How Much Do I Need
Vitamin C dissolves in water and is not stored in the body, so we do need a consistent supply to maintain adequate levels, says registered dietitian Jillian Greaves. The recommended daily intake is about 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg per day for men. For women, you could get more than your daily requirement by eating one kiwi and men could have half a papaya and call it a day.
Negative Side Effects Of A Vitamin C Overdose
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that supports your immune system, helps your body absorb iron and promotes growth and development. But while conventional wisdom may suggest that it’s good to load up on the nutrient, that’s not always the case. So, can you overdose on vitamin C?
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First things first, here’s how much vitamin C adults should eat per day, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- âPeople assigned female at birth:â 75 mg
- âPeople assigned male at birth:â 90 mg
- âPregnant people:â 120 mg
But overdosing on vitamin C is possible, per the Mayo Clinic. Though the nutrient is water-soluble , you may not be able to process megadoses fast enough to avoid side effects. As a result, you can experience temporary symptoms of vitamin C overdose.
It’s best to get vitamin C from plant sources rather than supplements, according to the Mayo Clinic. This will help you avoid vitamin C overdose symptoms while still ensuring you get enough of the nutrient.
Still, to help you determine if too much vitamin C is the source of your discomfort, here are the vitamin C side effects to be aware of.
How Many Milligrams of Vitamin C Is Too Much?
According to the Mayo Clinic, adults shouldnât take more than 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day.
But if you check the label of vitamin C supplements, you may notice that some contain more than the recommended daily dose. And indeed, taking megadoses like 3,000 or 6,000 milligrams of vitamin C is too much.
High Doses Of Zinc Can Make You Feel Sick
As stated by GoodRx Health, zinc is an important mineral that plays many roles in maintaining a healthy body. It works to support the immune system, metabolism, and skin health. Similarly, it can also help with wound healing, fighting off infections, and the senses of taste and smell. While most individuals likely get enough zinc through food, many people also consume additional zinc in other forms such as pills, lozenges, nasal sprays, and gels. Zinc can also be found in many multivitamin products, cough and cold medicines, and homeopathic products. Additionally, it’s noted by the informational source that the recommended amount of zinc for individuals varies depending on age.
Similar to many other supplements, it is possible to consume too much zinc. According to Mather Hospital, excessive zinc supplements can be dangerous and even lead to copper deficiency, which can cause numbness and weakness in the arms and legs in addition to other serious neurological problems.
Likewise, Healthline says that accidental zinc poisoning can be caused by ingesting too many dietary supplements, multivitamins, or household products containing zinc. If you’re worried that you might have consumed too much zinc, look for common signs and symptoms of overdose. Some examples include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, changes in your sense of taste, and frequent infections.
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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.
Dosage: How Much Vitamin C Should I Get
Always speak with a healthcare provider before taking a supplement to ensure that the supplement and dosage are appropriate for your individual needs.
For most healthy people, it is easy to get adequate amounts of vitamin C through food. You can meet your recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C each day by eating just one of the following:
- Kiwi fruit
Two important caveats to these recommendations are:
- If you smoke, take an additional 35 milligrams per day.
- If you’ve been diagnosed with a vitamin C deficiency, you’ll need between 100 to 200 milligrams per day until a blood test shows normal levels.
Taking high doses may be appropriate for some people, but it usually provides no extra benefit. Your body controls how much vitamin C it absorbs.
That means it’ll take what it needs from food and supplements, and anything beyond that comes out in your urine. Taking 1,000 milligrams a day or more actually drops your absorption rate by about 50%.
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Possibility Of Genetic Damage
While vitamin C is well-known for its antioxidant properties, some evidence point to its pro-oxidant tendencies in certain circumstances one of them being higher dosages. In one study where healthy subjects were administered supplemental vitamin C every day for 6 weeks, oxidative damage was reported at a dosage of 500 mg per day. Researchers speculate that as a pro-oxidant, vitamin C supplements can alter and damage DNA and even lead to diseases like cancer. This effect was not seen in dosages less than 500 mg and may be restricted to excessive supplemental use rather than intake via natural foods. However, these claims have been disputed in other studies and will need further extensive study before it can be confirmed.111213
How To Take It
The best way to take vitamin C supplements is 2 – 3 times per day, with meals, depending on the dosage. Some studies suggest that adults should take 250 – 500 mg twice a day for any benefit. Talk to your doctor before taking more than 1,000 mg of vitamin C on a daily basis and before giving vitamin C to a child.
