How vitamin C abuse can harm you

Vitamin C, otherwise known as ascobic acid is essential for life. From its name,  Vita + Min, you wouldn’t need nobody to tell you that ascorbic acid is vital for life and well-being. If you ask a pharmacist what a Vitamin c is,  he would start this way: “it is a water soluble vitamin” before other jargon can come in. If vitamin c is water soluble, what that means is that it can’t be stored in the body, hence it is needed daily from food or supplements. Another reason is that humans don’t produce it.

Who needs vitamin c?

As said earlier, vitamin C is essential for life and well-being, hence, everyone needs it. What differs is the quantity that each person needs. Men need 90mg while women need 75mg daily. Because smoke increases oxidative stress in our body, smokers’ daily requirement is high -125mg daily.

Ordinarily, the food we eat, especially fruits, should give us this required quantities. But because 90% of what is consumed now is junk, supplementation is very necessary.

What is the use of vitamin C

Vitamin C is needed for a healthy life.

It is used to prevent scurvy, a disease condition that result from its deficiency. Scurvy’s early symptoms include weakness, tiredness, sore arms and legs and curly hair.

It is still needed in collagen formation and this enhances wound healing.

Also, it helps man in developing resistance to infections including Covid-19. In other words, it boosts immunity.

It is an antioxidant and as a result, it helps in mopping up oxygen radicals which lead to cells damage and homeostatic disruption. It’s the antioxidant property of vitamin C that helps smokers more especially because smoke put them in high oxidative stress.

What if I don’t have enough vitamin C in the body?

Deficiency of vitamin C is rare but when it is present, it leads to scurvy, poor wound healing, tendency to bruise easily, and muscle cramps.

How can vitamin C abuse kill?

Hypervitaminosis is a state of too much vitamins in the body. Vitamin C being water soluble hardly reach to this level though. Albeit, daily dose of 2g and above (and at times 1g per day) for a long duration poses a health problem. These may include

  • Low uric acid level
  • Haemolytic anaemia
  • Oxalate kidney stone
  • Rebound scurvy (at abrupt withdrawal)

Low uric acid level in the blood puts us at a great danger of death.

Oxalate kidney stone leads to kidney failure and death if left untreated. From this, it is obvious that vitamin C abuse can lead to death or debilitating sickness.

What can I do if my doctor places me on high dose vitamin C for a long duration?

When you need high dose vitamin C as would be determined by your doctor, it does not take away the chances of developing calcium oxalate stone which could lead to kidney stone and kidney failure consequently if left untreated. In addition, other problems associated with vitamin C abuse or its high dose intake may still come.

The question now is, does it now mean that nothing can be done to prevent any of these problems associated with taking high doses of vitamin C from coming? This question is necessary because we may at one point or the other need high strength vitamin C even for a long time.

Well, all hope is not lost.

One measure to prevent these associated problems from coming is to stick to your doctor’s prescriptions.

Another way to prevent these problems, especially kidney stone formation, from coming is by taking high strength vitamin C with a lot of water. Liberal water intake is still encouraged throughout the period of high strength Vitamin C intake.

In conclusion, please avoid drug abuse. Avoid self medication also. They can kill or can disabling damage.


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