Are there any risks in taking vitamin C?

Generally, the amounts of vitamin C available in foods are considered to be safe for most people. Vitamin C supplements, especially in high doses, can be harmful to your kidneys, particularly if it is taken in conjunction with other drugs or medications that can affect the kidneys. If you are receiving chemotherapy or taking drugs for bowel conditions, medications to prevent organ transplant rejection, pain medication, arthritic medication, antiviral medication, or any sort of antibiotic injections, you should consult your doctor first before taking vitamin C supplements. High doses of vitamin C can cause many kinds of problems, including kidney stones and diarrhea.

Exceeding the upper limit for vitamin C -- 2,000 milligrams per day -- can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal distress. This is worth watching out for, since many popular supplements contain 1,000 milligrams -- more than 10 times the RDA.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.