What Happens If You Get Too Much Vitamin C
The tolerable upper intake level for vitamin C in those 19 years of age and older is 2,000 milligrams.
While too much vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, a megadose may result in gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, nausea and cramps, as well as headaches and insomnia, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The body absorbs less than 50 percent of a vitamin C dosage over 1,000 milligrams a day, per the NIH. What your body doesn’t need it excretes via your urine, so you flush away those excess milligrams.
In contrast, at a more modest vitamin C dosage of 180 milligrams or less, the body will absorb 70 to 90 percent of the antioxidant.
How To Make Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes
First, smoothie cubes are something I love. A smoothie cube is a concentrated blend of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens, liquids, and/or other ingredients that I like to add to my smoothies for an extra boost of nutrients. I’ve created several smoothie cube recipes to get specific natural benefits, just like these smoothie cubes to boost vitamin C.
The vitamin C smoothie cubes are great to add to your regular daily smoothie or when you feel a cold coming on. Four cubes is roughly equal to Â½ cup fruit. So the cubes can be substituted for some of the fruit or added in place of the fruit – totally up to you the vitamin C benefits will be felt either way!
Making smoothie cubes is very simple. Just blend all of the ingredients until smooth and pour into ice cube trays. Let them freeze until firm then store in the freezer to have on hand whenever you need an extra dose of the immune boosting vitamins.
How do you like to get in all the vitamins and minerals you can each day? I love when I can get in a vitamin naturally, and make the most of the benefits that nutrient provides. Let me know if you make these vitamin C cubes by leaving a comment + review below, because I’d love to know what you think!
Vitamin C Dosage: How Much Do You Need
The U.S. government recommends a daily Vitamin C dosage for adult women at 75 mg and for adult men at 90 mg. That means youve already met your daily allowance by eating one large orange.
Weird, huh? Not if youve seen the food pyramid which is primarily composed of grains and breads that, without fortification, include no vitamins. So, when you think about the recommended Vitamin C dosage in context of the other government dietary guidelines, it makes sense. The issue is, like anything else involving diet and nutrient intake, the correct Vitamin C dosage varies by more factors than gender. And numerous scientists and doctors claim the recommended daily allowance is dangerously low.
Indeed, the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C is the minimum amount needed to prevent scurvy, which is just a concise way of saying Vitamin C deficiency that can lead to death. Now, if your main goal is to avoid diseases of 16th century pirates, the 7590 mg per day may suit you just fine. Numerous researchers, dating back to Vitamin C pioneer Linus Pauling, recommend a much higher intake of Vitamin C for optimal wellness, not just deficiency avoidance.
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Recommended Vitamin C Dosage And Timing
When taken for general health, the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C is as follows:
- 40 milligrams per day for children 0 to 6 months
- 50 milligrams per day for children 7 to 12 months
- 15 milligrams per day for children 1 to 3 years
- 25 milligrams per day for children 4 and 8 years
- 45 milligrams per day for children 9 to 13 years
- 65 milligrams per day for females 14 to 18 years
- 75 milligrams per day for males 14 to 18 years
- 75 milligrams per day for females 19 and over
- 90 milligrams per day for males 19 and over
- 80 milligrams per day for pregnant females 14 to 18
- 85 milligrams per day for pregnant females 19 and over
- 115 milligrams per day for breastfeeding females 14 to 18
- 120 milligrams per day for breastfeeding females 19 and over
If you smoke, you should take an extra 35 mg every day. Those who have been diagnosed with a vitamin C deficiency should take 100 to 200 milligrams of vitamin C per day until their blood levels return to normal.
Side Effects Of Vitamin C Supplementation
Many studies have shown no significant adverse health effects to humans, from vitamin C supplementation. People who may experience some discomfort, are those who have:
- a history of kidney stone formation,
- iron overload,
- taken other drugs, as well.
Side effects may be diarrhea, gastrointestinal disturbances due to the osmotic effect of unabsorbed vitamin C, or mild nausea.
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Vitamin C Supplements Dosage And Side Effects
Vitamin C can be taken in a variety of different forms such as
The daily suggested dose to elicit the discussed health benefits is between 500-2000mg. Your body does however have an upper limit when it comes to absorption. Studies have shown that absorption decreases by 50% when taken in excess of 1,000mg. Adverse effects are possible with mega doses greater than 3,000mg including kidney stones, diarrhea, and will produce excess levels of iron in the blood. Absorption does not differ when obtained from foods or supplements. Therefore, a daily dose of 500mg is suggested for optimal absorption and strengthening immunity.
