Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?

Answer From Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

While vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient, it's possible to have too much of it.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that supports normal growth and development and 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, an orange or a cup of strawberries, chopped red pepper, or broccoli provides enough vitamin C for the day.

For adults, the recommended daily amount 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 might cause:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

Remember, for most people, a healthy diet provides an adequate amount of vitamin C.

Feb. 08, 2018 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. Add flax to your baking
  2. Are you getting enough calcium?
  3. Calcium: Building better bones
  4. Calcium
  5. Calcium supplements for men
  6. Timing calcium supplements
  7. Can low vitamin D cause high blood pressure?
  8. Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?
  9. Dietary supplements: Skip megadoses
  10. Vitamin C and mood
  11. Eye vitamins: Can they prevent or treat glaucoma?
  12. Fiber supplements
  13. Flaxseed best when ground
  14. Flaxseed for breakfast?
  15. Ground flaxseed
  16. Heartburn medicines and B-12 deficiency
  17. Herbal supplements
  18. Integrative medicine: Different techniques, one goal
  19. Kratom and pregnancy: Not a safe mix
  20. Multivitamins for kids
  21. Nutrition: Does it come in a pill?
  22. Nutrition know-how: Why whole food counts
  23. Percent Daily Value
  24. Prebiotics, probiotics and your health
  25. Prenatal vitamins
  26. Magnesium supplements
  27. Nutritional supplements
  28. Are dietary supplements right for you?
  29. Bromelain
  30. Calories and nutrients to fuel sports performance
  31. Curcumin
  32. Dietary supplements: What to know before you buy
  33. Is your dietary supplement safe?
  34. Melatonin
  35. Smart practices for healthy living
  36. Tips for staying supplement savvy
  37. What are omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil?
  38. What are probiotics?
  39. What are multivitamin/mineral dietary supplements?
  40. What is Boswellia?
  41. What is ginger?
  42. What is whey protein?
  43. Vitamin C: An essential nutrient
  44. Vitamin D and MS: Any connection?
  45. Vitamin D: Can it prevent Alzheimer's & dementia?
  46. Vitamin D deficiency
  47. Vitamin D: Essential with calcium
  48. Vitamin D for babies
  49. Vitamin D toxicity
  50. Vitamins for MS: Do supplements make a difference?
  51. Vitamins 101
  52. What does a 'seal of approval' mean?
  53. Wheatgrass