About a year ago, I attended a seminar on benefits of food supplements and found out that the most common food supplement being offered today is vitamin C. According to the seminar, vitamin C is an essential part of our daily diet since it helps us fight infection, promotes healthy teeth, gums, and bones, keeps our blood vessels healthy, aids in the absorption of iron and helps to heal our wounds. It is also known as an antioxidant that protects our cells against damage.

The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is around 75 to 90 mg a day up to a maximum of 2000mg per day. Low intake of vitamin C over time can lead to bleeding gums, weak teeth, susceptibility to infection and anemia. It is recommended that we take at least one tablet or capsule of vitamin C. Our body only absorbs the vitamin C it needs and naturally flushes out the excess vitamin C in our body so there is no need to worry about overdose of vitamin C. As a result, I regularly take 1 500mg capsule of vitamin C per day and more whenever I have colds or infections.

Recently, I found out that there are side effects on mega-dosing of vitamin C. Mega dosing is the consumption of vitamin C well beyond the recommended dietary intake. In most cases, Vitamin C has low toxicity and high intakes are tolerated. But for others more than 1 gram per day can cause nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, iron overload, acid erosion of the teeth, and kidney stones. Given these facts, it’s highly unlikely that I would suffer from the side effects of mega dosing. Yet, one cannot ignore that there is a chance for these side effects to manifest in the future if I continue to take excessive dosage of vitamin C.

Why take the unnecessary health risk when you can enjoy the benefits of a simple and healthy diet? My personal resolve is to get my vitamin C source the natural way. Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C. Citrus fruits are known for their rich vitamin C content while other vegetables such as red and green bell peppers, broccoli, potato and cabbage have the highest vitamin C content.  There are plenty of natural sources of vitamin C that do not pose any risks of overdosage and that tastes delicious as well.