Diseases caused by excess vitamin C

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Vitamin C is considered an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of our body: it favors the production of collagen, increases our defenses and prevents the appearance of some diseases such as anemia, among other benefits. Therefore, it is necessary that we consume daily foods that contain a good content of vitamin C.

Diseases caused by excess vitamin C

However, it is important that we take the right dose of vitamin C, since just like its deficiency can bring some health problems, excess of this vitamin as well. In the following article we tell you some of the diseases caused by excess vitamin C. Read!

What is vitamin C for?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient for our body, as it collaborates in some of its functions. Among the health benefits of vitamin C, we find the following:

  • Produces collagen: ascorbic acid is necessary for the production of collagen, a protein that is responsible for accelerating the healing process of the skin in the case of wounds and skin rashes.
  • Prevents premature aging: it is a nutrient with a high content of antioxidant substances, so it protects us from the formation of free radicals, which are the main causes of oxidation of skin cells. In this way, it prevents premature aging of the skin.
  • Helps absorb minerals: vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the correct absorption of minerals such as iron, especially if the sources are of vegetable origin.
  • Improves the immune system: ascorbic acid also has properties that improve the functioning of the immune system, as it increases the defenses of our body.

Consequences of excess vitamin C – common diseases

Excess vitamin C is not a phenomenon that usually occurs because it is a water-soluble nutrient, that is, it does not accumulate in the body, since it is expelled through the urine. Therefore, its excess is usually caused due to an intake of ascorbic acid that considerably exceeds the adequate daily dose.

Below, we tell you some of the problems and diseases caused by excess vitamin C in the body:

Gastrointestinal problems

An excessive daily intake of vitamin C can lead to different problems in the gastrointestinal system. Among the most common digestive problems that occur when we have consumed a very concentrated dose of ascorbic acid are: diarrhea, discomfort and cramping in the stomach and nausea, among others.

In addition, continued excessive consumption can cause other problems such as an alteration in our intestinal flora.

Hyperoxaluria

Another disease caused by an excess of vitamin C is hyperoxaluria. This condition, which especially affects children, consists of the accumulation of calcium oxalate in the urine, a compound that is formed when vitamin C is oxidized (oxalate) and then binds to calcium (calcium oxalate).

The accumulation of this substance in the body can lead to more serious problems, such as the formation of kidney stones.

Hemochromatosis

Another disease caused by excessive consumption of ascorbic acid is hemochromatosis. This condition occurs when more iron than normal builds up in the body, which can damage your tissues.

In addition, you may have other symptoms such as abdominal pain, joint pain, fatigue, and weight loss, among others.

Other health problems

In addition to the above diseases, excess vitamin C can lead to some of the following problems:

  • Gout attacks: A high intake of ascorbic acid in cases where the person has elevated uric acid levels can aggravate gout attacks.
  • Scurvy: If a person feeds on very concentrated doses of this vitamin and suddenly stops taking it, he may suffer from scurvy.
  • Increased diuresis: A high concentration of this nutrient can decrease the effects of some treatments, because diuresis is increased.

Recommended dose of vitamin C

So, what is the most adequate daily dose of vitamin C? you will wonder after knowing all the problems that its excess can bring. Next, we give you the most adequate amounts of vitamin C per day:

  • Children from 1 to 3 years: 15 mg. The maximum limit is approximately 400 mg.
  • Children from 4 to 8 years: 25 mg. The maximum limit is approximately 650 mg.
  • Children from 9 to 13 years: 45 mg. The maximum limit is approximately 1200 mg.
  • Children from 14 to 18 years: 75 mg. The maximum limit is approximately 1800 mg.
  • Adult population: 90mg (men) and 75mg (women). The maximum limit is approximately 2000 mg.

Now that you know the diseases caused by excess vitamin C, you may also be interested in this other article from on How to properly take vitamins.

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