Why too much vitamin C intake is bad for you

January 26, 2022 - 3:47 PM
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Image by Diana Polekhina via Unsplash

Arshie Larga, a pharmacist and TikTok creator, cautioned the public from taking too much vitamin C than the body needs.

In a TikTok video on January 25, Larga discussed how high doses of vitamin C can be damaging to the kidneys.

“Kung wala naman po kayong vitamin C deficiency, hindi naman niyo po kailangang uminom ng 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams ng vitamin C araw-araw,” he said.

Larga also explained that vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. It means it is easily dissolved and absorbed by the body.

An excess of it will only be discharged out of the body through urine.

“Ang sobrang vitamin C na hindi kailangan ng ating katawan ay sasama lang sa ating ihi. Pero dahil nga iihi lang natin ito, wala naman tayong nakukuhang health benefits dun sa sobrang vitamin C na ininom natin,” the pharmacy said.

Ingested vitamin C, however, is partly converted into a compound called oxalate.

High amounts of oxalate in the kidney can then lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Kidney stones are solid objects that can either be small or large that block a person’s urinary tract.

In the video, Larga cited data from the Philippine Dietary Reference Intakes in 2015 that stated adults should only consume between 60 and 70 mg of vitamin C per day.

The TikTok creator noted that a 500 mg of vitamin C tablet is already more than enough in a day.

“Kaya kung wala ka naman pong vitamin C deficiency, ang isang tableta ng 500 mg ng vitamin C ay more than enough na pang araw-araw na pangangailangan,” Larga said.

“At huwag kakalimutan na pede rin po tayong makakuha ng vitamin C sa pamamagitan ng pagkain ng prutas at gulay na masustansya sa vitamin C,” he added.

Some Twitter users who saw the video admitted drinking 1,000 mg of vitamin C every day.

“Not me drinking 1,000 mg of Vit C every day for two years now,” a Twitter user said.

“We’re taking the Kirkland Vitamin C 1,000 mg,” another Twitter user said.

‘Megadosing’

Larga discussion about vitamin C intake came after he noticed a tweet of a doctor named Ashley Winter MD who warned about “megadose” in vitamins C and D tablets.

“I’m telling you. Vitamin C and D “MEGADOSING” is causing so many stones right now. I’m tired. Everyone stop it!” Winter said.

The pharmacist quote-retweeted it and wrote about taking only 500 mg of vitamin C once a day.

“This is why I always remind yung mga gumagamit ng Vit C, 500mg twice a day or 1000mg once a day, na hindi nila kailangan uminom ng ganito karami lalo’t pwede pa rin ito makasama sa ating katawan. 500mg of Vit C is more than enough para sa ating daily needs,” Larga said.

Filipino doctor Ivan Vincente also saw Winter’s tweet and shared a screenshot of it in his post.

Vincente shared that someone asked him why there are several cases of patients with kidney stones in Palawan.

He then explained the link between the excess intake of vitamin C and kidney stone formation.

“The excess amount of Vitamin C is converted into OXALATE sa blood. Tapos sa kidney, oxalate will bind with calcium (mas tataas ang calcium when you take high-dose Vitamin D) to form calcium oxalate stones in the kidney. We only need 90 mg of Vitamin C per day. A piece of lemon has 20-30 mg of Vitamin C,” he said.