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What Is The Lethal Dose Of Vitamin C

What To Expect At The Emergency Room

FOUR Benefits of High Dose Vitamin C IVs

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

The health care provider will measure and monitor the person’s vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated. The person may receive:

  • Activated charcoal, depending on the vitamin taken
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Breathing support, including oxygen, tube through the mouth into the lungs, and breathing machine
  • X-rays
  • ECG
  • Intravenous fluids through a vein
  • Laxatives
  • Medicines to remove iron from the body, if needed
  • Blood transfusions , if needed

In severe cases, the person may be admitted to the hospital.

The Newest Synthetic Opioids

The newest generations of opioids are even more potent than fentanyl. Sufentanil, which was just approved by the FDA, has been estimated at 10x more potent than fentanyl. This drug is intended only for hospital patients, but it has generated some controversy given its very high potency.

Carfentanil, the last drug on the list above, has not been approved by the FDA. It is only approved for veterinary uses. However, it is often smuggled and illegally imported into the United States. Only a tiny amount of this, amounting to a couple of milligrams, can kill an individual not accustomed to opioids.

Food Sources Of Vitamin C


Bell pepper, red, raw

Bell pepper, green, raw

Lemon juice

In large population studies, people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C appear to have a reduced risk for various types of cancer, including cancers of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, colon, and lung. But it’s not clear that these benefits come specifically from vitamin C. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study found that a daily supplement containing 500 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 international units of vitamin E, 15 mg of beta carotene, 80 mg of zinc, and 2 mg of copper can help slow the progression of macular degeneration, an age-related eye disease that causes vision loss. But we don’t know what benefits, if any, are conferred by vitamin C in particular.

Many people take vitamin C supplements in unnecessarily high doses to prevent or treat various conditions for which its effectiveness is unproved. The vitamin C supplements have variously been touted for preventing cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis, staving off sunburn, and improving the appearance of wrinkles. None of these purported benefits have been verified in scientific studies.

The recommended vitamin C dosage per day for healthy women is 75 mg per day . For adults, the tolerable upper intake level the highest daily intake likely to pose no risks is 2,000 mg per day.

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Abdominal Radiation At 13 Gy Caused Lethal Gi Damage Without Inducing Bone Marrow Aplasia

Severe bone marrow aplasia was observed in the lumbar vertebrae, the sternum, and the femur in mice at 7 days after WBI at 8 Gy . In contrast, the mice after abdominal radiation at 13 Gy retained a substantial number of bone marrow cells in the sternum and femur but not in the lumbar vertebrae that was directly exposed to a substantial dose during abdominal radiation . Bone marrow function may persist even after lethal abdominal radiation . However, marked denudation of the gastrointestinal mucosa, especially the ileac mucosa, was observed in the mice at 7 days after abdominal radiation at 13 Gy . In contrast, the mice receiving lethal WBI at 8 Gy did not show such severe intestinal damage . Abdominal radiation thus induced severe GI damage but not extensive bone marrow damage in mice.

Figure 9.

The pathological findings of the bone marrow and ileum in mice after abdominal radiation at 13 Gy or WBI at 8 Gy .

The Side Effects Of Too Much Vitamin C

Child Overdose Vitamin C

There are actually quite a few side effects related to excessive Vitamin C consumption. Your digestive tract will probably be the first thing to notice that something isnt right.

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and esophagitis. You may also notice stomach cramps, diarrhea or intestinal obstruction.

However, you can also experience symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, feeling sleepy or insomnia. Flushed skin is also a symptom.

A more serious side effect is kidney stones. And the longer you consume 2,000 mg or more of Vitamin C each day, it increases your risk of experiencing significant side effects.

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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.

Postexposure Treatment Of Vitamin C Increased The Plasma Vitamin C And Biological Antioxidant Potential Levels In Mice After Wbi

Intraperitoneal administration with 3 g/kg vitamin C markedly increased the plasma vitamin C levels in mice with and without 7.5Gy WBI at 30 min and 1 h after administration , and the levels were then decreased at 2 h . The vitamin C levels in the plasma were measured by the SRL laboratory using HPLC. The ferricreducing ability in plasma was also measured spectrophotometrically using the BAP test . In brief, a colored solution containing ferric ions is reduced to ferrous ions by reduction of the sample, and the antioxidant activity of the sample is proportional to the measured decrease in absorbance. The BAP assays were performed on the FRAS 4 analyzer according to the manufacturers protocols. These plasma BAP levels were markedly increased at 30 min after i.p. administration with vitamin C in both irradiated and nonirradiated mice . Intraperitoneal administration of vitamin C potently induced antioxidant capability in mice, even after irradiation. Whereas, these increased plasma BAP levels reduced to normal levels in both irradiated and nonirradiated mice at 2 h after i.p. administration of vitamin C .


p < 0.01 vs. vitamin C .

Mice received WBI at 7.5 Gy or did not. Subsequently, 3 g/kg of vitamin C or saline was administered to the mice. Data shown are mean ± SE from five mice.

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Can We Overdose On Vitamin C

Yes, you can. Many people assume that since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, you can never take too much of it. Their reasoning is that youll essentially just pee out any excess. Although this is true, if you take more than the amount your body is able to excrete, it will not go over well. Side effects include nausea and diarrhea two things any sane person should avoid.

Watch Out For These Fat

High Dose IV Vitamin C – Boost Immune System

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.

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Role In Human Metabolicprocesses

Background biochemistry

Vitamin C is an electron donor , and probably all of its biochemical and molecular functions can beaccounted for by this function. The potentially protective role of vitamin C asan antioxidant is discussed in the antioxidants chapter of thisreport.

