What are the Most Common Vitamin C Side Effects?

Anna T.

Most vitamin C side effects are very mild and typically occur only when a person has taken more than 2,000 mg, which is the maximum daily dosage. Some common side effects of vitamin C are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Other vitamin C side effects that are occasionally reported are headaches, fatigue, and heartburn. Serious side effects from vitamin C are very rare and typically occur only in people who have certain health conditions. People with cancer, kidney stones, and diabetes should take vitamin C supplements under the supervision of a doctor to avoid these serious side effects.

One possible side effect is a headache.
One possible side effect is a headache.

The majority of vitamin C side effects occur when a person takes supplements of vitamin C, but the vitamin can also cause a reaction in people who use the supplement topically. There are some different skin creams and medications that contain vitamin C, and the use of these might cause irritation at the site of application in people with skin allergies. A person who experiences mild side effects from using vitamin C either topically or internally should probably discontinue use of the supplement to see if the problems go away. If they do not, the symptoms may be related to some other health problem that might require medical attention.

Vomiting may be a side effect of vitamin C.
Vomiting may be a side effect of vitamin C.

People with serious health problems should never take any supplement without first consulting their doctor. This is especially true with vitamin C supplements, because vitamin C side effects can make some existing health problems worse. For example, people with cancer might need to have their vitamin C intake closely monitored because cancer cells seem to absorb an unusually high amount of vitamin C. Scientists are not entirely sure why this occurs, and until more is known, people with cancer are not advised to take the supplements without medical supervision.

Vitamin C might may increase the chances of kidney stones in people who have a history of them.
Vitamin C might may increase the chances of kidney stones in people who have a history of them.

Vitamin C might also increase the chances of kidney stones in people who have a history of them. It is also not recommended for a person with existing kidney stones to take any vitamin C supplements because they could make the problem worse. Vitamin C also tends to raise blood sugar in diabetics, and the amount of vitamin C a diabetic person takes each day in addition to what the person absorbs naturally from food should be monitored by a doctor. Pregnant women may also want to be careful not to take more than 120 mg of vitamin C per day. More than this might cause problems for an unborn baby.

Vitamin C side effects typically occur when a person has taken more than 2000 mg.
Vitamin C side effects typically occur when a person has taken more than 2000 mg.
Taking more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day may lead to fatigue.
Taking more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day may lead to fatigue.

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Discussion Comments

Chmander

The funny thing about vitamins is that despite their size, they contain a ton of vitamins and nutrients, which is exactly why they're measured in milligrams. Overall, whether it's as harmless and "by-the book" as vitamin C, or something as lethal as Cymbalta, always use caution when taking pills/vitamins/supplements, and never go above the recommended daily dose.

RoyalSpyder

@Viranty - While I do believe it's possible to overdose, the effects really depend on the person, and as you stated, the kind of health history they have. For example, when I was a kid, I remember my mom leaving some "gummy" vitamin C out on the table. Thinking it was candy, I grabbed a handful of five, and ate them. My mom came back, and scolded me. Fortunately, there were no negative side effects. Overall, it really depends on what kind of person you are, your health history, and if you've recently taken any other medication.

Viranty

Though there are some negative side effects to vitamin C, on the other hand, is it possible to overdose? This is mainly in reference to people who have never had a history with pregnancy or diabetes.

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