make a cool summer treat.
  • Include dark lettuce, tomatoes, and shredded broccoli slaw on all your sandwiches and wraps.
  • Eat raw veggies with hummus, low-fat dips, and salsas.
  • Add fresh or frozen berries to muffins, pancakes, cereal, and salads.
  • Throw a handful of dried fruit on top of your cereal or in a baggie with nuts for an easy snack.
  • Enjoy a glass of vegetable juice as a filling and low-calorie mid-afternoon snack.
  • The bottom line? “There is no one silver bullet vitamin, mineral, or nutrient,” says Sandquist. “It is all about the big picture. And eating a varied diet rich in all the nutrients is the best strategy for good health.”

    Her advice: Take a daily multivitamin, because most people don’t get enough of several nutrients. And if you want to combat colds and flu, wash your hands more often.

    Show Sources

    Can Your Body Absorb 1000 Mg Vitamin C

    In addition, vitamin C is water-soluble, making it hard for your body to store it with excess being secreted in your urine. So even if youre adult and can handle the 1,000 mg in each vitamin C packet or pill, just know that your body cant absorb more than about 400 mg.

    Is it safe to take 500 mg of vitamin C daily?

    Can You Be Allergic To Vitamin C

    Technically, no. The isolated vitamin of ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient for human health and you would die without it. However you can have an allergic reaction to vitamin C tablets, face cream, serum, and drinks containing it. Since ascorbic acid is often made using corn, those with an allergy to that plant are at risk.

    Allergy to vitamin C causes are unlikely to be from corn since that is a very rare allergy. Plus, the potential amount of allergens remaining residual protein matter from the plant would likely be in a concentration of only parts per million . If you are experiencing ascorbic acid intolerance its likely you are allergic to another ingredient in that supplement, fortified food, or skin cream.

    On a related note, theres a strong likelihood the corn used is genetically modified. If you want non-GMO ascorbic acid, then make sure the packaging is labeled as such. Organic food-derived sources will always be non-GMO.

    Also Check: Best Vitamins For Working Out

    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.

    Related: Is Liposomal Vitamin C Really More Absorbable than Other Supplements?

    Three Nutrients To Watch

    Vitamin C

    Dwyer says vitamin D, calcium, and folic acid are three nutrients you may get too much of, especially through supplements.

    Adults who regularly far exceed the 4,000 international units daily safe upper limit for vitamin D might may end up with serious heart problems.

    Folic acid is added to enriched grain products — white flours, pasta, rice, breads, and cereals — to help prevent birth defects in babies due to folic acid deficiency in pregnant women. While folic acid fortification has cut the number of birth defects by 25% to 50%, it might have created other health concerns in people getting too much.

    It’s not hard to get more than 1,000 micrograms of folic acid a day from fortified foods and supplements on a regular basis. Doing so might hide the signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency in older adults. Vitamin B12 deficiency can sometimes lead to permanent nerve damage if left untreated.

    There’s no need to worry about foods that are naturally rich in folate.

    “Most people can now get enough folic acid without having to rely on supplements,” Dwyer says.

    In fact, she says, “most people have no problem if they start with food, which is the healthiest and safest way to get them.”

    Show Sources

    Johanna Dwyer, DSc, RD, senior nutrition scientist, Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health professor of medicine and community health, Tufts University School of Medicine.

    NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, dietary supplement fact sheets.

    Also Check: Is Vitamin C Supplement Good For You

    Vitamin C: A Refresher

    Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. What does that mean? Well, fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E are stored in your bodys tissue. Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are consistently being excreted in your urine. In other words, your body doesnt have backup stores of these water-soluble vitamins, so they need to be replaced daily through your diet.1

    And it is important to make sure youre getting enough vitamin C, as its responsible for performing a wide variety of functions in your body.

    Vitamin C:

    • Acts as an antioxidant2

    Can You Take Too Much Vitamin C

    The tolerable upper intake for adults is 2 grams of Vitamin C consuming more than that can result in diarrhea and other unpleasant GI disturbances, says Greaves. She admits that severe side effects from too much ascorbic acid are very rare, but you may experience some discomfort if you take too much. Its pretty much impossible to have a vitamin C overdose, but lets not test that out.

    The real problem with taking more vitamin C than you need is that it all goes to waste. Up to 100 mg a day of vitamin C will get almost completely absorbed, says Francesco-Maria Serino, MD, PhD. Above 100 mg a day and the fraction of vitamin C absorbed is progressively smaller. If you take more than 1 gram of vitamin C per day, less than 50% is actually absorbed and its eliminated by the kidneys.

