Vitamin C is an essential element for maintaining a healthy body, and is found in many vegetables and fruits.
Getting the recommended amount helps maintain the immune system, bone health, wound healing and improved brain function.
On the other hand, some claim that vitamin C supplements provide more benefits than those that can be obtained through food. One of the most common reasons for taking vitamin C supplements is the prevailing idea that they protect against colds.
However, some supplements contain a high amount of the vitamin, which can sometimes cause unwanted side effects. What is the recommended amount, and what are the health effects of excessive doses of vitamin C? What happens if its levels rise?
What do we need to know about this vitamin?
Therefore, the vitamin C that you obtained or consumed passes into the tissues through fluids, and the extra vitamin C is then eliminated in the urine.
Since the body does not store or produce vitamin C on its own, it is very important to get it through foods rich in this vitamin on a daily basis. However, an increase in vitamin C levels can lead to health side effects such as digestive problems, stones, and more. The reason is that you have given your body a larger amount than usual, which leads to its accumulation in the body and cause health symptoms as a result of the overdose.
What are the disadvantages of excess vitamin “C”?
1- Symptoms in the digestive system
Diarrhea and nausea are the most common symptoms of consuming excessive doses of vitamin C, while other digestive disturbances can occur. But it is important to know that the side effects that a person may experience do not occur when eating foods rich in vitamin, but rather as a result of taking vitamin C supplements.
And you may suffer from digestive disorders if you consume more than 2000 mg at once. Therefore, the maximum consumption of vitamin C was set at 2000 mg per day.
2- An increase in iron levels
Vitamin C plays a role in the absorption of iron in the body. One study in adults showed an increase in iron absorption by 67 percent, after they took 100 mg of vitamin C with each meal. But people with conditions that increase the risk of iron buildup in the body should use caution when taking vitamin C supplements.
In these circumstances, vitamin C intake may lead to elevated iron levels that may cause serious health problems for the heart, liver, pancreas, thyroid gland and nervous system.
3- Kidney stones
Vitamin C is converted and excess levels are eliminated in the form of oxalate and excreted from the body through the urine. But in some cases, oxalate may bind to minerals and form crystals that can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Thus, an increase in vitamin C levels would increase the amount of oxalate in the urine, which means an increased risk of developing kidney stones.
One study in adults showed that taking 1,000 mg of a vitamin C supplement twice a day for 6 days increased oxalate by 20 percent.
When is the amount of vitamin “C” more than recommended?
Since vitamin C is water-soluble, and excess is released within a few hours of taking it, it becomes difficult to take in excess. In fact, it is difficult to get an excess amount of vitamin C through your diet, because the body gets rid of the extra amount on its own (in healthy people). For example: you need to eat more than 29 oranges and 13 peppers before you reach the maximum allowed.
Therefore, the risks of increasing vitamin C are usually in people who take nutritional supplements, in addition to eating foods rich in this vitamin.