Many of us are seeking ways to strengthen our immune systems and protect ourselves from COVID-19, therefore supplements are becoming more popular. However, if not used appropriately, such supplements can swiftly turn from friend to foe.

Vitamin C is one of the most well-known immunity boosters, yet even this essential nutrient can be overused and have detrimental health consequences. Overdosing on vitamin C is more common when it is taken as a supplement, which is why experts advocate receiving the majority of your vitamin C through food, where the odds of getting too much are almost none.

Vitamin C has been recommended as a supplement to help fight the coronavirus. It has been demonstrated in clinical investigations to aid recovery in patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Continue reading to learn how much of the supplement is safe to take and the health risks of taking too much.

1. You can develop digestive issues 

If you ingest too much vitamin C, you'll likely have intestinal distress as well. While eating too many vitamin C–rich foods won't create this problem, taking too much vitamin C as a supplement can induce diarrhea, nausea, and acid reflux. To avoid an upset stomach, don't take more than 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C at once, as this has been determined to be the daily tolerated upper limit.

2. You can get kidney stones 

Vitamin C is best obtained from the diet. Taking too much of the supplement can cause kidney stones in the long run.

There are some studies suggesting that not dietary, but supplemental vitamin C at dosages more than a gram a day, or thousand milligrams a day, can raise your risk for stones because of the effect of the oxalate levels in your urine increase.

Oxalate is a waste product produced by the body that helps you get rid of excess vitamin C through urine. It can attach to minerals and form crystals in some situations, resulting in kidney stones.

To avoid this, consume a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, which will naturally give you sufficient vitamin C. Consult a urology specialist for more ways to prevent kidney stones. 

3. You can damage your major organs 

Although vitamin C is known to aid iron absorption, too much of it can lead to iron overload. According to Healthline, this can result in catastrophic harm to your heart, liver, thyroid, pancreas, and central nervous system.

Individuals with specific medical diseases, such as hemochromatosis, a hereditary illness that increases iron absorption, are more susceptible to experiencing iron overload.

The Bottom Line 

Getting too much vitamin C from your diet alone is practically impossible. Any extra vitamin C ingested in excess of the required daily quantity is simply flushed out of the body in healthy persons.

To put it in perspective, you'd have to eat 29 oranges or 13 bell peppers before reaching the upper limit of tolerable intake.

When people take supplements, however, the dangers of vitamin C overdose are higher, and it is possible to consume too much of the vitamin in rare cases.

Those with illnesses that raise the risk of iron overload or those who are prone to kidney stones, for example, should limit their vitamin C intake.

When people consume massive amounts of vitamin C larger than 2,000 mg, all of the negative consequences, including digestive distress and renal stones, appear to occur.

If you decide to take a vitamin C supplement, make sure it contains no more than 100% of your daily requirements. That's 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women every day.

Tags: health