Excessive Vitamin C Intake

Excessive Vitamin C Intake: Causes

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is considered one of the essential nutrients for the human body. However, problems can arise when this vitamin is consumed in excessive amounts, leading to what is known as vitamin C overdose or hypervitaminosis C. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this condition.

Causes of Excessive Vitamin C Intake:
Excessive intake of vitamin C occurs when consuming amounts exceeding 2 grams per day. Common symptoms of this condition include nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and discomfort in the stomach. Prolonged consumption of vitamin C affects the formation of oxalate stones and leads to acidic conditions in the urine, creating favorable conditions for the proliferation of disease-causing bacteria.

In rare cases, vitamin C intake can lead to an increase in iron levels in patients with thalassemia or hemochromatosis, both of which are genetic disorders causing a deficiency in hemoglobin and iron.

Side Effects of Vitamin C Include:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders: such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, and intestinal cramps.
  • Cardiovascular complications: serious problems in the cardiovascular system may occur, and with excessive long-term use, these problems may become irreversible.
  • Central nervous system disorders: including nervousness, insomnia, and headaches.
  • Dermatological reactions: skin reactions such as allergies and swelling may occur.
  • Vasodilation: enlargement of blood vessels may occur.
  • Urinary system disorders: excessive vitamin C intake may contribute to the formation of oxalate stones in the kidneys.

It is important to consider drug interactions and the effects of hypervitaminosis on the metabolism of other vitamins. The complex and multifactorial drug interaction of vitamin C is important and can cause serious side effects when taken with other medications simultaneously.

When a patient suspects excessive intake, they usually inform the doctor about the medications or supplements they are taking, which helps confirm the diagnosis.