Recommended Daily Dose Of Vitamin C Should Be Doubled Scientists Claim
The recommended dose of vitamin C should be doubled, according to a recent study.
Scientists behind the claim have described the methods behind the 1944 study that continues to inform current day levels as shocking.
However, academics behind a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have said that the research conducted by The Sorby Research Institute was to assess the nutrition levels of Britons during World War II when food was in short supply.
At this time, the aim was to avoid scurvy, rather than maximising health, they claim.
Lead professor Philippe Hujoel said: The vitamin C experiment is a shocking study.
They depleted peoples vitamin C levels long-term and created life-threatening emergencies. It would never fly now.
As part of the study, participants were assigned zero, 10 or 70 milligrams of vitamin C per day for an average of nine months.
Experimental wounds were inflicted on participants during this period, with researchers using the scar strength as a measure of adequate vitamin C, since poor wound healing is is an indicator of scurvy.
Prof Hujoel added: The findings of the re-analyses of the Sorby data suggest that the WHOs recommendation is too low to prevent weak scar strength.
According to the NHS, vitamin C – which is also known as ascorbic acid – has three major functions.
What Is Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as a steroid hormone in the body.
There are two types of vitamin D in the diet:
Vitamin D2 : is found in some mushrooms.
Vitamin D3 : is found in oily fish, fish liver oil, and egg yolks.
D3 is more potent in these two types and raises blood levels of vitamin D by almost twice as much as D2.
A large amount of vitamin D can also be produced on your skin when exposed to UV rays from the sun. Any excess vitamin D is stored in your body fat for later use.
Every cell in your body can absorb vitamin D. This vitamin is involved in many processes, including bone health, immune function, and cancer prevention.
How Much Vitamin C Per Day Is Best
According to NIH, the recommended allowance of vitamin C ranges between 15mg and 75mg for children, 90mg for adult men and 75mg for adult women. Women who are pregnant or lactating should consume more up to 120mg per day. Smokers need an extra 35mg per day.
Image source: NIH fact sheet for professionals
Usually you can get enough vitamin C from a varied diet that includes lots of fruit and veg but you can also take a supplement. Most multivitamin supplements contain vitamin C, or alternatively you can take it on its own.
When you look at the label on the supplement, you may see the vitamin listed as ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids, or sodium ascorbate. A supplement that contains ascorbic acid is a good choice, as this is a form of vitamin C that is easier for the body to absorb.
While serious vitamin C deficiency is now rare, certain health conditions make deficiency more likely. These include AIDS, cancer, and tuberculosis.
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Vitamin C As An Antioxidant
Vitamin C has been recognized and accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration as one of 4 dietary antioxidants, the other 3 being vitamin E, the vitamin A precursor -carotene, and selenium, an essential component of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase and thioredoxin reductase. The Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds of the Food and Nutrition Board has, in principle, concurred with this definition, and in addition will consider other carotenoids. New regulations were recently published in which the FDA stated that vitamin C serves as an effective free radical scavenger to protect cells from damage by reactive oxygen molecules . Statements of the antioxidant properties of vitamin C are also appearing on food labels and in nutrient content claims throughout the United States.
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Can A Vitamin C Supplement Really Keep You From Getting Sick
Despite it’s popularity as a remedy for the common cold, there’s actually no evidence to suggest that a large dose of vitamin C can actually prevent one or any other type of illness, for that matter.
And while you may have heard that a large dose of vitamin C can slightly reduce the duration of a cold, this only applies if you take that large dose every singleday of the year even when you’re not sick. This means that if you rip that vitamin C packet open after your symptoms begin, there’s no evidence to suggest it’ll actually shorten the length of your cold.
As it turns out, boosting your immune system is more complicated than just downing a packet or a pill. And while vitamin C does play an important role in supporting your immune system, it doesn’t take megadoses like the ones found in supplements which often contain 1667% more vitamin C than you actually need every 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
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Pregnant And Lactating Women
Women who are pregnant or lactating also require a higher intake of vitamin C to maintain their plasma vitamin C concentrations near those of other women . The higher requirement is probably due to active placental vitamin C transport, whereby vitamin C concentrations are significantly higher in cord blood and in newborn infants than in the mothers, and to additional loss of vitamin C through milk . The current RDAs for women during pregnancy and lactation are 80 and 100 mg/d, respectively . If a new RDA for healthy, nonsmoking persons is adopted, then recommended intakes for pregnant and lactating women may also need to be adjusted accordingly.
