What Happens If You Take Too Much Vitamin C?

Aulia Hafisa
Illustration of Vitamin C
Illustration of Vitamin C

TheIndonesia.id - Vitamin C is important for maintaining the immune system. This vitamin also plays a role in improving brain function. Even though it offers a myriad of benefits, excess vitamin C turns out to trigger several side effects. 

Consuming an orange or a glass of strawberry juice may be sufficient to meet the daily requirement of vitamin C for many people. After that, excessive doses of vitamin C will be wasted easily in the urine.

Quoting hallosehat, vitamin C is a type of vitamin that dissolves in liquids. Even so, the Indonesian Ministry of Health recommends that adults get 65-90 milligrams of vitamin C and a maximum of 2,000 milligrams per day.

If more than this number, you may be at risk for various health problems. Below are a number of dangers from excess vitamin C to watch out for.

The dangers of excess vitamin C

1. Nutritional imbalance

One of the effects that occur due to the body's excess of vitamin C is unbalanced nutrition. Too much vitamin C can interfere with the body's function to process other nutrients.

For example, vitamin C can lower the levels of vitamin B12 and copper in the body. It can trigger new health problems, such as a deficiency of vitamin B12.

2. Digestive problems

Another danger of excess vitamin C is that it can cause disturbances in the digestive system. However, this side effect does not occur due to the consumption of foods that contain vitamin C, but due to vitamin C supplement form.

There are also some symptoms of digestive disease caused by vitamin C supplements including:

  • diarrhea,
  • nausea or vomiting,
  • heartburn, as well
  • abdominal pain.
  • If not treated immediately, this condition can cause dehydration, feeling weak, lower blood pressure, and mineral imbalances in the body.

3. Excess iron

The condition of excess vitamin C can make the body experience excess iron or commonly called hemochromatosis.

Vitamin C plays a role in the absorption of mineral iron. Meanwhile, too much vitamin C can certainly make the body absorb more iron until it exceeds its limit.

If this happens in hemochromatosis patients, excess iron due to the consumption of vitamin C can exacerbate damage to body tissues.

4. Forming kidney stones

Some experts believe that taking too many vitamin C supplements can cause the body to excrete oxalate and uric acid in the urine. Both of these compounds can trigger the formation of kidney stones.

According to a review from The New England journal of medicine, oxalate compounds usually leave the body through urine. Under certain conditions, these compounds can bind to minerals and form crystals which can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

5. Increases the risk of cancer

In some cases, vitamin C can act as a pro-oxidant even though it contains antioxidant compounds.

Pro-oxidant potential against oxidative damage. Quoting the National Institute of Health, some in-vitro studies report that this condition can cause damage to chromosomes or DNA.

The bad news is that problems caused by excess intake of vitamin C supplements are very likely to contribute to cancer. Even so, experts still need further research to confirm this.

How much intake is stated as excess vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and your body will excrete the excess a few hours after you consume it. That is why excess vitamin C is a fairly rare problem because it is almost impossible for the body to get too much vitamin C from food.

In a healthy body, any additional vitamin C consumed beyond the recommended daily limit will be excreted from the body.

Vitamin C intake may occur if you eat about 29 oranges or 13 peppers before your intake reaches a tolerable limit.

Even so, the risk of an overdose of vitamin C is higher in people who take the vitamin and may use too much in certain conditions.

That's why, you need to consult a doctor or nutritionist to find out how much vitamin C intake needs to be fulfilled according to the condition of the body.

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