    That literally means that a 500 mg vitamin C supplement mostly gets peed down the drain.

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    Oral Ascorbic Acid Versus Zinc Gluconate Versus Both Agents Versus Standard Of Care

    In an open-label clinical trial that was conducted at two sites in the United States, outpatients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were randomized to receive either 10 days of oral ascorbic acid 8,000 mg, zinc gluconate 50 mg, both agents, or standard of care.3 The primary end point was the number of days required to reach a 50% reduction in the patients symptom severity score. The study was stopped early by an operational and safety monitoring board due to futility after 40% of the planned 520 participants were enrolled .

    Patients who received standard of care achieved a 50% reduction in their symptom severity scores at a mean of 6.7 days compared with 5.5 days for the ascorbic acid arm, 5.9 days for the zinc gluconate arm, and 5.5 days for the arm that received both agents . Nonserious adverse effects occurred more frequently in patients who received supplements than in those who did not 39.5% of patients in the ascorbic acid arm, 18.5% in the zinc gluconate arm, and 32.1% in the arm that received both agents experienced nonserious adverse effects compared with 0% of patients in the standard of care arm . The most common nonserious adverse effects in this study were gastrointestinal events.

    Is Taking A Huge Dose Of Vitamin C Bad For Me

    How much Vitamin C is too much?

    Vitamin C is an important nutrient, but as the old saying goes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

    After taking too much vitamin C, you may experience symptoms such as:

    So how much vitamin C is too much?

    For adults, the daily upper limit of vitamin C is 2,000 mg. For teens, it’s 1,800 mg. For children, the upper limit depends on age, and it ranges from 400 to 1,200 mg per day.

    In addition, vitamin C is water-soluble, making it hard for your body to store it with excess being secreted in your urine. So even if you’re adult and can handle the 1,000 mg in each vitamin C packet or pill, just know that your body can’t absorb more than about 400 mg. This means that most of the vitamin C in that supplement you’re taking just goes down your toilet .

    All this to say, however, that getting the recommended amount of vitamin C is still a critical step in staying healthy, as this vitamin plays many important roles in your body. But, you don’t need to take a supplement to make that happen.

    Read Also: What Vitamins Are Good For Pregnancy

    What Dosage Of Vitamin C Is Too Much

    According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin C has low toxicity, and its rather unusual to cause serious adverse effects. Even at high intakes. The maximum dosage of vitamin C for adults is 2,000 mg per day.

    Always consult your health care provider before taking any supplements. Especially if youre taking other medication. Vitamin C supplements may interact with other drugs.

    Can Vitamin C Fight A Cold

    A small amount ofresearch from the 1970s suggestedvitamin C was the answer to preventing and treating the common cold. For decades this has fueled the old wives tale that vitamin C boosts the immune system and can prevent illnesses such as cold and flu. Continuing research has indicated that this isnt quite the case. Whilesome datasuggests that extra vitamin C may help those who partake in extreme exercise or are active in cold environments, its not the magic pill people many folks make it out to be. If you are falling short of your daily needs for vitamin C you will potentially see better immune function when that deficiency is corrected. A study from 2017 determined that meeting needs for vitamin C would be enough to help prevent some infections from occurring while higher doses are needed to fight inflammation from existing infections.

    The research is more compelling on how the antioxidant powder of vitamin C can fight inflammation and possibly shorten the duration of an illness when taken at the onset of symptoms. Newly publishedresearchcontinues to explore the antioxidant powder of vitamin c and both athletes and non-athletes. More importantly, this doesnt translate to more is better. Thereissuch thing as too much vitamin C.

    Read Also: Where Can I Buy Ritual Prenatal Vitamins

    What Are Some Good Natural Sources Of Vitamin C

    Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables. Fruits include citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and lemon, kiwi fruit, blackcurrants, strawberries and guava. Vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cooked kale, Brussels sprouts and Chinese cabbage. The amount of vitamin C in fruits and vegetables varies, and can be influenced by season, transportation, shelf life and storage time.

    Eating fresh fruit and vegetables is ideal because cutting, bruising, cooking, heating or exposing food to certain materials can destroy the vitamin C. To boost your intake, try adding in a fruit or vegetable thats high in vitamin C to some of your meals, or having an orange as a snack.

