FYI: Too Much Vitamin C Can Cause Kidney Stones

If you’re taking vitamin C dietary supplements, it’s possible you’ll wish to take a more in-depth have a look at your dosage. Some individuals are overdoing it because of sketchy recommendation they’re seeing on-line, and creating uncomfortable uncomfortable side effects like nausea, complications or heartburn — and, in excessive circumstances, painful kidney stones.

Last week, a TikTok influencer battling colon most cancers shared that she developed kidney stones after she’d been taking very excessive doses of vitamin C in an effort to spice up her immunity and fight the most cancers. She mentioned she had been ingesting 50 g of vitamin C day by day, she mentioned, which equals a whopping 50,000 mg. The advisable day by day consumption for ladies is 75 mg.

After seeing the video on TikTok, Dr. Ashley Winter, a board-certified urologist and chief medical officer at Odela Health, posted to X, previously often called Twitter, to interrupt down why taking an excessive amount of vitamin C isn’t solely unhelpful — it can be harmful.

“Excess vitamin C in your diet doesn’t DO anything for your immune system because you just pee it out. And in your pee, the vitamin C becomes Oxalate, which is one of the major causes of KIDNEY STONES! YOU ARE LITERALLY FOLLOWING A DAMN KIDNEY STONE RECIPE,” Winter wrote.

Supplement wants can differ, so it’s greatest to speak with a health care provider to determine what’s greatest for you rather than going off the idea that you just want extra of a vitamin in your well being. And within the case of vitamin C, there might be such a factor as overdoing it.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that’s present in citrus fruits (assume: oranges and grapefruit), cruciferous greens (similar to cauliflower and kale) and potatoes. It performs an essential function within the progress of our pores and skin, bones and connective tissue. It’s additionally a strong antioxidant, which means it protects our cells from free radical injury. At a standard dose, which is 75 mg a day for ladies and 90 mg a day for males, vitamin C helps wholesome immune operate.

You don’t wish to have low ranges of vitamin C, however the overwhelming majority of individuals don’t. Too little vitamin C may cause points like simple bruising and dry, splitting hair. Serious vitamin C deficiencies trigger scurvy, a illness that may result in fatigue, anemia and joint ache together with bleeding gums and loosened enamel. However, it’s not widespread — within the United States, about 7.1% of the inhabitants could develop any sort of vitamin C deficiency in response to the Cleveland Clinic, and the incidence of maximum deficiency that results in scurvy is uncommon.

On the flip facet, boosting vitamin C ranges too excessive additionally brings points. Because it’s water-soluble, vitamin C will not be saved in your physique. Your kidney processes it and also you pee it out, Winter mentioned. This means two issues. One: High quantities of vitamin C received’t do something in your well being as a result of it’ll simply get excreted in your urine. Two: It might be dangerous. As your kidneys course of an overflow of vitamin C, oxalate, one of many primary causes of kidney stones, types and accumulates. Over time, that oxalate can crystallize and switch into kidney stones, mentioned Winter. Your kidneys will primarily must work additional time and there are going to be well being penalties, she added.

Some of the milder indicators it’s possible you’ll be ingesting an excessive amount of vitamin C embody gastrointestinal issues like nausea, diarrhea, heartburn and vomiting. Plus, the upper your dose, the higher your threat of kidney stones. Kidney stones can block urine circulate out of your kidneys and be extremely painful. While some folks can go kidney stones naturally, others will want surgical procedure to recuperate. In extreme circumstances, an excessive amount of vitamin C may even result in kidney failure.

“High doses of vitamin C don’t really ‘help’ that much,” mentioned Dana Ellis Hunnes, a medical dietitian, assistant professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and writer of “Recipe for Survival.”

Vitamin C dietary supplements most likely don’t enhance your immune system, anyway.

Hunnes mentioned individuals are typically trying to be wholesome or more healthy generally, and dietary supplements are usually marketed as a comparatively low cost method to obtain that. While nutritional vitamins and minerals are important for a number of physique capabilities, it’s essential to not get carried away.

“Just because a little bit of something is good doesn’t mean a lot of something is better,” she mentioned.

Winter mentioned she began to see an uptick in sufferers taking excessive portions of dietary supplements like vitamin C in the course of the pandemic, when many individuals had been trying for pure methods to spice up their immune system. (Data reveals vitamin C gross sales soared throughout 2020.) It doesn’t assist that you will discover vitamin C merchandise all over the place, with many claiming to boost your well being or enhance your immune system.

Despite the widespread recognition and accessibility of such merchandise, there’s actually no convincing proof to help the assumption that top doses of vitamin C do something in your immune system, mentioned Winter. “There’s this conflation between taking normal vitamin C, correcting scurvy, and using excess quantities of vitamin C for this quote-unquote immune boost,” she mentioned.

So, how a lot vitamin C do you have to take?

As talked about above, the advisable day by day consumption of vitamin C in adults is 75 mg for ladies and 90 mg for males. Most folks get greater than sufficient vitamin C by consuming vegatables and fruits or by taking a multivitamin and don’t have to take any vitamin C dietary supplements, Winter mentioned. Eating vegatables and fruits like oranges, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, is one of the simplest ways to get your day by day dose of vitamin C. Not solely are these meals supply of the vitamin, however the calcium in them helps to inhibit the manufacturing of kidney stones, in response to Harvard Health.

That mentioned, vitamin C dietary supplements are advisable for sure well being situations that trigger intestinal malabsorption issues or to counteract the uncomfortable side effects from some medicines, like methenamine. Even in these conditions, which must be carefully monitored by a well being care supplier, an individual most likely wouldn’t want greater than a 500 mg complement, Winters mentioned.

If you do have a priority about the correct amount of vitamin C in your wants, attain out to your doctor. The higher restrict for adults is 2,000 mg a day, however that doesn’t imply it’s price getting near the restrict. Anything greater than the advisable day by day allowance or maybe even as much as two or thrice that quantity doesn’t actually do you any good anyway, mentioned Hunnes. “You’re best to get the daily requirement, maybe slightly more, and call it a day,” she mentioned.

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