What Happens If You Take Too Much Vitamin C?

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2021
too much vitamin c
Although exceeding the recommended amount of vitamin C is unlikely to be life-threatening, these are the potential side effects of taking too much vitamin C.

Taking more than the recommended amount of vitamin C, which is more than 2,000 milligrams per day, results in side effects such as:

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, which is one of the essential water-soluble vitamins for the body that is naturally available in all vegetables and fruits. It is an antioxidant that is believed to prevent you from getting sick because it boosts immunity, maintains normal blood pressure, prevents inflammation and increases collagen content in the skin.

Although excess intake of vitamin C may not be life-threatening, it can cause several side effects. Because vitamin C is water-soluble, the body can easily expel it through urine and feces, and serious adverse effects of vitamin C toxicity are rare.

What is the recommended dose of vitamin C?

According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C with regard to sex and physical condition of a person is described below.

Table 1. RDA of vitamin C for healthy adults and children (in mg)
Age group RDA
0 to 6 months* 40
7 to 12 months* 50
1 to 3 years 15
4 to 8 years 25
9 to 13 years 45
14 to 18 years (males) 75
14 to 18 years (females) 65
19 years and older (males) 90
19 years and older (females) 75
*Vitamin C requirements of infants should be met through the diet.
Table 2. RDA of vitamin C in special situations
Pregnant teens and adolescents (14 to 18 years old) 80 mg
Pregnant women (19 years old and older) 85 mg
Lactating or breastfeeding teens and adolescents (14 to 18 years old) 115 mg
Lactating or breastfeeding women (19 years old and older) 120 mg
Smokers Additional 35 mg beyond the RDA as smoking depletes vitamin C levels in the body

Vitamin C is responsible for the absorption of dietary iron, so people with increased iron stores in the body (hemochromatosis) must reduce their intake of vitamin C. Usually, the body absorbs less than 50 percent of the ingested vitamin C, so there are fewer chances of overdosing on the vitamin. However, an overdose of vitamin C in people with hemochromatosis may lead to life-threatening tissue damage.

Since they may interact unfavorably with medicines used to treat cancer and heart diseases, a doctor’s approval is required before taking any vitamin C supplements. Additionally, the development of kidney stones has been linked to vitamin C supplementation.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer

What are the symptoms of vitamin C deficiency?

Whenever there is a vitamin C deficiency, health professionals recommend supplements to rectify the deficiency and allow normal functioning of the body.

Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include:

  • Gum bleeding and tooth loss
  • Weight gain without any obvious cause
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Weak bones
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Rough and bumpy skin
  • Corkscrew-shaped body hair
  • Bright red hair follicles
  • Spoon-shaped fingernails (may have red spots or lines on them)
  • Dry and damaged skin
  • Bruises (easily formed)
  • Anemia (due to chronic iron deficiency)
  • Tiredness and low mood
  • Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation
  • Stone formation in the kidneys

Consumption of too many vitamin C supplements might have serious side effects. However, consumption of excess vitamin C–rich food does not develop negative effects. If a person wants to initiate vitamin supplements and has a history of adverse reactions due to vitamin C, they must consult their physician.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2021
Vitamin C: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/

Does Getting More Vitamin C Really Keep You From Getting Sick?: https://www.houstonmethodist.org/blog/articles/2020/apr/does-getting-more-vitamin-c-really-keep-you-from-getting-sick/

Vitamin C: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=vitaminc