Vitamin C is an essential nutrient. But you can get too much of it.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin that supports growth and development. It also helps your body absorb iron. Because your body doesn't make or store vitamin C, it's important to include vitamin C in your diet.
Most people can get enough vitamin C for the day in their food. An orange or a cup of strawberries, chopped red pepper or broccoli provides enough vitamin C for the day.
The recommended daily amount for vitamin C is 75 milligrams (mg) a day for women and 90 mg a day for men. During pregnancy, 120 mg a day are recommended. The upper limit for all adults is 2,000 mg a day. Although too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, large doses of vitamin C supplements might cause:
- Stomach (abdominal) cramps
Remember, for most people, a healthy diet provides enough vitamin C.
April 28, 2022
From Mayo Clinic to your inbox
Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.
ErrorEmail field is required
ErrorInclude a valid email address
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which
information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with
other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could
include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected
health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health
information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of
privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on
the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.
Thank you for subscribing
Our Housecall e-newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest health information.
Sorry something went wrong with your subscription
Please, try again in a couple of minutes
See more Expert Answers
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed March 18, 2022.
- Pazirandeh S, et al. Overview of water-soluble vitamins. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed March 18, 2022.
- Vitamin C. Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/. Accessed March 18, 2022.