Vitamin C is one of the most essential nutrients required by the body. It serves a crucial role in regulating various body functions including metabolic rate and immunity. The human body cannot produce vitamin C on its own. Thus, it has to get it from diet and dietary supplements. Luckily, vitamin C is present in huge quantities in many fresh fruits and vegetables. Despite the multifarious benefits of this vitamin, consuming it in very large quantities may sometimes cause unpleasant side effects. It is important to stick to the vitamin C dosage stated by the FDA for best results. In this article, we will look at the maximum recommended limits of vitamin C as well as understand the side effects of taking too much of this nutrient.
Recommended Vitamin C Dosage
Since the body does not produce any vitamin C, people need to regularly intake vitamin C-rich foods to meet their daily needs. If someone is at a greater risk of having vitamin C deficiency, he/she may need to take certain dietary supplements.
Moving on, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) suggests the following daily intake for different groups of individuals.
|Kids (1-3 years)
|Kids (4-8 years)
|Adolescents (9-13 years)
|Teenager (14-18 years)
|Adults (19+ years)
Apart from the aforementioned recommended Vitamin C dosage, pregnant and breastfeeding women should intake more of it. Women who are 19 years and above and are pregnant must intake 85 mg of vitamin C every day. Also, those who are breastfeeding must increase their intake up to 120 mg daily.
Lastly, people who smoke also require this vitamin in more quantity. They should take 35 mg more than those individuals who do not smoke.
Besides these RDA recommendations for vitamin C dosage, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued a suggested Daily Value (DV). Originally, this DV was developed to regulate food labels. The DV helps to identify the percentage of various nutrients and vitamins in a single serving in comparison to its daily requirements.
Presently, the recommended DV for vitamin C for children aged 4 and above as well as adults is 60 mg regardless of their gender.
Vitamin C Dosage And Pregnancy
A lot of doctors recommend increasing vitamin C dosage during pregnancy. Some studies claim that vitamin C helps to prevent problems during pregnancy, such as premature birth, stillbirth, and preeclampsia. Although there is not much evidence to support this statement, many doctors suggest pregnant women try and get enough vitamin C through their everyday diet.
Some of the best sources of vitamin C include strawberries, oranges, kiwifruit, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, red peppers, and papaya. If someone is unable to meet her daily vitamin C requirements through food alone, doctors may also suggest taking dietary supplements.
Are There Any Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin C?
In general, eating too much vitamin C does not cause any side effects. However, sometimes, taking supplements along with a vitamin C-rich diet may lead to certain health issues.
For instance, the recommended Vitamin C dosage for male adults is 90 mg, but those who consume over 2,000 mg every day may experience evident side effects. The most common problem experienced due to overdosage is digestive issues. When the body does not absorb so much of the vitamin, it begins to irritate the gastrointestinal tract. Apart from that, few other common side effects of too much vitamin C include:
- Formation of kidney stones
- Cramping in the stomach
- Nausea and bloating
- Imbalance of nutrients in the body
- Abdominal discomfort
- Bone spurs
It is important to note that the vitamin C obtained from dietary supplements is not fully absorbed in the body. Less than 50% of it is absorbed whereas the rest leaves the body in the form of urine. Thus, taking supplements for vitamin C dosage reduces the risk of any side effects.
Vitamin C not only helps to boost immunity but also promotes collagen formation and wound healing. It is important to follow the RDA guidelines for vitamin C dosage to eliminate the risk of any side effects.
In all cases, the intake must stay well below 400 mg for young infants, 1,200 mg for kids between 9-13 years, 1,800 mg for teens, and 2,000 mg for adults.