The dangerous consequences of taking too much Vitamin C


Vitamin C, otherwise known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient and antioxidant utilized by the human body to promote a variety of vital functions. It is most commonly known for its role in helping to fight off colds and other illnesses, as well as its ability to boost the immune system’s response to bacteria and viruses. While consuming adequate amounts of Vitamin C is important for promoting good health, taking too much can have serious and even dangerous consequences.

The most common side effect of consuming too much Vitamin C is diarrhea. This is because too much of the vitamin can cause the intestines to secrete excess water and electrolytes, leading to an uncomfortable and frequent need to use the restroom. While the diarrhea is usually temporary and will go away once the consumption of Vitamin C is stopped, large doses can lead to more serious intestinal complications.

Vitamin C is also known to interact with certain medications, especially those related to lowering blood pressure or controlling blood sugar levels. High doses of the vitamin can interfere with the way these medications work, making it harder for the body to control blood sugar and pressure. This can lead to dangerous spikes and drops in these levels, which can cause a variety of serious complications.

Excessive amounts of Vitamin C can also cause an accumulation of oxalate in the body. Oxalate is a substance found in certain vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains which can form calcium oxalate crystals that can accumulate in the kidneys and cause damage. Over time, too much oxalate can lead to severe pain and even kidney failure.

Finally, consuming too much Vitamin C can lead to a condition known as rebound scurvy. This occurs when the body has become so accustomed to the large amounts of Vitamin C that it stops producing its own, leading to a deficiency of the nutrient. Without adequate Vitamin C, the body cannot produce enough collagen, leading to the symptoms of scurvy, such as swollen, bleeding gums and loose teeth.

Though Vitamin C is an important nutrient for maintaining a healthy body, it is important to remember that too much of it can be dangerous. If you are considering increasing your Vitamin C intake, it is important to speak to your doctor first to make sure it will not interfere with any other medications you may be taking. It is also important to not exceed the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C, as this can lead to serious complications.

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