Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins that the body needs, as it strengthens the immune system, helps prevent infections that cause diseases, and has a role in improving skin health and maintaining bone strength. [1،2]

Vitamin C can be obtained from many foods, especially fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, guavas, and peppers, and some people think that taking vitamin C supplements will help increase its levels in the body. But you must be careful because excessive intake of vitamin C can cause side effects that are dangerous to the body. [1]

This article mentions the harms of vitamin C when taken in excess and in doses higher than what is recommended.

Does vitamin C harm the body?

Yes, although it is a water-soluble vitamin and any extra amount of it is excreted in the urine, but if it is consumed in excess, it will begin to accumulate inside the body, which can cause a group of symptoms and damage to the individual. [1]

Vitamin C damage can also be caused by some minor side effects when taken in the required doses, and some damage can occur to vitamin C in particular if it is taken by some patients. [1،2]

Here are the possible side effects of vitamin C:

Common vitamin C side effects

The most common damage to vitamin C when taking high doses of it at once, i.e. 2000 mg or more, is the incidence of gastrointestinal disorders, which are as follows:

  • .
  • Nausea.
  • Flatulence and flatulence.
  • stomach cramps
  • Gastric acidity and acid reflux into the esophagus. [1-3]

It is important to mention that these side effects do not occur as a result of eating foods rich in vitamin C, but rather if they take nutritional supplements that contain it. Also, these symptoms can occur if you take low doses of vitamin C, which amounts to 1000 mg per day. [1،4]

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Serious vitamin C damage

Serious vitamin damage that calls for a visit to the doctor includes:

Effects of vitamin C on the kidneys

Taking vitamin C supplements in high doses can lead to infection, because excess amounts of this vitamin are excreted in the urine in the form of the compounds oxalate and uric acid. [1،2]

Thus, taking vitamin C in large quantities will cause an increase in the amount of oxalate and uric acid in the urine, which will interact with the minerals in the urine and form crystals, causing the formation of kidney stones, which can also cause, in rare cases, an increased risk of kidney failure. [1،4]

The possibility of this harm from vitamin C damage increases in people who have a history of kidney stones and have taken large amounts of vitamin C. Kidney stones can also occur in people who take more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C supplements daily. [1،2]

Therefore, it is advised to stop taking vitamin C and see a doctor if any symptoms appear in the patient indicating that he has kidney stones, such as:

  • fever and chills
  • Increased urge to urinate.
  • .
  • Severe pain in the waist or lower back.
  • Presence of blood in the urine. [3،4]

Vitamin C damage to the bones

Despite the importance of vitamin C for bone health and disease prevention, such as rheumatoid arthritis, the presence of very high levels of vitamin C in the body increases the possibility of developing pain in bone spurs. [2]

Effects of vitamin C on cholesterol

Taking vitamin C supplements can impair the body’s ability to increase “good” cholesterol in people who are taking a combination medicine containing it to treat high cholesterol. [2]

So, if you take vitamin C supplements with this combination medication, you should talk to your doctor about ways to make each more effective. [2]

Increase iron in the body

Vitamin C is known to enhance absorption in the body, and vitamin C binds to non-heme iron, making it easier for the body to absorb, which is an important function, especially in people who get most of their iron from plant foods. [1]

However, with an increase in the dose of vitamin C, the risk of iron accumulation in the body may increase, which causes many health problems, including hemochromatosis, and can also lead to significant damage to the heart, liver, pancreas, thyroid gland, and central nervous system. Therefore, care must be taken when taking vitamin C supplements. [1]

Reduce the absorption of other food

Potential harms of vitamin C include that too much of it can lead to an impairment of the body’s ability to process other nutrients. For example, this vitamin may reduce levels of vitamin B12 and copper in the body. [2]

Other vitamin C damage

Among the harms of vitamin C also when taken in high doses, including:

  • Feeling dizzy and dizzy temporarily, which is one of the harms of vitamin C that occur when it is taken in the form of needles in a vein.
  • Tired.
  • Headaches, including migraine.
  • Weight loss.
  • Joint pain.
  • Esophagitis.
  • Hemolysis, especially in patients with polyuria.
  • skin redness [3،4]

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Prevention of vitamin C damage

Some methods help reduce potential vitamin C damage to the body, including:

  • Do not exceed the dose needed by the body

The following are the appropriate doses of vitamin C for each age group:

    • Newborns up to 6 months of age: 40 mg daily.
    • Infants from 7 months to 12 months: 50 mg daily.
    • Children 1 to 3 years: 15 mg daily.
    • Children 4 to 8 years: 25 mg daily.
    • Children 9 to 13 years: 45 mg daily.
    • Teens 14 to 18 years old: 75 mg for boys and 65 mg for girls.
    • Men: 90 mg daily.
    • Women: 75 mg daily. [2]
  • Consult a physician before taking vitamin C supplements

In normal cases, the body’s need for vitamin C can be obtained through various foods, and there is no need to take supplements. Vitamin C supplements are resorted to when the body suffers from a deficiency in the levels of this vitamin, and the doctor determines the appropriate doses. [1،3]

In the event that the doctor prescribes, the specified doses must be adhered to and not exceeded, as high doses are the main reason for the emergence of various vitamin C damages. [1،3]

  • Stop taking vitamin C if symptoms appear

It is advised to avoid taking vitamin C in case abnormal symptoms appear in the body, until a doctor is consulted and discussed with him about these symptoms. This applies to people who take vitamin C supplements for long periods. [3]

The harms of vitamin C usually occur when taking high doses of it or in individuals who suffer from some health problems. It is always recommended to take the daily recommended amounts of vitamin C and not exceed its doses, in addition to consulting a doctor before taking vitamin C by individuals most vulnerable to its harm.