VITAMIN C OVERDOSE IS REAL
Vitamin C is getting more and more well known as potent antioxidant, with positive effects on immune function. As we march closer to the endemic, almost every household has ample supplies of vitamin C. Plus, it is also vital for collagen synthesis, connective tissue, bones, teeth and our small blood vessels.
You can tell that your body does not have enough vitamin C if you experience any of these deficiency symptoms – bleeding gums, frequent bruising and infections, poor wound healing, and anaemia. Furthermore, our body is not able to produce AND store vitamin C, so it is essential to consume it consistently, within reasonable amount of 90mg per day for men, or 75mg per day for women.
However, vitamin C is water-soluble, so it is not stored within our body. If we consume more than what our body needs, it will be excreted in our urine as what we call ‘oxalate’, a bodily waste product. That is why, if we consume more than 2000mg at once, digestive symptoms like diarrhoea and nausea might occur. Under some circumstances, oxalate may bind to minerals and form crystals that may also lead to the formation of kidney stones.
A study released by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown that iron absorption could increase by 67% when we take 100 mg of vitamin C with a meal. This means that someone with a condition that increases the risk of iron accumulation such as hemochromatosis should be extra aware of it, as it may lead to iron overload, causing serious damage to their heart, liver, pancreas, thyroid and central nervous system. Even though this is almost exclusive to people with conditions, we should better be safe than sorry, shouldn’t we?
While these risks of vitamin C overdose are higher when taken in supplement forms, it is highly unlikely to get too much vitamin C from diets alone. In perspective, we need to eat 29 oranges or 13 bell peppers before hitting the limit! Therefore, if you’re concerned of achieving the necessary daily amount of vitamin C, it is wise to turn to the natural forms.
If you still need to take supplements, make sure that you do not exceed of the proper amount, and that your body is in the suitable condition to consume. Better yet, refer to the doctors and experts while choosing your supplements. As much as we want the best for our body, we must also stay out of harm’s ways in doing so.