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What Happens When You Have Too Much Vitamin C?

Getting plenty of Vitamin C is something everyone is concerned with. There are a number of health benefits that can be had simply by having this vitamin in your body. You will fight infections easier, have more energy and just generally feel better. However, if you have too much Vitamin C it can be harmful to your health. Is it possible to have too much? How do you know that you have had too much? These are common questions and there are quite simple answers to them.

Simply put, yes you can have too much Vitamin C. However, you should know that it is rare for anyone to have a Vitamin C overdose. In fact, most people will not have this problem at all even if they take Vitamin C regularly. There are some people that are predisposed to the overdose and those who regularly take 1000mg or more a day have a higher chance of overdose as well. Those most at risk are those that are taking other vitamin and nutrition supplements including iron. Other factors that can lead to having too much Vitamin C in the body are sprains of the muscles and inflammatory diseases.

Generally Vitamin C is non-toxic and taking supplements will not lead to any problems. Still, you should be aware of the symptoms that come from having too much so that you know what to be watching out for. General short term Vitamin C side effects if you have had too much include:

  • Jaundice
  • Itchy skin
  • Tenderness in your abdomen
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Cavities or mouth ulcers
  • Decrease in urine or a foul smelling urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating

Some of the more serious side effects you might experience are:

  • Kidney stones
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Copper deficiency
  • Increased need for oxygen

The best way to ensure that you do not have a Vitamin C overdose is to make sure that you take the proper dosage every day. The amount that is safe for you will depend on your age and sex. Those over 19 that are not pregnant or breastfeeding will want to take no more than 90mg for males and 75mg for females per day. While you can often get by with taking more because Vitamin C is water soluble, there is no real point to doing so. The body will only use the amount of Vitamin C that it needs and the rest will be wasted. Those who take upwards of 1000mg per day are not offering their body any extra benefits.

In fact, if you were one of the rare few that suffer from a Vitamin C overdose, you could have some long term health problems. When left untreated this overdose could affect other areas of your body and cause more permanent health issues. These include acute right-sided conjunctivitis, kidney diseases, diabetes and hypoglycemia.

It is important to understand how much Vitamin C you are taking in every day. There are many foods that are rich in Vitamin C and, if eaten daily, could eliminate the need for a supplement. If you are one of those that need a supplement to see the benefits of Vitamin C then you want to follow the dosage instructions precisely. If you make sure that you aren’t taking too much Vitamin C then you will have a far less risk of an overdose. This will allow you to see the most benefit from taking the vitamin.

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