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, 1 cup (about 165 grams) of sliced 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.
Mar. 20, 2012
See more Expert Answers
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Jan. 9, 2012.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed Jan. 9, 2012.
- Pazirandeh S, et al. Overview of water-soluble vitamins. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Jan. 9, 2012.
- Vitamin C. Office of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional. Accessed Jan. 9, 2012.