- What Is It
- Upper Limits
- Daily Intake
- Side Effects
- Role in the Body
- Vitamin C Deficiency
Too much vitamin C, however, can cause side effects. Learn about the upper limits of vitamin C intake, how much you should have each day, and good sources to include in your diet.
What is vitamin C?
What are the upper limits of vitamin C intake?
|Age group||Upper limit (mg)|
|0 to 12 months||Not known|
|1 to 3 years||400|
|4 to 8 years||650|
|9 to 13 years||1200|
|14 to 18 years||1800|
|19 years and older||2000|
Your upper limit of vitamin C may vary depending whether you have any underlying conditions. For example, if you have chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, a history of kidney stones, or gout, you must not take more than 1000 mg of vitamin C per day.
If you are pregnant, you should also avoid Vitamin C supplementation in large doses because it can cause vitamin C deficiency in the baby after delivery.
How much vitamin C should you have each day?
|Age group||Gender||Recommended daily intake (mg)||Pregnancy (mg)||Breastfeeding (mg)|
|0 to 6 months||Males||40|
|7 to 12 months||Males||50|
|1 to 3 years||Males||15|
|4 to 8 years||Males||25|
|9 to 13 years||Males||45|
|14 to 18 years||Males||75||80||115|
|19 years and above||Males||90||85||120|
|Smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke||Males||Recommended daily amount+35 mg|
|Females||Recommended daily amount+35 mg|
Vitamin C supplements should be used with caution if you are taking certain medications such as lipid-lowering drugs (niacin and statins) or certain medications used for Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin C can also interfere with cancer treatment (chemotherapy and radiation therapy).
What are the side effects of taking too much vitamin C?
Excessive vitamin C intake can lead to the following side effects:
What foods are high in vitamin C?
Vitamin C is present in various fruits and vegetables, including:
What does vitamin C do for your body?
Vitamin C plays an important role in various functions of the body:
- Maintains healthy bones, cartilage, teeth, and gums
- Promotes immune system health
- Protects cells and tissues from the damaging effects of free radicals
- Helps wound healing
- Helps absorb iron from the gut
- Helps produce neurotransmitters in the brain and nerves
- Helps the adrenal glands produce crucial hormones
- Keeps the skin healthy
- Helps generate energy in the body by contributing to the formation of carnitine (a compound that helps release energy from fats)
- Maintains heart and blood vessel health
- Promotes brain health
- Helps maintain eye health
What are signs of vitamin C deficiency?
Signs that you may not be getting enough vitamin C include the following:
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Pale appearance
- Hair loss
- Delayed wound healing
- Easy bruising
- Loosening or falling teeth
- Frequent infections
Scurvy is a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. Symptoms such as gum bleeding, loss of teeth, and increased skin bruising are caused by a decreased synthesis of collagen, which is the result of a lack of Vitamin C.
Conditions that may increase the risk of vitamin C deficiency include:
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Harvard Health Publishing. By the way, doctor: What's the right amount of vitamin C for me? https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/by-the-way-doctor-whats-the-right-amount-of-vitamin-c-for-me
National Institutes of Health. Vitamin C. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
Chambial S, Dwivedi S, Shukla KK, John PJ, Sharma P. Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: an overview. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2013;28(4):314-328. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3783921/