Vitamin C Supplements Overdose Increase Risk of Kidney Stones

Vitamin C is a nutrient that the body needs for the sake of growth, recovery and ward off free radical cause premature aging. However, excessive consumption of vitamin C supplements may have negative effects on kidney health.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and nutrients necessary for many body functions, including growth and repair of body tissues, absorption of iron, supports the immune system, helps with wound healing and maintaining healthy bones, among other important tasks.

However, too much vitamin C supplements may be harmful. The healthiest way to get the vitamin C you need is through food, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

It seems that vitamin C levels that are too high can change the acid supplements in the body and cause kidney stones and other health problems. Scientists from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden conducted a study on this subject over the past 11 years involving 48,850 men aged 45 to 79 years.

Many of the study participants, about 436 men develop kidney stones. Researchers are also investigating the participants who took vitamin C supplements and other supplements instead. Meanwhile, as a comparison, the researchers also repeated the evaluation using data from participants who had taken multivitamins.

The results showed that men who took high doses of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to about 1,000 milligrams per day had a 2-fold higher risk of kidney stones.

"These findings can not be generalized to women, because generally men are more at risk of developing kidney stones than women," said Laura DK Thomas, MSc, leader of the study, as reported Emaxhealth, Wednesday (06/02/2013).

The study authors noted that men who took multivitamins did not show the same increase in risk for kidney stones. While the increased risk occurred only in participants who took high doses of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, which means soluble and not stored in the body, and rapidly eliminated from the body through urine. Thus, vitamin C should be replaced regularly. Daily requirement of vitamin C which is about 75 mg recommended for women who do not smoke and 90 mg for men who do not smoke.

Both men and women should add an extra 35 mg of vitamin C per day when smoked. Intake levels of vitamin C are tolerable for adults is about 2,000 mg per day, and most people do not experience side effects immediately if too much vitamin C.

But some people may develop symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and more frequent urination when taking vitamin C of 500 mg to 1,000 mg or more a day.

For some people who are more sensitive, too much vitamin C can cause more serious health problems, such as:

1. Kidney problems

In addition to the increased risk of kidney stones in the study described above, an overdose of vitamin C also increases the risk of kidney problems the other. Consumption of high levels of vitamin C supplementation can increase levels of oxalate in the urine and result in kidney stones calcium oxalate, the most common type of kidney stone.

Oxalate is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and chocolate, and is also produced by the liver.

2. Allergy

Anyone who has a corn allergy should examine whether vitamin C supplements consumed, because some supplements of vitamin C is made from corn.

3. Heart disease in women

Vitamin C supplements may be harmful for some women, especially postmenopausal women with diabetes. A study of more than 1,900 postmenopausal women with diabetes found that women who had the highest intake of vitamin C (more than 300 mg per day) of supplement (instead of food) have an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

4. The effect of blood thinners

High doses of vitamin C can thin the blood such as warfarin anticoagulant properties. Anyone who has been prescribed to take blood-thinning medications should consult a physician before taking supplements of vitamin C.

5. Diabetes

Taking high doses of vitamin C may have an impact on blood glucose levels in diabetic patients and thus affect the need for anti diabetic drugs. If you have diabetes, you should talk to your doctor before taking supplements of vitamin C.

6. Other health conditions

Anyone who has a medical condition related to the loading of acid, such as gout, cirrhosis, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, or renal tubular acidosis should consult a physician before taking high doses of vitamin C.