Symptoms of Vitamin C overdose

Water-soluble vitamins are not toxic when consumed in food. Supplements of water-soluble vitamins are also not toxic in normal amounts.
Overdose of Vitamin C can cause intestinal irritation, but only when taken in large amounts and in the acidic form (ascorbic acid).
Using Vitamin C products beyond recommended the limits may cause stomachaches and diarrhea. Vitamin C overdose can hinder metabolic activities in the body.

Signs vitamin C overdose

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Major symptoms of Vitamin C overdose are diarrhea, gas, or stomach upset.
Other side effects could be stomach cramps, nausea.

Consequences of Vitamin C overdose

Overdose in Vitamin C can increase risk of developing kidney stones. There has not been reliable data to show that vitamin C has a clear relationship with kidney stone formation in the human body. This is in spite of the fact that excess vitamin C in the blood does break down to oxalic acid and is eliminated through the kidneys.

Large amounts of Vitamin C reduce body levels of copper, an essential nutrient. People with iron overload diseases must avoid Vitamin C overdose, as it increases iron absorption. Special medical advice must be taken by individuals who have kidney stones.

If a pregnant mother takes 6,000 mg of Vitamin C, the baby may develop rebound scurvy due to a sudden drop in daily intake. Hemochromatosis patients should not take Vitamin C due to enhanced accumulation of non-heme iron in the presence of this vitamin.

In test tube experiments, vitamin C can interact with some free metal ions, such as iron, to produce potentially damaging free radicals. However, free metal ions are not generally found in the body.

Why are at risk of Vitamin C overdose

Generally speaking, anyone who takes Vitamin C regularly is at risk for a Vitamin C overdose. But this is not to say that those who use the vitamin definitely will overdose on it.

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The antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) may work better than vitamin C to ease flu symptoms.

• Ten million American women take oral contraceptives and most of them are unaware that the pills can interfere with the availability of vitamins B6, B12, folic acid, and vitamin C.

Learn more about vitamin C


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