Hypervitaminosis of Vitamin C - Symptoms and Consequences
Today, a good half of humanity takes vitamins, and this does not always happen under the supervision of a doctor. The most common drug "for all occasions" is vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. It is given to children, and adults willingly swallow tasty yellow pills. It is believed that an overdose of vitamins does not have any consequences, and many people drink them simply for prevention, not particularly following the prescribed dose.
Meanwhile, vitamin preparations are the same medicines as other products of the pharmaceutical industry. They can cause a serious malfunction in the body. In what cases, possibly, poisoning with ascorbic acid? How is the excess of the recommended dose manifested, who needs to be cautious about taking drugs and how dangerous is an overdose of vitamin C? First, let's look at how ascorbic acid affects the metabolism in the human body.
The effect of vitamin C on the body
Still from the school bench, a classic example of vitamin deficiency is known to everyone, due to the long-term lack of vitamin C. Of course, ascorbic acid plays a very important role in the metabolism, and its lack leads to catastrophic consequences. Unlike many animals, the human body is not able to synthesize ascorbic acid and all its supplies come from outside with plant food.
Vitamin C performs the following functions:
- regulates carbohydrate metabolism;
- participates in oxidation-reduction processes inside the cell;
- ensures normal permeability of capillaries;
- stimulates the production of steroid hormones;
- supports the synthesis of collagen and procollagen;
- increases the status of the immune system;
- strengthens bone tissue and dentine;
- ensures normal clotting of blood;
- participates in the exchange of vitamins A, B and E.
Thanks to the activation of enzyme systems and the preservation of steroid hormones, vitamin C helps the body successfully cope with stress. Being a natural antioxidant, it restores the body's resources and promotes rapid healing of wounds, prevents the development of inflammatory diseases, slows down aging.
However, with improper intake of the drug, an excess of vitamin C can cause considerable damage to the body, including poisoning.
To whom do ascorbic acid harm?
With proper application, side effects of ascorbic acid are absent. However, it should be borne in mind that some groups of individuals should be administered with caution, adjusting the dose as needed under the supervision of a physician if necessary. Sensitive to an overdose of vitamin C and its effects:
- patients with impaired renal function;
- patients with diabetes mellitus;
- those who recommend a salt diet;
- pregnant women;
- hypertensive patients;
- with cataract;
- with a tendency to thrombosis.
In people who consume alcohol and nicotine, the requirements for ascorbic acid, on the contrary, increase. The stock in the body of ascorbic acid, which in healthy people is 1.5-2 grams, they are completely absent.
Dosage of Vitamin C
The normal daily intake of vitamin C for an adult is 30-50 mg, for children 20-30 mg.
The maximum dose for adults should not exceed 90 mg of ascorbic acid per day.
Taking vitamins should take into account that when you include in the diet products rich in ascorbic acid, the dose of the drug should be reduced, otherwise an overdose of vitamin C is possible. Such foods include:
- Bell pepper;
- parsley greens;
- black currant.
So, the use of one orange in food completely covers the daily need of a person in ascorbic acid.
In what cases is an overdose possible?
The excess of vitamin C in the body comes with daily intake of more than 1 gram of the drug per day. Also, an overdose is possible with a single dose intake of 20-30 times the normal daily requirement. A small excess of ascorbic acid is excreted by the body through the kidneys with virtually no harm.
Overdose of the drug may occur for several reasons:
- when receiving a large dose at random (for example, by a child);
- in the case of simultaneous reception of a significant amount of ascorbic acid and foods with increased content;
- constant abuse of vitamin C in the spring-autumn period.
Most often there is a chronic overdose of ascorbic acid with indistinct symptoms.
Symptoms of an overdose of vitamin C
The main symptoms of hypervitaminosis in excess of vitamin C are manifested in general disorders of the body:
- feeling of weakness;
- stomach ache;
- allergic reactions to the skin;
- Strong headache;
Overdose of ascorbic acid in a child can be accompanied by increased nervous excitability, unmotivated aggression, itching and rashes on the skin.
Consequences of an overdose of vitamin C
With prolonged overdose of the drug, serious consequences are possible:
- disturbance of the pancreas;
- kidney disease;
- gastritis and stomach ulcer;
- deficiency of B vitamins;
- the development of a persistent allergy to ascorbic acid;
- change in the morphological composition of the blood (decrease in the number of leukocytes);
- women have malfunctions in the menstrual cycle;
- increased blood pressure;
- clotting disorder.
Overdose of vitamin C in pregnancy
An overdose of vitamin C during pregnancy can cause severe disorders in the metabolism of the fetus, which in the end will affect the newborn. Activation of enzymes due to intake of excessive amounts of vitamin C during pregnancy can cause ricket scurvy in infants. In some cases, the consequences of an overdose of ascorbic acid can trigger a miscarriage.
Signs of vitamin C overdose in pregnant women:
- spasms in the stomach;
- deterioration of well-being;
Also, the assimilation of B vitamins is reduced, in particular: B12, selenium and copper.
What to do if an overdose of ascorbic acid
What should I do if I overdose on vitamin C? Ascorbic acid is easily soluble in water, so it is excreted well by the kidneys. Therefore, if there is a suspicion of overdose, take the medication and prescribe a copious drink. In the event that a significant single dose of ascorbic acid has been ingested in the body - more than 20 grams, immediately induce vomiting and rinse the stomach with plenty of water. Then take one of the adsorbents - activated carbon, "Smecta" or any other, and drink plenty of fluids to stimulate urination.
Let's sum up - vitamin C is very useful for infectious and colds, for prophylactic purposes during the demi-season, for people who use nicotine and alcohol in case of carbon monoxide poisoning and other indications. But uncontrolled use of the drug and excess of its dosage can cause significant harm to the body. Do not take more than 60 mg of ascorbic acid per day. Also, the poisoning with vitamin C, perhaps, with a single intake into the body of a large dose (20-30 grams). In case of an overdose of ascorbic acid, nausea and vomiting, weakness, abdominal pain and dizziness occur. With prolonged abuse of the drug, the kidneys and pancreas suffer. With extreme caution, ascorbic acid is taken during pregnancy, diabetes, cataracts and impaired renal activity.