How Much Vitamin C is Too Much?

It’s nearly impossible to walk through a pharmacy these days without passing through an entire aisle of vitamins and supplements, and front and center among those many pills and capsules is usually vitamin C. Touted as everything from the miracle cure for colds to the fountain of youth, vitamin C may not be a miracle drug but it is certainly important to good health. But just how much vitamin C is too much vitamin C? Let’s look at the facts.


How much vitamin C do we really need? Consult any physician or the average health guide, and the results will usually be the same. Healthy adults are recommended a daily dose of 60mg to 100mg of vitamin C daily.

How much vitamin C comes in a supplement? Many vitamin C supplements sold at pharmacies or health food stores come in 500mg doses, with some as high as 1000mg doses.

What does the body do with excess vitamin C? Vitamin C is water soluble, and is not stored in the body, so most vitamin C that the body doesn’t use gets broken up and secreted via urine. In fact, vitamin C is occasionally jokingly referred to as vitamin pee.

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Can too much vitamin C be harmful? Although generally speaking an excess of vitamin C is not harmful to the body, in some extreme cases it can lead to diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal cramps, headache, or insomnia.

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