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What Is The Maximum Vitamin C Per Day

What Is Considered A Megadose Of Vitamin C

How Much Vitamin C Should I Take ? |Dr.Michael Greger

Vitamin C megadosage is a term describing the consumption or injection of vitamin C in doses well beyond the current Recommended Dietary Allowance of 90 milligrams per day, and often well beyond the tolerable upper intake level of 2,000 milligrams per day.

Recommended Daily Intake Of Vitamins And Minerals


– The above-stated values are not meant for diagnosis, these are mainly reference values for informational purposes.

– Most of these values are based on a 2000 calorie intake for people of 4 or more years of age. This reference is applied because it approximates the caloric requirements for postmenopausal women. This group has the highest risk for excessive intake of calories and fat.

– Values on labels are stated Daily Reference values of Recommended Daily Intake . The RDI is a renewed value referring to the old Recommended Dietary Allowance . All values in this table are new RDI values.

– Maximum values are based on Food and Drug Administration values, the World Health Organization , BBC Health values, the European Union Directive and values from various other governmental and private agencies in the USA and the UK.

– Values from the World Health Organization may be somewhat lower than those of the FDA for various vitamins and minerals. Examples of differences : Mg: -60 mg, Vitamin B6: -0,5 mg, Vitamin B12: -4 µg, vitamin C: -15 mg, Vitamin K: -35 mg, folate: -220 µg.

– Elements that have a recommended daily intake within µg range are sometimes referred to as trace elements .

Information on vitamins can be found from the vitamins overview page

Upper Level Of Intake Vitamin C

It is not possible to establish a UL for vitamin C, but 1,000 mg/day is a prudent limit.

Rationale: It is not possible to establish with any certainty a UL for supplementary vitamin C, as data are too inconclusive. However, expert bodies have suggested that intakes of no more than 1,000 mg/day for adults would be prudent .

The UK Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals has suggested a guidance level of 1,000 mg based on a LOAEL of 3,000-4,000 mg/day from the study of Cameron & Campbell , applying an UF of 3 to extrapolate to a NOAEL of 1,000 mg/day. The US Food and Nutrition Board used the same data but applied an UF of only 1.5 to give a NOAEL of 2,000 mg which it adopted as the Tolerable Upper Intake for adults ranging down to 400 mg in children aged 1-3 years.

Vitamin C can also enhance non-haem iron absorption and thus may increase iron-induced tissue damage in individuals with haemochromatosis . Haemochromatosis is a condition of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency that occurs in about 1 in 300 people of northern European descent . However, the possibility of such adverse effects in this group has not been systematically examined.

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Megadoses May Lead To Kidney Stones

According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, the highest recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 120 mg per day. Thats only for 19+ year old women who are breastfeeding. Smokers are also advised to use an extra 35 mg per day.

For non-smokers and those who are not pregnant, the RDA is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.

All of those amounts are said to be much higher than the minimum required to protect against vitamin C deficiency.

Being water soluble, you can use more safely and there is plenty of science to suggest benefits of doing so. How much vitamin C should I take per day?

The following are the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels according to the same U.S. government source.

Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for Vitamin C
2,000 mg
*Formula and food should be the only sources of vitamin C for infants.

In adult men and women, 2,000 mg per day of ascorbic acid is considered to be the maximum safe amount to use on a long-term basis. This limit is for the total combined intake coming from both food and supplement sources. Exceeding this dose will increase the risk of side effects.

What is megadosing? There is no official definition but generally its when nutrients are eaten or consumed in amounts far greater than the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels.

Lets begin with what might be happening with even lower amounts.

Of course the next logical question is, how many milligrams of the vitamin were they taking per day?

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Best Maximum Intake Of Vitamin C Per Day

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Dosage For Healthy Individuals

For healthy individuals, vitamin C dosage differs according to age and sex. The average normal content of ascorbic acid in human body is about 1.5 g. Daily, our body usually consumes 34% of this pool. In order to keep this pool balanced, the daily oral intake should be 200300 mg of vitamin C. The daily intake of 5 fruits or vegetables will provide a 200 mg of vitamin C which will result in 70 M plasma level. It was also found that the uptake of vitamin C differs from tissue to another .

As an average, the RDA of vitamin C for adult healthy men is about 90 mg and for healthy women is about 75 mg. The ULs dosage was calculated at a level of 2 g per day for healthy individuals . Based on gender, the RDA of both males and females should not be less than 90 mg which secure the neutrophil saturation and urinary excretion. The maximum bioavailability could be reached at 500 mg dose . It was found that the oral route could produce a maximum 220 mol/L of vitamin C plasma concentration even with high dosage administration while the intravenous route produces higher levels which could reach to 1760 mol/L .

The recommended dosage also differs according to the country or health institute that recommended this dosage. The recommended dosage of vitamin C can only maintain its plasma level constant up to 56 h only .

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:

  • Diarrhea

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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How Is The % Dv For Vitamin C Calculated

The Daily Value used in nutrition labelling is based on 60 mg of vitamin C for a reference diet.

For example, if a food product has 20 mg of vitamin C, the product would have a % Daily Value for vitamin C of 33%. × 100 = 33%.

Remember: 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot for all nutrients.

Vitamin C Dosage In Stressful Patients

What’s the Optimal Dose of Vitamin C?

In people under stressful conditions either physically or emotionally, vitamin C deficiency is a common incidence. Serum levels of stress indicators were measured in pilots and reported as following 21.1% higher malondialdehyde , 21.7% higher superoxide dismutase , and 25.1% higher total antioxidant capacity . Higher doses of vitamin C are recommended . Among animals, their bodies can produce 5 times of vitamin C when exposed to stressful conditions. Doses of 30200 times greater than the RDA of 90 mg/day are recommended during stress .