Is Oxidative Damage To Biological Macromolecules Relevant To Human Chronic Diseases
Oxidative damage to biomolecules, such as lipids, DNA, and proteins, has been implicated in many chronic diseases, in particular, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cataract, respectively .
LDL oxidation and cardiovascular disease
It is still uncertain which factors are responsible for the oxidation of LDL in vivo. LDL can be oxidized into a potentially atherogenic form in vitro through metal-ion-dependent oxidation of its lipid component with subsequent modification of apolipoprotein B-100 by reactive aldehyde products of lipid peroxidation, particularly malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal . Whether catalytic metal ions are available in the early lesion in vivo remains a matter of debate . Several metal-ion-independent mechanisms that are primarily enzymatic in nature have been proposed these include mechanisms involving 15-lipoxygenase and myeloperoxidase . The problems of comparing LDL oxidation in vitro with LDL oxidation in vivo were discussed in 2 recent reviews .
DNA oxidation and mutagenesis and carcinogenesis
Protein oxidation and cataract
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What Does The Department Of Health And Social Care Advise
You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
If you take vitamin C supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.
Taking less than 1,000mg of vitamin C supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.
Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020 Next review due: 03 August 2023
Are Vitamin C Supplements Safe
For the most part, vitamin C supplements are safe. Although fruits and vegetables are the best source for proper vitamin C intake, supplements are considered safe in recommended amounts for people who do not get enough from food or have increased vitamin C needs, says Childress.
Before taking a supplement, try boosting your vitamin C intake through food instead, notes Dr. Shafipour. Add foods like berries, citrus, spinach or broccoli to your daily diet. If a supplement is preferable to you, check with your doctor on what they may recommend for you and to verify it will not interfere with any current medications you are taking, he says.
This is especially important for anyone taking medication, as Childress notes that vitamin C supplementation may increase the absorption of aluminum, which she says can be harmful for people taking medications that contain aluminum and can lead to kidney damage.
Its important to remember is that taking too much vitamin C can have negative health consequences. Taking too much vitamin C can cause side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, heartburn, stomach cramps and bloating, fatigue or insomnia, headaches and skin flushing, says Childress.
May Improve Your Eye Health
Studies have shown that vitamin C may benefit eye health, due to its antioxidant effects. Evidence shows a combination of nutrients, specifically vitamin c, e, beta-carotene, and zinc, collectively known as the AREDS formulation may reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study which was initiated in 1990 by the National Eye Institute, involved 11 centers in the United States and enrolled 5000 patients. The study found that with a combination of vitamins c, e, beta-carotene, and zinc produced a 25% reduction in risk of progression to advanced AMD.
Although the benefits associated with age-related macular degeneration cannot be attributed to vitamin C alone, the combination of nutrients has been shown to slow the progression of AMD by 25% and loss of visual sharpness and clarity by 15% .
Ascorbate is found in the lens of the eye. Studies have shown that supplementation with just 2g of vitamin C per day was associated with a nearly 40-fold increase in lens ascorbate . In the Nutrition Vision Project , a subset of the Nurses’ Health Study, showed that women aged 60 years, with consumption of at least 363mg/day vitamin C was associated with a 57% decreased risk of developing a cortical cataract compared with women who consumed less than 140mg/day vitamin C .
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How Can I Get The Vitamins And Minerals I Need
It is usually better to get the nutrients you need from food, rather than a pill. Thats because nutrient-dense foods contain other things that are good for you, like fiber.
Most older people can get all the nutrients they need from foods. But if you arent sure, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian to find out if you are missing any important vitamins or minerals. He or she may recommend a vitamin or dietary supplement.
If you do need to supplement your diet, look for a supplement that contains the vitamin or mineral you need without a lot of other unnecessary ingredients. Read the label to make sure the dose is not too large. Avoid supplements with mega-doses. Too much of some vitamins and minerals can be harmful, and you might be paying for supplements you dont need. Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend brands that fit your needs.
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