Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

How does Vitamin C (ascorbic Acid) work?

Vitamin C is required for the proper development and function of many parts of the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper immune function.

Are there safety concerns?

Vitamin C is safe for most people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin. In some people, vitamin C might cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach cramps, headache, and other side effects. The chance of getting these side effects increases the more vitamin C you take. Doses higher than 2000 mg per day might not be safe and may cause a lot of side effects, including kidney stones and severe diarrhea. In people who have had a kidney stone, doses greater than 1000 mg per day greatly increase the risk of kidney stone recurrence.

Vitamin C is likely safe for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken in the recommended amount of 120 mg per day. Taking too much vitamin C during pregnancy can cause problems for the newborn baby.

Do not take vitamin C in doses greater than those found in basic multivitamins if:
  • You have had a heart attack.
  • You have had angioplasty, a heart procedure.
  • You have cancer.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You have a blood-iron disorder, including conditions called "thalassemia" and "hemochromatosis."
  • You have kidney stones, or a history of kidney stones.
  • You have a metabolic deficiency called "glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency" (G6PDD).
  • You have a blood disorder called "sickle cell disease."

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