Daily intake of dietary vitamin C is listed below.
- Men over 18 years: 90 mg
- Women over 18 years: 75 mg
- Pregnant women 14 – 18 years: 80 mg
- Pregnant women over 18 years: 85 mg
- Breastfeeding women 14 – 18 years: 115 mg
- Breastfeeding women over 18 years: 120 mg
Because smoking depletes vitamin C, people who smoke may need an additional 35 mg per day.
The dose recommended to prevent or treat many of the conditions mentioned in the Uses section is often 500 – 1,000 mg per day.
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Stop Taking Vitamin C Supplements If Youre 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.
What Can Happen If You Get Too Much Vitamin A
According to the Mayo Clinic, even a single too-large dose of Vitamin A over 200,000 mcg can cause health problems like nausea, vomiting, vertigo, and blurry vision. Taking more than 10,000 mcg a day of oral vitamin A supplements over a longer period of time can cause even worse conditions including headache, bone thinning, liver damage, diarrhea, skin irritation, joint and bone pain, and birth defects in pregnant women. That’s why you need to be careful to follow a doctor’s prescription or the directions on the bottle when taking a Vitamin A supplement.
But what about skin products that contain Vitamin A? You may have heard rumors that retinol can cause you to overdose on Vitamin A. Is this true? According to Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, the answer is a clear no. She told Refinery 29 such rumors are “crazy” and explained, “First of all, there’s never been a case from someone using too much on their body. Retinol is the most naturally abundant form of vitamin A within the skin, so there’s a natural limitation to how much you retain at any given point. If you become saturated, it just passes right through. It’s certainly not being absorbed.”
So bottom line? Make sure, maybe with the help of your doctor, that you’re getting enough Vitamin A, but don’t overdo it on supplements and don’t worry about that retinol.
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Too Much Folic Acid Can Lead To Serious Health Issues
As stated by OASH , folic acid is an essential nutrient that everyone needs to maintain a healthy body. Folic acid, as well as folate, assists the body with making new red blood cells. Likewise, this nutrient is extremely important for those looking to get pregnant or are already pregnant. That’s because folic acid protects fetuses against potential serious birth defects. Those worried about their intake of this B vitamin should know that folic acid is found in food sources such as bread, pasta, and cereal folate is also derived from leafy green vegetables, oranges, and beans.
On the other hand, OASH stated that too much folic acid isn’t good for our bodies. You shouldn’t consume more than 1,000 micrograms of folic acid a day unless directed otherwise by a medical professional. Additionally, it’s noted that too much of this nutrient can hide signs that you’re deficient in vitamin B12, which could potentially lead to nerve damage. Similarly, Healthline declared that there are three other possible side effects that can result from too much folic acid. These include an accelerated age-related mental decline, a slowdown of brain development in children, and an increased chance of cancer recurring in those with cancerous cells.
What Happens If You Take Too Much Of These Vitamins And Minerals
While plenty of individuals choose to take various vitamins and minerals in supplement form, it’s crucial to watch your intake when it comes to consumption. As noted by WebMD, it’s important to get nutrients in your diet, but taking too many vitamins and minerals isn’t healthy in fact, it can have the opposite effect than what’s intended. For example, routinely consuming too much vitamin C or zinc can lead to minor upsets like nausea, diarrhea, or even stomach cramps. Though those symptoms might sound fairly minor, these aren’t the only side effects that can occur.
For instance, if you consume too much selenium, you could experience hair loss, gastrointestinal issues, exhaustion, and even mild nerve damage, per WebMD. While taking supplements might seem like a good idea, overdoing it is never beneficial. “There’s no real advantage to taking more than the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals,” said Johanna Dwyer, RD. She added that when taking supplements, you shouldn’t ingest more than the daily recommended value. With a large variety of vitamins and minerals available in convenient capsules, it’s important to know what might happen if you take too much of a specific supplement.
