Is Vitamin C Bad For You
The most concerning pro-oxidant effect happens in the presence of free transition metals. Now these metals are something all of us have in our bodies, so its impossible to avoid 100%. Ascorbic acid is one of the most researched nutrients and to date, the overwhelming consensus is that its good for you even when this is factored in.
Plus unlike dogs and cats, human are unique mammals in that we dont internally create this vitamin. We literally dont have a choice we need to get it from dietary sources.
What we do have a choice on though is how much we consume. We know how much is needed to avoid scurvy and deficiency symptoms and its the amount beyond that where the question mark remains is more necessarily better?
A recent scientific review of its antioxidant and pro-oxidant activity in oral health sums up the current mindset quite well:
The data validates the role of Vitamin C as an antioxidant under physiologic conditions exhibiting a cross over role as a pro-oxidant in pathological conditions. Further studies are required to substantiate its pro-oxidant activity to draw concrete conclusions.
While that review was specific to oral health, the scientists factored in generalized pro-oxidant vs. antioxidant research, too.
What Does The Vitamin D Scientific Community Think
Several vitamin D researchers disagreed with the new recommendations based on two main points: 1) That 20 ng/ml is not enough for bone health, the goal for that should be 30 ng/ml and 2) That even if the goal is 20 ng/ml, the RDAs set will not meet that goal for 97.5% of the population the math was not done correctly. Immediately after the new recommendations were issued, there were the following key publications:
The Vitamin D-lemma Written by Amy Maxman for Nature, a well-researched news article on the new RDA and the scientific communitys reaction to the new recommendations.
Endocrine Society Guidelines Michael Holick led a team of vitamin D researchers to publish standards for the Endocrine Society. They were similar to the IOMs, but with a higher upper limit for adults of 10,000 IU/day.
Effects Of Mega Doses Of Vitamin C
According to a study, researchers have treated cancer patients with high dosages of vitamin C, through IVC therapy . Scientists gave cancer patients up to 100g of vitamin C a day! Thats 100,000 mg. 100 times more vitamin C than a dosage of 1,000 mg or 100,000 times the recommended daily intake of vitamin C Thats a huge dose. So, what happened to these patients?
Regarding cancer, researchers observed:
- improvement in the quality of life,
- improved tolerance of conventional therapy,
- deterioration in clinical condition, in the absence of vitamin C dosage.
The side effects of mega dosages of vitamin C seem to be minimal, though. Patients experienced symptoms of Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. This is a reaction of the body to endotoxins produced by the necrosis of harmful cells. Fever, chills, strong body odor, and pimples may be other side effects.
Dont forget that these side effects happened to cancer patients, after megadoses of vitamin C. Symptoms resolved after 2 to 3 hours, after injection with vitamin C.
On the other hand, therapy with high dosages of vitamin C may:
- stabilize cancer,
- have anti tumor activity in some cases,
- help patients regain strength, even walking again
How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much
Since relatively little is known about how vitamin D toxicity works, its hard to define an exact threshold for safe or toxic vitamin D intake .
According to the National Academy of Medicine, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine, 4,000 IU is the safe upper level of daily vitamin D intake. However, doses up to 10,000 IU have not been shown to cause toxicity in healthy individuals (
Hypercalcemia caused by regularly taking high amounts of vitamin D supplements may take a few months to resolve. This is because vitamin D accumulates in body fat and is released into the blood slowly .
Treating vitamin D intoxication includes avoiding sun exposure and eliminating all dietary and supplemental vitamin D.
A doctor may also correct your calcium levels with increased salt and fluids, often by intravenous saline.
The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is hypercalcemia, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, weakness, and kidney failure. Treatment involves limiting all vitamin D intake and sun exposure.
Health Benefits Of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential for the functioning of our blood cells, the brain, or DNA. Research has also linked it to the reduction of diseases like dementia and heart disease.
Needless to say, its amazing.
Along with the above, these are more health benefits of Vitamin B12:
- Forms red blood cells
- Sockeye Salmon
- Light Tuna Fish, canned in water
Vegan and vegetarian B12 food sources are much more scarce. Even though B12 is found in sea vegetables, it is an unreliable source due to impostor enzymes.
