Flu seasons are all about treating the common cold and relevant health issues via natural citrus extracts, which easily compels you to consume excess vitamin C, also scientifically known as ascorbic acid. Such situations may make you ponder various questions, such as ‘Can you overdose on vitamin C?’.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble micronutrient – which implies that it is needed in small yet mandatory amounts and is dissolved in water. It is renowned for its immense benefits in boosting your immune system, producing collagen tissue in the skin, and reducing oxidative stress.
Ascorbate or its acidic form is also associated with treating health issues like the common cold, which may make some people make more than the recommended amounts. This, in turn, raises numerous concerns, including ‘Can you overdose on vitamin C?’.
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Significance of Ascorbic Acid
Before revealing the science behind ‘Can you overdose on vitamin C?’, it is crucial to know the scientific knowledge to understand how to cope with common health problems and fuel your bodies with appropriate amounts of each nutrient.
Vitamins are classified as fat-soluble and water-soluble. The former comprises vitamins A, D, E, and K, while the latter includes vitamins B and C.
Unlike sunshine or sunrise vitamin, humans cannot synthesize ascorbic acid in their bodies. Therefore, you need to consume foods enriched with vitamin C, such as guava, kiwi, strawberry, papaya, bell peppers, oranges, lemon, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, fresh parsley, brussels sprouts, mango, and cantaloupe. All fruits and vegetables are highly packed with micronutrients, which must be included in daily meals.
The Popularity of Mega-Dosing
The immense popularity of megadosing vitamin C took center attention when Linus Carl Pauling, a Nobel Prize winner, advocated for high doses to cure various abnormal health issues and diseases, including the common cold.
Since then, wellness and pharmaceutical industries have begun to flood the markets with vitamin C in much higher doses than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).
Different multi vitamin for women and men have various RDAs. The recommended value of ascorbic acid for adults is 65 milligrams to 90 milligrams per day. However, taking this nutrient up to an upper limit of 2000 milligrams per day is safe.
Can you Overdose on Vitamin C?
The answer to ‘Can you overdose on vitamin C?’ can’t be a simple yes or no because it is a common notion that both deficiency and excess nutrients harm your health.
Technically speaking, the adverse effects of overdosing on ascorbate or its acidic variant are rare due to its natural ability to dissolve in water. Even if you’ve excessively consumed vitamin C beyond the upper limit, its extra amount will be excreted via urine. However, this rarity isn’t a green signal to enjoy vitamin C gummies or other supplements like candy.
Natural food sources can quickly fulfill the daily necessary value for water-soluble vitamin C, and usually, there’s no need to buy additional supplements for this micronutrient. However, wellness and pharmaceutical industries add ascorbate in mandatory supplements, such as calcium and iron. This micronutrient efficiently enhances the absorption of these minerals in your body.
Neglecting the importance of maintaining a balance between nutrient consumption may lead to a host of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and renal (or kidney) disorders. In addition, prolonged exposure to increased doses of vitamin C leads to the following health problems:
Nephrolithiasis, commonly known as kidney stones or renal calculi, may occur due to overdosing on ascorbic acid because it increases oxalate production in the body – a central component of kidney stones.
Excess vitamin C increases iron absorption from the gastrointestinal tract or digestive system, which could become dangerous for people with health abnormalities leading to iron over-accumulation, such as hemochromatosis.
Excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins lead to different disturbances in the digestive tract, ranging from slight discomfort to severe debilitating.
Vitamin C Overdose: Who’s More at Risk?
Certain groups of people are more prone to the consequences of excessive consumption of vitamin C, which are as follows:
Pregnant and Lactating Women (PLW)
PLWs are advised to stick to the prescribed dosages of medications and supplements instead of using them without an expert’s advice.
These individuals should be careful because overconsumption of vitamin C leads to iron overload.
People suffering from kidney abnormalities or diseases should be cautious because compromised renal health cannot remove excess nutrients.
Water-soluble micronutrients are essential components whose toxicity cases are rare, except in a few cases, such as in pregnancy and lactation, kidney patients, and those with hemochromatosis. If you’re worried about ‘Can you overdose on vitamin C?’, it is recommended to fulfill its intake via food sources and within the recommended ranges. Always seek professional guidance for customized and tailored advice.