    What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin C

    Is 500mg Of Vitamin C Daily Too Much

    “Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, most known for supporting your immune system,”* board-certified physician Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., previously told mindbodygreen. It’s also the primary water-soluble vitamin in your body and, as such, supports nearly every body system.*

    And as mbg’s VP of scientific affairs Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, explains, “Vitamin C is 100% essential for immune function, but don’t underestimate this micronutrient. For example, its positive cardiovascular impact is incredibly compelling.”* Ferira goes on to say that vitamin C’s heart support is “partially because of this micronutrient’s pivotal role in whole-body antioxidant balance but also due to its requirement for collagen synthesis. Yes, even your blood vessels and heart need the collagen protein for their structure and optimal function.”*

    But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Here’s a quick breakdown of what vitamin C does for you:*

    Read Also: What Has Vitamin C And Zinc

    Symptoms Of Too Much Vitamin C

    Overall, the effects of consuming too much vitamin C are usually not serious and include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and nausea .

    The body excretes vitamin C in the urine, so excessive amounts could contribute to the formation of kidney stones. This possibility is more of a concern in people with kidney disorders .

    When it comes to your daily vitamin C intake, you can get adequate amounts through the food you eat. Usually, you do not need to consume vitamin C supplements to maintain healthy levels. While an overdose is unlikely, talk to your healthcare provider or dietitian before starting vitamin C supplements or if you have concerns about overdose based on your health history.

    Is A Tiny Amount Of Vitamin C Enough To Prevent Deficiency

    Alice Hart-Davis: OK, wow, so 50g of vitamin C, 50,000mg, thats an enormous amount it seems, at least to those of us who are used to reading the papers over here which re always telling us, that vitamin C has barely any benefits and you only need a tiny bit to prevent deficiency. I know from your book you call vitamin C one of the most fundamental things there is and in fact a large doses, what a consumer would think of as large doses, are something that you would regard as more physiologically necessary for the body, can you tell us a bit about that?

    TL: Yes, precisely. Probably the worst thing ever happened to vitamin C was being labelled a vitamin because the definition of a vitamin is really something you need in relatively tiny amounts to prevent a deficiency. Fairly small amounts of vitamin C will prevent you from getting scurvy, but it gives no hint at all as to what else vitamin C can do.

    So, as it turns out, vitamin C is literally in every sense of the word the primary and most foundational nutrient in your body and, like any other nutrient, the more the better.

    Also Check: Vitamin E For The Face

    Improved Absorption Of Iron From Plant Sources

    Vegetarians and vegans listen up: you need vitamin C to absorb iron from plant foods.

    Iron is the most abundant metal in the human body adults need around 3-4g of iron a day and it must be obtained via the diet.

    There are two main types of iron:

    • Heme iron: the most common type of iron found in red meat, poultry and fish
    • Non-heme iron: found in plan foods

    Heme iron is generally well-absorbed, whereas non-heme iron is slightly more difficult, especially if you are lacking in vitamin C.

    Vitamin C helps our bodies absorb iron from plant sources like citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables.

    Can I Take 2000mg Of Vitamin C At Once

    Too much Vitamin C could cause health problems

    Too much vitamin C may cause digestive symptoms Youre most likely to experience digestive symptoms if you consume more than 2,000 mg at once. Thus, a tolerable upper limit of 2,000 mg per day has been established .

    How much vitamin C can the body absorb at one time?

    While small doses are completely absorbed, only a fraction of a single large dose of ascorbic acid can be absorbed at one time . Spacing the doses out will increase the overall absorption. You can take vitamin C every few hours, but it becomes a difficult practice to keep up.

    Read Also: What Vitamin Helps Hair And Nails

    Watch Out For These Fat

    Here are details about vitamins A, E and K and the symptoms of overdose to look out for.

    Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient that is naturally present in many foods, like beef, eggs and many fruits and vegetables. An overdose of this vitamin can lead to problems with confusion, hair loss, liver damage and bone loss. It can also cause an increased risk for death and lung-associated issues for those who have a history of smokingparticularly female smokers.

    Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found naturally in foods and added to some fortified foods that can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, such as air pollution. But taking too much of this supplement can increase your risk for bleeding and bleeding in the brain.

    Vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient thats important for blood clotting, healthy bones and other bodily functions. Its rare that youll overdose on vitamin K by eating things like broccoli. But in supplement form, it can induce blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, if you take too much.

    Is It Possible To Have A Vitamin C Overdose

    Supplement marketers go into overdrive during cold and flu season, advertising products that promise to decrease your odds of getting sick. Vitamin C is among the best-known, most accessible antioxidants that have been touted to help prevent you from getting sick.

    Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is one of the many water-soluble nutrients found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Many people also take supplements to ensure theyre getting enough of it. This has raised concerns over the likelihood of an accidental overdose.

    Too much vitamin C can cause undesirable effects. However, a severe overdose is rare and unlikely. The key is to learn how much vitamin C you really need.

    Also Check: Can I Take Vitamin D At Night

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