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Are larger doses of vitamin C bad for our health?

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid. It plays very important role for our well-being. Our body needs vitamin C to make collagen and connective tissue. This vitamin also serves as an antioxidant. It stimulates our immunity. Vitamin C in most cases is safe and people who take it do not usually report any side effects. But taking this vitamin in large doses may be dangerous. That is why you should consult a health care provider to get to know the daily dose for you.

The daily maximum amount of vitamin C

The maximum amount for vitamin C is 2,000 mg. This is the dose which you may take every day without having any side effects. But there is also information that some people may be prescribed to take up to 10,000 mg a day. It is done to prevent cancer or to speed up recovery from a disease. However the efficacy of vitamin C for these purposes has not been proven. That is why be aware that it may be dangerous to take such amount of vitamin C.

The symptoms of vitamin C overdose

Taking larger doses of vitamin C, you may suffer from gastrointestinal diseases like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and even heartburn. In rare cases you may lose much fluid having severe diarrhea and vomiting. Thus you may get dehydrated or have an electrolyte imbalance. There are also other symptoms of vitamin C overdose, such as: insomnia, headaches and abdominal cramping. You should also be informed that if you take large doses of vitamin C you may increase the risk of having kidney stones.

Oxidative damage

As we have already mentioned, Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It means that this vitamin helps neutralize dangerous molecules called reactive oxygen species or free radicals. They may damage DNA, cell membranes and proteins. But if vitamin C is taken in large amounts it may help create reactive oxygen species instead of eliminating it. However it was not proved if it is connected with too much vitamin C intake.

Overdose treatment

This vitamin is excreted in the urine. Our body eliminates excess of vitamin C quite quickly. Nevertheless if you feel overdose with vitamin C you still should seek medical attention. You also may need medical help to stop severe diarrhea or vomiting. Please be aware that in case of vitamin C overdose you need to drink much water. It will help flush the vitamin C out of the body as well as prevent dehydration.

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