Vitamin Cis highly necessary for the normal and optimal body functioning. It is beneficial to your body when used correctly as it is damaging when ingested above the recommended levels.

As already mentioned, Vit C is among the numerous essential vitamins, your body requires for proper functioning. It helps you have a healthier immune system, strong bones, and even enhance the functioning of your brain. However, there are cases when people go overboard and consume too much of it. This can be particularly dangerous since it has side effects. Therefore, read on to discover more about vitamin C, the food sources, too much of it, the side effects of an overdose, and how to handle the situation.

Food Sources of Vitamin C

vitamin C is mostly obtained from fruits and vegetable. The following are examples;

  • Guava
  • Kiwi
  • Bell peppers
  • Berries, e.g., blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries
  • Lemons
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Kale

Therefore, since there are plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C, you don’t have to rely on the supplements since there is a risk of overdose, which might lead to side effects, as you will later find out.

Vitamin C; How Much is Too Much?

To stay healthy, you need to have a daily intake of vitamin C, and you can take it in different forms.

The normal daily amount of this vitamin to be consumed by males above 19 years is 90mg, while females should keep it at 75mg. On the other hand, pregnant women or smokers, should consume a slightly higher amount.

Vitamin C is water-soluble. Once consumed, your body gets rid of the excess amounts within a short period, making it difficult to take too much from your diet only. This means that you would need to take a lot of fruits and vegetables to attain a level that your body can no longer tolerate.

However, when should you worry about too much vitamin C? Remember, natural sources and produce aren’t so much of a big deal. On the other hand, you need to be careful with Vit C supplements. Most of them contain high amounts of this vitamin and might lead to side effects.

Therefore, ensure you don’t take anything above 2,000mg in one sitting. Exceeding this easily exposes you to vitamin C toxicity which has side effects.

Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin C

Consuming excessive amounts of vitamin C, opens you up to any of the following side effects;

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Esophagitis
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches

Your digestive tract could alert you once you consume higher levels of Vit C. Moreover, the situation can be so severe that you might experience kidney stones as one of the side effects. Another adverse scenario is having difficulties in breathing. Therefore, to avoid any other significant side effects, you must maintain the consumption of vitamin C supplements at a level below 2,000mg daily.

Vitamin C Interactions

When you overdose on Vitamin C supplements, they may cause interactions with certain medications that you may be currently taking. For instance, too much vitamin C can increase the rate at which your body absorbs aluminium. Therefore, if you take more than 2,000 mg of the supplements you maysuffer from kidney problems or while under medications containing aluminium, the excess vitamin C will cause alterations.

Besides, excess vitamin C, especially in the form of supplements, can increase estrogen levels. Therefore, if you are under any oral contraceptives, you should be careful when taking this vitamin.

Those undergoing a chemotherapy session should also first inquire from their doctor if it is okay to consume this vitamin because it might reduce the drug’s effectiveness.

Therefore, if you have an underlying condition, it is best to first consult with your trusted healthcare provider to ensure no alterations with any prescribed drugs.

How to Handle Too Much Vitamin C

A healthy person cannot suffer any great harm from too much vitamin C. However, if you already have an underlying health condition, the case is different since you might experience certain consequences and side effects.

You can buy over-the-counter drugs to help with side effects such as nausea or headaches. Besides, if you are already suffering from a certain medical condition and suspect you have had an excess amount of vitamin C, you can consult your doctor to know the way forward.

As mentioned earlier, the side effects can be adverse and might lead to kidney stones or breathing difficulties. Don’t hesitate to contact your professional medical doctor for assessment and further directions in such a situation.

Nonetheless, you can handle too much vitamin C by staying away from an overdose altogether. You can either reduce the amount you take or completely do away with the supplements. Since there are plenty of fruits and vegetables which contain vitamin C, you don’t have to worry.


Most individuals can safely consume vitamin C, especially when they consume it from food sources. However, if you take the vitamin in its supplement forms, you are more likely to develop the side effects.  These range from diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and other digestive issues to more adverse cases such as kidney stones. Therefore, before you start taking the supplements or when you see such side effects from too much consumption of vitamin C, ensure you consult your health provider. The good thing is, you can always protect yourself by avoiding the supplements unless directed by a doctor.


We would like to thank the below contributors who have helped us to write this article:

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Crystal Kadir

MS, Durham University

The work of a family doctor includes a wide range of clinical diversity, which requires extensive knowledge and erudition from a specialist. However, I believe that the most important thing for a family doctor is to be human because the cooperation and understanding between the doctor and the patient are crucial in ensuring successful health care. On my days off, I love being in nature. Since childhood, I have been passionate about playing chess and tennis. Whenever I have time off, I enjoy traveling around the world.

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