Important Vitamin Safety Tips

By , Category : Food and Nutrition

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Important Vitamin Safety TipsHere I wrap up the series on vitamin C with information everybody needs to consider whether you take a prescription drug or a natural supplement. I’m talking about dosage and safety notes.

Various dosages of vitamin C have been used depending on the purpose:

— Treating common colds: One to three grams (g) a day

— Preventing common colds: 600-1,000 milligrams (mg) a day

— Preventing sunburn: Two grams of vitamin C together with vitamin E (1,000 international units [IU])

— Preventing hardening of the artery: Slow-release vitamin C 250 mg plus 136 IU of vitamin E twice a day

Since the adverse effects of taking vitamin C are directly related to the dose, it is important for you to know what is the tolerable upper intake level is for your age group. And that’s easy: anybody over the age of 19 shouldn’t take more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C a day.

Common adverse effects of too high a dose include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal pain, diarrhea, flushing, headache, insomnia, fatigue, and bowel obstruction. Any dose higher than the tolerable upper intake of 2,000 mg a day could lead to these gastrointestinal symptoms.

Another side effect from an overdose of vitamin C is kidney stones. It has been estimated that those individuals taking over one gram per day of vitamin C increase their risk of kidney stones by 40%. Moreover, large doses of vitamin C have been associated with deep vein thrombosis. In postmenopausal women with diabetes, supplemental vitamin C in doses greater than 300 mg a day is associated with an increased risk of cardiac death. Also, there is preliminary evidence to suggest that supplemental intake of vitamin C at 500 mg a day for 18 months can cause a 2.5-fold increased rate of arterial wall thickening in the carotid artery (main blood supply to the brain) in non-smoking men and a five-fold increase in the men who smoke.

Several drugs can lower the blood levels of vitamin C and therefore require an increase in the dosage (speak to your doctor). They are the birth control pill and aspirin. If you take two aspirin tablets four times a day for seven days, vitamin-C levels in your white blood cells are lowered by 50%. Also, large doses of vitamin C may interfere with the action of a common blood thinner, warfarin, requiring an increase in warfarin dose. If you are on blood thinners, it is advisable to limit your vitamin C intake to no more than one gram a day and be sure to let your doctor know about this.

Read the previous two parts of this series:

The Little-known Secrets of Vitamin C
More Great Healing Secrets of Vitamin C
Can This Vitamin Prevent Heart Disease?

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Doctors Health Press publishes daily health articles and monthly health newsletters for a wide array of alternative and natural health topics like healing foods, homeopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, hidden cures for common illnesses, and natural self-healing. Doctors Health Press also publishes books and reports that provide timely health breakthroughs, always focusing on natural and alternative health. Topics include omega health, prostate health, natural weight loss, natural diabetes cures, heart health, stroke prevention, secret herbal cures, vision health, anti-aging, sexual... Read Full Bio »