Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?

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Vitamin C is a natural nutrient that is essential to your overall health. It helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, supports the immune system and aids in iron absorption. But is it possible to have too much of a good thing?

The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C for adults is 65mg to 90mg per day, with the upper end of tolerance hovering around 2,000mg. However, megadoses are often used without side effects.

While the general medical consensus is that megadoses of Vitamin C do not cause harm, there are possible negative side effects. Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means it does not accumulate in the body. Instead, any unabsorbed vitamin C passes through the body as waste. As a result, some people experience digestive issues when they consume large amounts of it, such as loose stools, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal bloating and cramps.

Taking higher doses may also inhibit the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy treatments and prescription drugs, including medications used to lower cholesterol, slow blood clotting and treat HIV/AIDS.

For most people, the risks associated with high doses of Vitamin C are very low. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including oranges and other citrus fruits, berries, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Vitamin C supplements are also an excellent way to get the recommended daily dose.