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Home Health Library Frequently Asked Questions Too much vitamin C: Is it harmful?

Too much vitamin C: Is it harmful?

Answer Section

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient. But you can get too much of it.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin that supports growth and development. It also helps your body absorb iron. Because your body doesn't make or store vitamin C, it's important to include vitamin C in your diet.

Most people can get enough vitamin C for the day in their food. An orange or a cup of strawberries, chopped red pepper or broccoli provides enough vitamin C for the day.

The recommended daily amount for vitamin C is 75 milligrams (mg) a day for women and 90 mg a day for men. During pregnancy, 120 mg a day are recommended. The upper limit for all adults is 2,000 mg a day. Although too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, large doses of vitamin C supplements might cause:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach (abdominal) cramps
  • Headache

Remember, for most people, a healthy diet provides enough vitamin C.

Last Updated: April 28th, 2022