Can You Have Too Much of Vitamin C?

Can You Have Too Much of Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a nutrient that is vital for human health. It plays a crucial role in several body functions, including collagen synthesis, immune system function, and wound healing. As a water-soluble vitamin, the body does not store vitamin C.  The body must get it through diet or supplements. However, as with all nutrients, there is such a thing as consuming too much. In this article, we will explore whether it is possible to have too much vitamin C.  We will also touch on the potential risks associated with excessive consumption from a nutritional perspective.

Vitamin C: Can You Have Too Much?

Firstly, it's important to note that the recommended daily intake varies depending on age, sex, and other factors. For most adults, the right daily intake is between 75-90mg. However, some people may require higher doses, such as smokers or individuals with certain medical conditions.

While it is considered safe when taken in proper amounts, taking it too much can lead to adverse effects from a nutritional standpoint. Consuming large amounts of it, often over 2000mg per day, can lead to several health problems. Here are some of the potential risks when taken too much:

  1. Nutrient Imbalances

Excessive intake can lead to nutrient imbalances in the body. For example, high doses of vitamin C can interfere with the absorption of other essential nutrients such as copper, zinc, and vitamin B12, leading to deficiencies over time.

  1. Oxalate Buildup

Too much consumption can also increase the risk of oxalate buildup in the body. Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds that can form crystals in the kidneys and cause kidney stones. While this is rare, individuals with a history of kidney stones should be careful about taking too much amounts.

  1. Gastrointestinal Problems

Excessive taking of vitamin C can also cause gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps. This is because it is a water-soluble vitamin, and excess amounts are removed from the body through urine, leading to a buildup of acidic compounds in the digestive system.

  1. Pro-oxidant Effects of Vitamin C

Although vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, high doses of vitamin C can have pro-oxidant effects, particularly in individuals who consume large amounts of it in supplement form. This can lead to cellular damage and other health issues.


In conclusion, while vitamin C is an important nutrient that is necessary for optimal health, excessive intake can lead to adverse effects from a nutritional standpoint. It's important to consume it in acceptable amounts and avoid taking excessive amounts in the form of supplements or high-dose products. A proper diet that includes fruits and vegetables, which are natural sources of vitamin C, can help individuals meet their daily needs. Speak with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian if you have concerns about your vitamin C intake or nutrient balance.

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