Enzymatic functions

Vitamin C acts as an electron donor for 11 enzymes . Three of those enzymes are found in fungi but not in humans or othermammals . They are involved in reutilisation pathways forpyrimidines and the deoxyribose moiety of deoxynucleosides. Of the 8 remaininghuman enzymes, three participate in collagen hydroxylation and twoin carnitine biosynthesis of the three enzymes whichparticipate in collagen hydroxylation, one is necessary for biosynthesis of thecatecholamine norepinephrine , one is necessary for amidation ofpeptide hormones , and one is involved in tyrosine metabolism.

Ascorbate interacts with enzymes having either monooxygenaseor dioxygenase activity. The monooxygenases dopamine b-monooxygenase andpeptidyl-glycine a-monooxygenase incorporate a single oxygen atom into asubstrate, either a dopamine or a glycine-terminating peptide. The remainingenzymes are dioxygenases which incorporate two oxygen atoms in two differentways. The enzyme 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase incorporates two oxygenatoms into one product. The other dioxygenase incorporates one oxygen atom intosuccinate and one into the enzyme-specific substrate.

Miscellaneous functions

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.

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What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Ascorbic Acid

You should not use ascorbic acid if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a vitamin C supplement.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using ascorbic acid if you have:

  • kidney disease or a history of kidney stones
  • hereditary iron overload disorder or
  • if you smoke .

Your dose needs may be different during pregnancy or while you are breast-feeding a baby. Do not use ascorbic acid without your doctor’s advice in either case.

How Should I Take Ascorbic Acid

High doses of vitamin C to improve cancer treatment passes ...

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C increases with age. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. You may also consult the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database listings for more information.

Drink plenty of liquids while you are taking ascorbic acid.

The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.

Ascorbic acid gum may be chewed as long as desired and then thrown away.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Keep the orally disintegrating tablet in the package until you are ready to take it. Use dry hands to remove the tablet and place it in your mouth. Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves.

Store ascorbic acid at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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Other Ways To Boost Your Immune System

Despite what supplement makers have led you to believe, there is no scientific evidence that vitamin C directly prevents colds and flu viruses. In fact, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine says that taking these costly supplements only slightly minimizes the duration of a cold. Furthermore, taking vitamin C after getting sick doesnt help at all.

Youre better off saving your money and making sure you get enough vitamin C in your daily diet instead.

As with other preventive health measures, the best way to ward off cold and flu viruses is to take care of yourself. You can accomplish this by:

  • getting adequate sleep every night
  • exercising regularly

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 .

Table 2. Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin C

Life Stage

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Vitamin C Supplement Features

Supplement form: There are three basic supplement forms: powder, chewable tablets, and pills or capsules. One type isnt necessarily better than the other because all can contain different amounts of vitamin C. Powders offer more doses per dollar, but you have to mix it in liquid before ingesting. What really matters is the form thats the easiest for you to take and wont upset your stomach.

Dosage: Supplement dosage varies widely from as little as 25 mg to 1,500 mg. However, the body can only absorb so much vitamin C at once, and it isnt recommended that you take over 2,000 mg per day. Once your body has reached its limit, the kidneys flush out any excess vitamin C, which is why physicians recommend taking a few smaller doses throughout the day rather than one mega dose. The body absorbs roughly 70% to 90% of the vitamin C that enters it through food or supplements. However, as the amount of vitamin C in the body increases, the absorption rate drops to around 50%.

How Much Should I Have Every Day

High Dose Vitamin C as an alternative therapy.

Doctors recommend taking 65 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C a day. Notice how this is much less than one supplement would give you, so theres really no need for 500 to 1,000 mg supplements. You really dont need to worry about your intake much at all. As long as you have a healthy and balanced diet and eat your fruits and veggies, you will probably intake the suggested amount or more every day without even realizing it.

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Taking Too Much Vitamin C Can Be Dangerous Study Finds

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Those who think that if a little vitamin C is good, more must be better should think again, says a team of British researchers, who found that a supplement of 500 milligrams a day could damage people’s genes.

Many Americans take that much, or more, in hopes of preventing colds and reaping the widely celebrated antioxidant benefits of vitamin C. Antioxidants, which block cellular and molecular damage caused by the highly reactive molecules called free radicals, are believed to protect against heart disease, cancer, eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration, and other chronic health problems.

But the British researchers, chemical pathologists at the University of Leicester, found in a six-week study of 30 healthy men and women that a daily 500-milligram supplement of vitamin C had pro-oxidant as well as antioxidant effects on the genetic material DNA. The researchers found that at the 500-milligram level, vitamin C promoted genetic damage by free radicals to a part of the DNA, the adenine bases, that had not previously been measured in studies of the vitamin’s oxidative properties.

”The vitamin C in supplements mobilizes harmless ferric iron stored in the body and converts it to harmful ferrous iron, which induces damage to the heart and other organs,” Dr. Herbert said in an interview.

In contrast, vitamin C naturally present in food, he said, has no oxidizing effects.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Almost any clinician, including the nurse practitioner, can prescribe vitamin C. However, unless there is a deficiency, the emphasis should be on eating a healthy diet that consists of fruits and veggies. Supplements of vitamin C are relatively safe but can be expensive in the long run. Plus, because there is no oversight on supplements, product quality can be an issue. There is very little good evidence to support using vitamin C to prevent most chronic disorders like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, or cancer.

Whether prescribed by the clinician or taken as an OTC supplement, the entire interprofessional healthcare team, including all clinicians, nursing staff, and pharmacist, should know that the patient is taking vitamin C and be able to offer counsel, signs of deficiency and/or excessive intake, and offer counsel on how to optimize the use of this vitamin to achieve optimal outcomes.

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