Vitamin C hypervitaminosis - symptoms and effects
Today, a good half of humanity takes vitamins, and this is not always the case under the supervision of a physician. The most common drug "for all occasions" - vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. It is given to children, and adults willingly swallow delicious yellow dragees. It is customary to think that an overdose of vitamins has no consequences, and many people drink them simply for prevention, without particularly observing the prescribed dose.
Meanwhile, vitamin preparations are the same drugs as other products of the pharmaceutical industry. They can cause a serious failure of the body. In what cases, perhaps, poisoning with ascorbic acid? How is the excess of the recommended dose, who needs to be wary of taking medications and the danger of an overdose of vitamin C? To begin, consider how ascorbic acid affects the metabolism in the human body.
The effect of vitamin C on the body
A classic example of avitaminosis - scurvy, caused by a prolonged vitamin C deficiency, is known to everyone from the school bench. Certainly, ascorbic acid plays a very important role in metabolism, and its deficiency leads to disastrous consequences. Unlike many animals, the human body is not able to synthesize ascorbic acid and all its reserves come from the outside with plant food.
Vitamin C performs the following functions:
- regulates carbohydrate metabolism;
- participates in redox processes inside the cell;
- provides normal capillary permeability;
- stimulates the production of steroid hormones;
- supports the synthesis of collagen and procollagen;
- increases the status of the immune system;
- strengthens bone tissue and dental dentin;
- provides normal blood clotting;
- participates in the metabolism of vitamins A, B and E.
Thanks to the activation of enzyme systems and the preservation of steroid hormones, vitamin C helps the body to 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, and slows down aging.
However, if you take the drug improperly, an overabundance of vitamin C can cause considerable damage to the body, up to and including poisoning.
To whom ascorbic acid is harmful
With proper use, side effects of ascorbic acid are absent. However, it should be borne in mind that some groups of persons should prescribe the drug with caution, adjusting the dose, if necessary, under the supervision of a physician. Sensitive to vitamin C overdose and its effects:
- patients with impaired renal function;
- those who are recommended salt diet;
- pregnant women;
- with cataracts;
- with a tendency to thrombosis.
People who use alcohol and nicotine, on the contrary, increase their need for ascorbic acid. The stock in the body of ascorbic acid, which in healthy people is 1.5-2 grams, they are completely absent.
Vitamin C Dosage
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 be borne in mind that when you include foods rich in ascorbic acid in your diet, you need to reduce the dose of the drug, otherwise overdose of vitamin C is possible. These foods include:
- Bell pepper;
- black currant.
So, the use of one orange in food completely covers the daily human need for ascorbic acid.
When is overdose possible?
An excess of vitamin C in the body occurs with daily intake of more than 1 gram of the drug per day. An overdose is also possible with a single dose of 20-30 times the normal daily requirement. A small excess of ascorbic acid is eliminated by the body through the kidneys with little or no harm.
An overdose of the drug can occur for several reasons:
- in case of accidental use of a large dose (for example, by a child);
- in case of simultaneous reception of a significant amount of ascorbic acid and food products with its increased content;
- constant abuse of vitamin C in the spring and autumn.
The most common chronic overdose of ascorbic acid with ill-defined symptoms.
Symptoms of an overdose of vitamin C
The main symptoms of hypervitaminosis with an excess of vitamin C, manifested in general disorders of the body:
- feeling weak;
- stomach ache;
- allergic skin reactions;
- Strong headache;
An overdose of ascorbic acid in a child may be accompanied by increased nervous excitability, unmotivated aggression, itching, and skin rashes.
Consequences of Vitamin C Overdose
With a long overdose of the drug may have serious consequences:
- disruption of the pancreas;
- kidney disease;
- gastritis and gastric ulcer;
- vitamin B deficiency;
- development of persistent allergy to ascorbic acid;
- changes in the morphological composition of the blood (reducing the number of leukocytes);
- in women - failures in the menstrual cycle;
- high blood pressure;
- violation of blood clotting.
Vitamin C overdose during pregnancy
An overdose of vitamin C during pregnancy can cause severe metabolic disorders in the fetus, which ultimately will affect the newborn. Activation of enzymes due to the intake of excessive amounts of vitamin C during pregnancy can cause ricochet scong in infants. In some cases, the consequences of an overdose of ascorbic acid can cause miscarriage.
Signs of vitamin C overdose in pregnant women:
- stomach cramps;
- deterioration of health;
The digestibility of vitamins of group B is also reduced, in particular: B12, selenium and copper.
What to do with an overdose of ascorbic acid
What to do with an overdose of vitamin C? Ascorbic acid is readily soluble in water, so it is well excreted by the kidneys. Therefore, if an overdose is suspected, they discontinue taking the drug and prescribe a heavy drink. If a significant single dose of ascorbic acid has entered the body - more than 20 grams, you should immediately induce vomiting and wash 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.
To summarize - 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 for other reasons. But uncontrolled use of the drug and exceeding its dosage can cause significant harm to the body. You can not take more than 60 mg of ascorbic acid per day. Also poisoning with vitamin C, possibly, with a single intake 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 are affected. With extreme caution, ascorbic acid is taken during pregnancy, diabetes, cataracts and impaired kidney activity.