Is too much Vitamin C bad for you?

As children, we all knew oranges had vitamin C in abundance and is good to keep the flu away. It’s found in citrus fruits for sure and in fact is a water-soluble vitamin found in many other fruits and vegetables as well. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron and as it’s not produced or stored in the body, it’s important to consume the vitamin. Along with playing an important role in collagen formation, it also functions as an antioxidant.

While we need to consume the vitamin every day, too much of it can be toxic.

So how much is too much, you may ask. According to The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library, the tolerable upper limit for vitamin C is 2 grams, and anything above could be an overdose.

An overdose comes with a number of ill effects, such as those elaborated below:

Gastrointestinal problems: Digestive tract easily falls prey to the overdose and if you consume more than the required amount of the vitamin, you may develop severe gastrointestinal irritation and diarrhea. Diarrhea and vomiting can also cause additional mineral imbalances in the body.

Kidney stones: A substance called oxalate breaks down vitamin C in the body. Some is secreted in urine but high urinary oxalate levels can lead to the formation of kidney stones. A high vitamin C intake is to blame for 80 percent of all kidney stones.

Hemochromatosis: Hemochromatosis is a condition caused by excessive iron build-up in the body. This condition most commonly affects the liver, heart and pancreas. Vitamin C helps the body in absorbing iron. While the vitamin doesn’t cause this condition, it can worsen the condition.

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How do I fulfil my daily intake?

For most of us, an orange or a cup of strawberries, pepper or broccoli provides enough vitamin C for the day. The rest is flushed out in urine. For adults, anywhere between 65 to 90 milligrams is sufficient. It’s important to remember that a wholesome diet provides an adequate amount of vitamin C.

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