These impostor enzymes are not active in the body and can sometimes alter blood tests to show higher levels of Vitamin B12 in the blood stream. Therefore, the two options below are the best food sources for vegans.
Best vegan foods with Vitamin B12:
- Vitamin B12 Fortified foods
Nonetheless, due to the unreliable nature of food sources, supplements are still recommended as best practice for vegans and vegetarians.
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Does The Intake Of Other Fat
It has been hypothesized that two other fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin A, may play important roles in vitamin D toxicity.
Vitamin K helps regulate where calcium ends up in the body, and high amounts of vitamin D may deplete the bodys stores of vitamin K (
Keep in mind that these are just hypotheses, but it may be wise to make sure youre getting enough of these nutrients if youre going to supplement with vitamin D.
If youre supplementing with vitamin D, then it may be important to also ensure sufficient intake of vitamin A, vitamin K, and magnesium. These may reduce the risk of adverse effects from a higher vitamin D intake.
Excessive Intake Of Vitamin C Can Produce Negative Interactions
Taking a Vitamin C supplement in a higher dosage than whats recommended can have adverse interactions, especially if youre 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 youre 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 youre on chemotherapy. Using antioxidants like Vitamin C while undergoing chemotherapy may reduce the drugs 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 youre taking Vitamin C with niacin, Warfarin, Coumadin or Jantoven, it may reduce the effects the prescribed drug is supposed to have on your body.
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Why Does Your Pee Turn Yellow After Taking Vitamins
High-dose vitamins can turn your pee a bright, almost neon yellow color. The most common culprit is vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, which is found in most multivitamins. The neon color in pee is just a harmless sign that youre taking more than your body needs, and the excess is mixing with your pee.
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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Fruits And Vegetables With High Levels Of Vitamin C
There are many fruits and vegetables that have high levels of Vitamin C. If youre 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, its easy to start your day with a healthy breakfast that contains enough Vitamin C to keep you healthy.
How Much Vitamin C Is Too Much
Since vitamin C is water-soluble and your body excretes excess amounts of it within a few hours after you consume it, its quite difficult to consume too much.
In fact, it is nearly impossible for you to get too much vitamin C from your diet alone. In healthy people, any extra vitamin C consumed above the recommended daily amount simply gets flushed out of the body .
To put it in perspective, you would need to consume 29 oranges or 13 bell peppers before your intake reached the tolerable upper limit (
All the adverse effects of vitamin C, including digestive distress and kidney stones, appear to occur when people take it in mega doses greater than 2,000 mg .
If you choose to take a vitamin C supplement, it is best to choose one that contains no more than 100% of your daily needs. Thats 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women .
Its nearly impossible to consume too much vitamin C from food. However, if youre supplementing with this vitamin, you can minimize your risk of getting too much by taking no more than 90 mg per day if youre a man, or 75 mg per day if youre a woman.
Vitamin C is generally safe for most people.
This is especially true if you get it from foods, rather than supplements.
Individuals who take vitamin C in supplement form are at greater risk of consuming too much of it and experiencing side effects, the most common of which are digestive symptoms.
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How To Perform A Vitamin C Bowel Flush
First, obtain a powdered Vitamin C product that is buffered, fully reduced, and 100% L-Ascorbate . The buffering agents should be natural and consist of essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc. We recommend Thorne Buffered C Powder, 8.15 oz . A powdered formula as opposed to tablet or capsule is ideal here as it will provide more predictable absorption during the loading process.
Pick a day when youve got nothing on the calendar. Why? Well its called a flush for a reason! Youll experience a characteristic sudden release of loose stool once youve fully saturated your body with Vitamin C, so plan on being near a toilet. Most people prefer doing this in the comfort of home for the first time.
Dont Exceed The Recommended Dosage
While getting plenty of vitamin C in your diet won’t cause you any harm , Harvard Health discourages anyone taking supplements to not exceed the upper limit of the vitamin C dosage per day. This is because excessive supplemental vitamin C could be too much at one time, and your body can’t excrete it quickly enough.
While the vitamin C dosage for adults that is typically found in a supplement might be far higher than the 75 milligrams a day that adults actually need, you don’t need to worry until you exceed the upper limit of 2,000 milligrams, per the advice of the Mayo Clinic. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health states that people can take up to 3,000 milligrams before they start to see adverse symptoms.
