The Importance Of Vitamin C

Purported to have immune-boosting abilities, vitamin C is an essential nutrient found in many fruits and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, and bell peppers. Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that excess amounts of the vitamin are flushed out in the urine and not stored in the body. Vitamin C can help with wound healing, maintaining strong bones, and controlling infections. However, too much vitamin C may have a negative impact.

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The recommended dosage

Currently, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 90mg for adult men and 75mg for adult women. For pregnant women, the recommended dose increases to 85mg daily, and 120mg is recommended while breastfeeding. The maximum dose without causing any harmful effects is 2000mg daily. Most people can meet the RDA with diet alone, but some individuals will benefit from an extra supplement with vitamin C. Taking the right amount of vitamin C, and avoiding excess consumption, is important for overall health.

Too much of a good thing

Since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and is not stored in the body, toxicity is not common. Consuming more vitamin C than needed will result in excess amounts excreted in the urine. At high doses, vitamin C is not harmful but can cause gastrointestinal side effects such as abdominal pain or cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Vitamin C can also increase iron absorption, which can be a problem for people who consume high amounts of this mineral or have a health condition like hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis is a disorder that causes the body to absorb too much iron from food, causing the mineral to build up in the skin, heart, liver, pancreas, and joints

The kidney effect

Excessive intake of vitamin C may also affect the kidneys. Vitamin C exits the body as oxalate, which is a waste product. Sometimes too much vitamin C can lead to too much oxalate, leading to an increased risk for kidney stones. Research has shown that taking more than 2000mg of vitamin C daily can cause kidney failure. However, the risk of kidney stones and failure is rare in healthy individuals.

Take a directed

For most people, vitamin C is safe to consume in recommended amounts. Too much vitamin C is not considered toxic unless a person has an underlying condition such as hemochromatosis. Excessive vitamin C may cause side effects but will eventually leave the body through the urine. To stay healthy with vitamin C, stick with the RDA and avoid mega doses in supplemental form.


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