Can You Get Too Much Vitamin C?
Therapeutic vitamin C therapy can seem dangerous at first blush. It’s true that the therapy doses are considerably higher than the recommended daily allowances (RDA). A healthy man should consume about 90 mg of ascorbic acid; and a healthy female should take in about 75 mg per day. This number increases for smokers and pregnant/nursing females.
For therapeutic purposes, it’s believed that you should take as much as 1,000 mg every six hours. So what’s fact and what’s fiction? This article will examine myths and facts surrounding vitamin C dosing.
Dr. Thomas Levy, a physician who has researched the use of Vitamin C for medicinal purpose, writes in his book Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases and Toxins, that ascorbic acid is “one of the safest and least toxic therapies that can be administered to a patient on a regular basis.”
Another physician notes that over 20,000 patients treated with the super vitamin experienced a “remarkable lack of systemic difficulties” other than a few mild side effects when they received intravenous doses ranging from 4,000 to over 200,000 mg in a day including acid stomach or a mild rash.
So, the science is pointing to safety in vitamin C therapy, but we’ve just scratched the surface of the myths. Let’s look at a few common ones and their rebuttals to see the real reason behind ascorbic acid therapy.
Myth: You can develop kidney stones from ingesting too much vitamin C.
Fact: One study showed that men actually reduced their chances of kidney stones for every 1 milligram of vitamin C in their bloodstream. Another study that followed 85,000 women for 14 years showed no increase in kidney stones when women were treated with vitamin C.
Myth: You can develop cancer from too much vitamin C.
Fact: Again, it seems that vitamin C helps rather than hinders health. It’s been suggested in multiple studies that vitamin C helps cancer patients regain their strength and well-being faster. Newer research argues that increasing the dosage of ascorbic acid actually helps improve longevity.
Myth: You can reject a donated organ if you take vitamin C after a transplant.
Fact: In actuality, vitamin C helps transplant recipients avoid a serious complication that leads to organ rejection. One study suggests a daily dose of just 500 mg of vitamin C coupled with 400 mg of vitamin E reduces a very common side effect known as coronary arteriosclerosis.
We hope this opened your eyes to some of the rhetoric surrounding the use of vitamin C. It’s important to review the claims of any medical study with a skeptical eye.