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What Happens When You Overdose On Vitamin C
Vitamin C is commonly found in many fruits and vegetables. It is a water-soluble vitamin with a great impact on the humans body. Vitamin C boosts the immune system, has great antioxidant properties, takes part in the process of collagen production, helps the absorption of iron in the gastrointestinal system, etc. The only problem with vitamin C is that the human body does not produce it or store it. For this reason, vitamin C should be taken daily through diet, and if needed through supplements. However, on the other hand, overdose of vitamin C can be toxic.
Is Taking A Huge Dose Of Vitamin C Bad For Me
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.
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Vitamin C Benefits And Uses
Supplement use should be individualized and vetted by a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietician, pharmacist, or healthcare provider. No supplement is intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Vitamin C has been marketed for use to treat and/or prevent many conditions, from the common cold and COVID-19 to arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. Even so, there’s scant evidence to support most claims about vitamin C.
What researchers have learned is that vitamin C appears to play a lot of important roles in your body. The most beneficial aspect may be its antioxidant activity.
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.
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Elevated Blood Calcium Levels
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from the food you eat. In fact, this is one of its most important roles.
However, if your vitamin D intake is excessive, your blood calcium may reach levels that can cause unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms.
The symptoms of vitamin D toxicity are primarily related to hypercalcemia, which means excessively high blood calcium levels (
Hypercalcemia typically develops after people take megadoses of vitamin D for a prolonged period of time.
For example, a 2015 case study reported that an older man with dementia who received 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily for 6 months was repeatedly hospitalized with symptoms related to high calcium levels .
In the 2020 case report mentioned earlier, the woman who took an average of 130,000 IU of vitamin D per day for 20 months was also hospitalized for symptoms related to hypercalcemia .
These included nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, and kidney injury. Her blood calcium levels were 3.23 mmol/L (
- poor appetite
However, not all people with hypercalcemia experience the exact same symptoms.
One woman experienced nausea and weight loss after taking a supplement that was later found to contain 78 times more vitamin D than stated on the label .
Importantly, these symptoms occurred in response to extremely high doses of vitamin D3, which led to calcium levels greater than 12 mg/dL.
You Could Develop Kidney Stones
According to Dr. David Hernandez, a urologist and professor for at University of South Florida, it’s best to get vitamin C from your diet. Taking too much of the supplement could lead to kidney stones over time, he warns.
“There are some studies suggesting that not dietary, but supplemental vitamin C at doses more than a gram a day, a thousand milligrams a day, can increase your risk for stones because of the effect of the oxalate levels in your urine increasing,” Hernandez told WTSP.
Oxalate is a bodily waste product that rids you of excess vitamin C, normally through urine. In some cases, it can bind to minerals and form crystals, which is the cause of kidney stones.
To avoid this, eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, which should provide you with enough vitamin C naturally. Here are 5 Foods High in This Vitamin That Can Help Protect You From COVID-19.
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What Happen If You Take Too Much Vitamin C
Taking more vitamin C than recommended is not a life-threatening situation. However, various signs and symptoms may appear, such as:
1. Gastrointestinal Problems
An upset stomach, together with abdominal cramps, diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting, are common signs of vitamin C overdose. Other possible gastrointestinal problems include excessive flatulence, abdominal bloating, indigestion, tender abdominal mass on the left side of the abdomen, etc. All these signs and symptoms tend to get better once the vitamin C consumption in higher doses than normal is stopped.
2. Oral and Facial Problems
A formation of mouth ulcers and sores is common in overdose of vitamin C. In the face, an eruption of skin rash is possible, often accompanied with facial flushing and itchiness. Dental problems are also possible, mostly cavity problems or even a tooth decay.
An overdose of vitamin C can lead to leg and foot cramps, severe back pain muscle pain or headaches.
Hemolytic anemia is common in a vitamin C overdose. This type of anemia is more common among those who have a genetic enzyme deficiency where the red blood cells are damaged, leading to anemia. Fatigue, weakness and other signs and symptoms of anemia are present.
The overdose can also lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Copper deficiency is also possible due to excessive amounts of vitamin C taken daily with food or with supplement pills.
5. Kidney Stones
6. Iron toxicity
7. Sleep Problems