The Side Effects of Vitamin C to Health
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that you can get from many fruits and vegetables.
However, making vitamin C your intake routine is a healthy decision to take because it helps boost the immune system. It plays a good role in keeping your bones strong, heal wounds, and improve brain functions.
Furthermore, many supplements contain very high quantities of the vitamin, which can cause unwanted side effects in some cases.
This article reveals the potential adverse effects of consuming vitamin C beyond recommendation.
Vitamin C is water-soluble
The water-soluble found in vitamin C makes it have the tendency to dissolve in water.
In contrast to fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins do not get stored within the body.
Instead, the vitamin C that you consume gets transported to your tissues via body fluids, and any excess gets discharged in the urine.
Since your body does not store vitamin C or produce it on its own, it’s important to consume foods that are rich in vitamin C daily.
However, supplementing with high amounts of vitamin C can lead to adverse effects, such as digestive distress and kidney stones.
That’s because if you overload your body with larger-than-normal doses of this vitamin, it will start to accumulate, potentially leading to overdose symptoms.
Taking supplements in high dosages may lead to kidney stones
Excess vitamin C is excreted from the body as oxalate, a bodily waste product.
Oxalate exits the body via urine. However, under some circumstances, oxalate may bind to minerals and form crystals that can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Consuming too much vitamin C has the potential to increase the amount of oxalate in your urine, thus increasing the risk of developing kidney stones.
In one study that had adults take a 1,000-mg vitamin C supplement twice daily for 6 days, the amount of oxalate they excreted increased by 20%.
High vitamin C intake is not only associated with greater amounts of urinary oxalate but also linked to the development of kidney stones, especially if you consume amounts greater than 2,000 mg.
However, this is extremely rare, especially in healthy people.
Too much vitamin C may cause digestive symptoms
The most frequent side effect of high vitamin C consumption is digestive discomfort.
Overall, these side effects do not occur from consuming foods that comprise vitamin C, but very from taking the vitamin in supplement form.
However. the most popular digestive symptoms of excessive vitamin C consumption are diarrhea and nausea.
Excessive consumption has also been described to lead to acid reflux, although this is not backed by evidence.
If you’re encountering digestive problems as a result of getting too much vitamin C, avoid vitamin C supplements altogether.
Vitamin C binds with non-heme iron, making it much easier for your body to absorb. This is an important function, especially for individuals who get most of their iron from plant-based foods
However, individuals with conditions that increase the risk of iron accumulation in the body, such as hemochromatosis, should be cautious with vitamin C supplements.
Under these conditions, getting vitamin C in overdose may lead to iron overload, which can cause severe damage to your heart, pancreas, liver, thyroid, and central nervous system.
What is the required quantity of vitamin C intake?
However, the risks of vitamin C overdose are higher when people take supplements, and it is likely to consume too much of the vitamin in some circumstances.
For instance, those with circumstances that enhance the risk of iron overload or are prone to kidney stones should be careful with their vitamin C intake.
All the adverse effects of vitamin C, including digestive distress and kidney stones, appear to happen when people take it in mega doses greater than 2,000 mg.
Finally, If you decide to take a vitamin C supplement, it is sufficient to choose one that contains no more than 100% of your daily needs. That’s 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women.