Those who take megadoses of vitamin C might suffer diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, gastritis, fatigue, headaches and insomnia. The National Institutes of Health notes that people with hemochromatosis, in which the body stores too much iron, could suffer iron overload and damage body tissue if they take excessive amounts of vitamin C.
It’s important to note that if you’ve been trying to reap extra vitamin C benefits by taking supplements and are now ready to cut back, you should do so slowly. Harvard Health highlights that people who have taken too much for a prolonged period of time will metabolize vitamin C faster than normal, and cutting back too quickly could mean your body won’t absorb enough.
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Could 5000 Iu Vitamin D Per Day Be Toxic
Several previous GrassrootsHealth posts have addressed the topic of how much is too much for vitamin D, including a review of a study by Kimball et al., a response to address the concern for kidney stones and kidney diseases with high vitamin D intake, and an overview of when to be concerned about vitamin D toxicity.
Vitamin C And Vaccination
Can vitamin C prevent side effects from vaccination?High-dose vitamin C safely prevents and treats vaccine side effects. This has been evident in our experience. We watched high dose, saturation level vitamin C bring our daughter back to health after a severe vaccine reaction. We watched high dose, saturation level vitamin C prevent vaccination side effects. We give both of our children saturation levels of C before, during and after immunizations. We don’t give the amount of vitamin C we think might work we give enough to get the job done.
For more information about vitamin C dosing at vaccination time, here are the articles I wrote about our experience:
“Don’t Vaccinate without Vitamin C”
“Vaccinations, Vitamin C, and “Choice”
Additionally see “Vitamin C Prevents Vaccination Side Effects, Increases Effectiveness” by Thomas E. Levy, MD, available at .
Why did you choose to vaccinate your children?Philosophical, personal or conscientiously held belief exemptions to vaccinations are not lawful in New York State where our family lives. We comply with state mandated vaccinations, but just the ones required for school, and no more. So yes, we “chose” to have our children vaccinated. Truly, though, we didn’t feel we had much choice.
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Is Vitamin C Good For High Blood Pressure
According to scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, high doses of vitamin C an average of 500 mg per day may produce small reductions of blood pressure. Vitamin C may act as a diuretic, removing excess fluid from your body. This may help lower the pressure within your blood vessels.
What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat soluble nutrient that is categorized into two forms: vitamin D-2 and vitamin D-3. Vitamin D-2 is processed using plants and is used to fortify foods such as milk. Vitamin D-3 is the form that is created when your body is exposed to the ultra-violet B rays of sunlight. It can also be acquired by eating animal products, such as oily fish, as they process and create vitamin D-3 similar to the way you do. Vitamin D supplements come in both forms, though there is research that shows that the D-3 form is more effective. A study published in the November 2004 issue of “The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism” found that vitamin D-2 is much less effective in humans than vitamin D-3. They found that vitamin D-3 had a greater degree of success when it came to raising and maintaining the body’s level of 25 hydroxyvitamin D in the blood.
Summary Of Use During Lactation
Vitamin C is a normal component of human milk and is a key milk antioxidant. The recommended vitamin C intake in lactating women is 120 mg daily, and for infants aged 6 months or less is 40 mg daily. High daily doses up to 1000 mg increase milk levels, but not enough to cause a health concern for the breastfed infant and is not a reason to discontinue breastfeeding. Nursing mothers may need to supplement their diet to achieve the recommended intake or to correct a known deficiency. Maternal doses of vitamin C in prenatal vitamins at or near the recommended intake do not alter milk levels.
Donor milk subjected to Holder pasteurization has lower vitamin C levels than levels reported in fresh milk and lower than unpasteurized milk. Holder pasteurization does not reduce biochemical signals of donor milk lipid oxidation status. However, the relative antioxidant contribution of donor milk vitamin C content compared to vitamin E after pasteurization has not been studied. The flash-heat method of treating breastmilk to reduce HIV transmission does not change the milk vitamin C content.
Freezing freshly expressed mature milk from hospitalized mothers of term and preterm infants does not change milk vitamin C levels for at least 3 months of freezer storage. After 6 to 12 months of freezing , vitamin C levels can decrease by 15 to 30%. Storage at -80 degrees C preserves vitamin C levels for up to 8 months, with 15% loss by 12 months.