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Why Do We Need Vitamin C At All

Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Often, we think of citrus fruit as the best vitamin C delivery system, but you can also get it from peppers, tomatoes, and cauliflower.

Once its in your system, the C helps your immune system function at its best and protect against damage from free radicals. Plus, ascorbic acid is needed to make collagen, that wondrous protein that helps heal wounds and keep our skin looking young and lovely .

Our bodies cant make vitamin C on their own, so its important that we get enough ascorbic acid from food or other outside sources.

Vitamin C deficiency is fairly rare in Western countries, but it can happen. If you take a long break from fresh produce , its possible to get scurvy which causes inflamed gums, skin spots, depression, and eventually death.

Its not common or likely if you have access to healthy food and produce, but its good to be mindful of your vitamin C intake all the same.

Impair The Effectiveness Of Niacin

Evidence suggests that taking vitamin C supplements may impair the bodys ability to increase high density lipoprotein cholesterol in people taking the combination drug niacin-simvastatin. This drug combines the vitamin niacin with the statin simvastatin , and people take it to treat high cholesterol.

Doctors consider HDL cholesterol the good cholesterol because it reduces the amount of harmful cholesterol in the blood.

If a person takes vitamin C supplements and niacin-simvastatin, they should talk to their doctor about ways to make each more effective. Doctors do not know whether vitamin C also affects the ability of other medicines similar to Zocor.

A persons body cannot make vitamin C, so people need to eat enough foods that contain vitamin C to meet their daily needs. If someone is at risk of a vitamin C deficiency, they can take vitamin C supplements.

The advise aiming for the following RDA of vitamin C each day:

90 mg 75 mg

People who smoke should take 35 mg more vitamin C per day than those who do not smoke.

During pregnancy or when breastfeeding, women should get the following levels of vitamin C per day:

  • 1418 years: 80 mg during pregnancy and 115 mg when breastfeeding
  • 19 years and older: 85 mg during pregnancy and 120 mg when breastfeeding

There is not enough research to suggest an RDA for vitamin C in those younger than 1 year of age. As a result, the ODS provide an adequate intake, which is the amount that is likely to be sufficient:

  • broccoli

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Vitamins And Minerals For Older Adults

Vitamins help your body grow and work the way it should. There are 13 essential vitamins vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins .

Vitamins have different jobs to help keep the body working properly. Some vitamins help you resist infections and keep your nerves healthy, while others may help your body get energy from food or help your blood clot properly. By following the Dietary Guidelines, you will get enough of most of these vitamins from food.

Like vitamins, minerals also help your body function. Minerals are elements that our bodies need to function that can be found on the earth and in foods. Some minerals, like iodine and fluoride, are only needed in very small quantities. Others, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, are needed in larger amounts. As with vitamins, if you eat a varied diet, you will probably get enough of most minerals.

Recommended Intake Of Vitamin C For Healthy People

Best Max Vitamin C In A Day

The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for vitamin C varies according to age, sex, and life stage of healthy people. Needs are fairly high in infancy, decrease slightly during childhood, and peak in early adulthood. Pregnancy and breastfeeding increase a woman’s vitamin C needs. Vitamin C is present in breastmilk, where it serves as an antioxidant for the mother’s milk.

The goal of meeting the RDA is to maintain an optimal blood concentration of approximately 50 micromoles per liter of blood to prevent oxidation of low-density lipoproteins. The indicators used to estimate this requirement include the vitamin’s capacity to provide antioxidant protection in neutrophils against reactive oxygen species produced during phagocytosis prevent DNA and chromosomal damage enhance immune function facilitate collagen metabolism and carnitine biosynthesis and maintain periodontal health.

A tolerable upper intake limit of 2,000 milligrams per day has been established to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal complications commonly associated with higher doses of vitamin C, such as diarrhea. However, no scientific evidence demonstrates that vitamin C administered in doses up to 10 grams per day in adults is toxic or detrimental to health.

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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.

Oral Route Side Effects

Side effects of vitamin C could be only detected with large doses exceeding the ULs for each individual especially on a single intake. Most of the vitamin C drawbacks were reported during oral uptake. They include diarrhea, abdominal pain , renal stones and enamel erosion during chewing .

11.1.1 GIT disturbance

Because of the poor oral bioavailability of vitamin C, toxic signs and symptoms may appear with large doses as a single dose. Diarrhea can occur. To avoid diarrhea occurrence, 2 g is the maximum permissible single dose . Diarrhea and abdominal pain may occur due to the excretion of large amount of un-metabolized vitamin C . Such manifestations are dose related. It can be controlled by either, reducing the total daily dose, dividing the total dose into multiple small doses, administrating the vitamin with food to decrease its absorption or to take the buffered form of vitamin C as sodium ascorbate or calcium ascorbate . Even the usage of encapsulated vitamin C could not protect against the gastric upset. The gastrointestinal symptoms usually disappear within 12 weeks .

11.1.2 Renal stones

Also, it was found that vitamin C increases the urinary execration of uric acid and decreasing the plasma level of uric acid. But others demand the uricosuric effects of vitamin C as the rapid migration of uric acid from tissues. It was detected that 1 or 2 g per day increases the urinary oxalate stones were detected. Some studies detect lowering of urine pH after vitamin C intake .

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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.

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How to Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamin C

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You probably pick up a bottle of multivitamins thinking it provides everything you need. However, that isnt always the case. Many multivitamins contain much less of the daily recommendation for vitamin C as well as other nutrients needed during your golden years. Fortunately, you get vitamin C from nearly every fruit and vegetable in your diet, so even if your multivitamin is lacking, your favorite produce should pick up the slack.

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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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