Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?

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Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient. Still, it’s possible to have too much vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that supports normal growth and development. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron. Because your body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C, it’s important to include vitamin C in your diet.

For most people, a large orange or a cup of strawberries, chopped red pepper or broccoli provide enough vitamin C for the day. Any extra vitamin C will simply be flushed out of your body in your urine. For adults, the recommended dietary reference intake for vitamin C is 65 to 90 milligrams (mg) a day and the upper limit is 2,000 mg a day. Although too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, megadoses of vitamin C supplements may cause:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal bloating and cramps
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney stones

Remember, for most people, a healthy diet provides an adequate amount of vitamin C.

Adapted from:  Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Tip of the Day

Be an active role model for your kids! Instead of sitting on the sidelines in your backyard or at the park, run, jump and play together!

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