Too much vitamin C: Is it harmful?
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:
- Abdominal bloating and cramps
- Kidney stones
Remember, for most people, a healthy diet provides an adequate amount of vitamin C.
Last updated: February 5th, 2015