Vitamin C is famous among users of all ages due to numerous health benefits and its potent antioxidant properties. Such benefits consist of immunity booster and improve wound healing. This vitamin mostly is taken through food or dietary supplements. It can be rather tempting to take vitamin C more than what is needed by the body because vitamin C is generally present in tasty and juicy fruits. Oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, guava and papaya are among favourable fruits among people of all walks of life. Although it is rare to see people take too much of vitamin C through food, usage of vitamin C supplements in excessive amounts may lead someone to vitamin C overdose.

             First thing first, to know what is the value of vitamin C that is considered overdose, we should know how much vitamin C an adult needs on a daily basis. Adults need approximately 40 mg of vitamin C and it is recommended to take at least 70 mg of vitamin C through everyday meals from food and beverages. Since our body constantly processes vitamin C and is unable to store it in the body for a long time as it will end up in the urine, a person needs to have vitamin C constantly everyday. A person is considered taking too much of vitamin C when the dose is high, which is above 2000 mg. 

            There is no doubt that anything in this world when taken excessively, will cause harm at some point. Side effect of vitamin C toxicity due to the high dose may actually start develop when a person takes this vitamin with 1000 mg. Common reported adverse reaction includes stomach pain, diarrhoea, flatulence and nausea. Intake of the high dose of vitamin C in the long run is not recommended because it raises concerns of serious health conditions such as severe diarrhoea and kidney stones which may progress to kidney injury.

            Generally, overdose of vitamin C is rare and the side effects usually are not life-threatening unless a person already has other existing illnesses like cancer patients, thalassemia or haemochromatosis.  Vitamin C supplements might interact with cancer treatments that include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Hence, it is advisable for cancer patients to seek medical advice beforehand as taking vitamin C or any antioxidant supplements might hinder the cancer treatment. Thalassemia and hemochromatosis patients need to be careful with vitamin C supplements because it can cause iron overload which in return accumulate in the organs (pancreas, liver, heart, joints, etc) and lead to organ damage. High doses of vitamin C could also affect people with high cholesterol that take medication of statins drugs such as atorvastatin and simvastatin. If you are thinking of getting vitamin C from supplements or grapefruit and at the same time taking any other medication, do talk to your doctor first as drug interaction might occur and adverse effects can be severe.

            In a nutshell, overdose of vitamin C does indeed cause harmful effects to humans, especially with those with other chronic ailments. The best way to get vitamin C is most certainly by befriending with mother nature through consumption of fruits and vegetables. It is not a crime to gain vitamin C through dietary supplements especially if you are aware that your daily meal might not be providing you enough vitamin C or at times you need an extra boost of immunity to fight against infections and fatigue. No matter what the circumstances, opting for vitamin C injection especially for cosmetic uses should be avoided as there is no concrete scientific evidence of benefits and the source of vitamin C is usually dubious.


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