You Have Too Much Vitamin C If This Happens To You

Vitamin C is one of the most popular nutritional supplements around, available in everything from standard pills to chewable tablets and gummies. It's a key nutrient in the body, responsible for maintaining strong bones, improving brain function, facilitating wound healing, and keeping the immune system strong, according to Healthline. Anecdotally, many people also believe it wards off colds.

Vitamin C is readily available in many foods, including citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, and peppers, according to WebMD. Because of this, it's generally easy to get the recommended daily amount (RDA) from your diet. For adults, that RDA equals 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women.

If you're also taking a vitamin C supplement, it's important to check the bottle for the dosage. That's because many supplements are high in milligrams, and too much of this vitamin can lead to some unpleasant, though not necessarily dangerous, side effects.

A maximum of 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily is considered safe for most adults. Vitamin C is water-based, so anything your body cannot use is simply flushed out in urine, according to Healthline.

Side effects of too much vitamin C can be uncomfortable

But before your body flushes it out, the vitamin C will hit your digestive tract, where it can lead to side effects like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, and heartburn, according to the Mayo Clinic. It might also bring on headaches and insomnia in some people. If you're experiencing any of these, you might want to check your supplement dosage and be sure you're under that 2,000-milligram limit. Better yet, try to just get vitamin C from your diet and stay close to the 75-90 milligram recommendation.

This is particularly true for some people who have a condition, such as hemochromatosis, that causes increased iron absorption in the body. Vitamin C is known to facilitate iron absorption and can lead to serious side effects including liver, heart, and pancreas damage among this group of people. Of course, this iron overload is rare if you don't have an existing condition. 

The good news is that all you have to do to alleviate the side effects is lessen the amount of vitamin C you're taking by stopping or reducing supplements.