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sfgal's avatar

Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?

Asked by sfgal (275 points ) April 8th, 2007
whenever I get sick, my dad urges me to take around 3,000 to 5,000 mg of Vitamin c...he insists it boosts the immune system. It seems like a whole lot of one vitamin. are there any potential problems with taking so much vitamin c--can it affect any other medications, or mess up your body in any way? have there been any studies on this?
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17 Answers

gailcalled's avatar
Yes. LInus Pauling started the mega trend in vit C and others in the 1970's, I think. Check out the saga at: http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/pauling.html
gailcalled's avatar
A little extra is OK, but I wouldn't take huge quantities. Squeeze some oranges or eat extra grapefruit, instead. (Also, these days, wash hands w. soap and hot water more often).
nomtastic's avatar
vitamin c can be toxic to your system in huge doses (it even can act as an abortive if you take a tremendous amount), but it's mostly pretty harmless b/c it's water-soluble and you pee out the excess. that said, a whole piece of fruit is usually better than an extract for things like colds.
kelly's avatar
I'm not a doctor or nutritionist, but my dad had kidney stones years ago and has said that the urologist said that too much orange juice can contribute to stones in some people. For what its worth..........
hossman's avatar
You would have to try really hard to consume Vitamin C faster than your body filters it out, just like you have to try really hard to drink enough alcohol to immediately kill you. But both are possible. You can generally tell you're taking too much Vitamin C as your urine will get a much more intense yellow color and a much more intense smell.
bpeoples's avatar
I don't have the reference, but watch out for high doses (200-300% or more of RDA) while trying to heal a wound or bruise-- the vitamin C supposedly binds with some of the proteins or enzymes used for healing and can cause you to not heal as well or as quickly. This might be related to C oxidizing iron in your body, but being as I can't find a reference, you can probably ignore this =)
b's avatar
No, your body simply flushes out what it can't absord. I sugget using time release capsules to get the most benefit of the vitamin.
darwinsbulldog's avatar
If you've spent $50.00 on supplements that give you 5,000% of your daily vitamin C, only to pee it out rather than just eating an orange or having some kale, then yes, that's too much.
mabelrxu's avatar

did you know people can die from drinking too much water? just kinda google "overdose on water" or something similar ... all sorts of websites will come up with warning of people who participate in "water drinking" contests and how you should NOT do this for health reasons ...

in other words, overdose of anything is bad, but you can counter act that by drinking more water to try to flush it out / make a the body eliminate the extra "stuff" more quickly ... the body has limits, but that doesn't mean it can't handle a little adversity ... in all things, just remember: "moderation is a virtue"

gooch's avatar

mega doses of C have many benifits. Listen to your doctor. Long term its hard on the kidneys but short term its the thing to do. There is research that shows mega doses of it reduces stomach cancer. C is good.

papasmurf's avatar

vitamin C in moderation is good although, if you take too much it can cause your kidneys to shut down and in some cases your testicles to stop working

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I’m a little confused about the person whose father had kidney stones, and drank orange juice. I just googled “kidney stones AND orange juice” (http://www.google.com/search?q=kidney+stones+orange+juice&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGIH) and on the first page (the only one i looked at), every single link was about how drinking orange juice can prevent kidney stones. Am I missing something here?

Vinifera7's avatar

Afaik, you will just piss out any excess.

JohnW's avatar

I would suggest that people who ponder or attempt to respond to this. First read about Dr.Fredrick Klenner. Just search and start reading. JOHN

proXXi's avatar

Your body will simply dispose of the excess vitamins.

truly_enchanting's avatar

Too much Vitamin C is bad for you. Right now, I am recovering from having too much Vitamin C in my body. I don’t take pills, but too much of it, causes really itching skin, and you always feel dry, your hair is dry, and you can break out in a horrible rash. Like I did. Before I knew it was the Vitamin C, I broke out into a rash, and I thought it was the soap, then it return again, and when I went to the doctors he told me, there’s too much Vitamin C in your body. He asked me if I had taken pills. I said no, but I drank a lot of CranApple and Crangrab with has 130% vitamin C. I drank it because I was feeling. dry. So I was poison myself with Vitamin C. Rigt now, I can’t eat anything that as Vitamin C in it. Can’t have caffeine, because it excites the Vitamin C in my body and makes it worst. I have to avoid Aspen or Ibuprofen, because of the caffeine in it. I must stay away from Seafood. I can’t eat anything that as Vitamin C until it completely gone from my body then I can slowly eat things I like to eat. A lot of food as Vitamin C in it. So this week has been sucky for me. :(

patient772's avatar

A couple weeks ago I thought I had a urinary tract infection, so I drank almost 2 liters of cranberry juice every day for 3 days. On the 4th day, I woke up with an aweful stomach ache, I thought I was hungry so I ate breakfast. Followed by horrible stomach cramps, I ended up throwing up the food I ate later and my pee for the first time in my life was orange for two bathroom visits, and it smelled really bad. Doctor said it was probably the juice. Pure cranberry juice has like 120% of your daily intake in 1 serving. My stomach was pretty sensitive for a week after that. Its feeling much better now.

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