The Role of Vitamin C in Your Supplement Program

The Role of Vitamin C in Your Supplement Program

Whether its part of a multivitamin or one of those orange flavored chewables, a lot of Vitamin C gets consumed in the United States every year. Most of it is taken during the fall and winter, when weather conditions cause us to remain in doors and in close proximity for extended lengths of time. This should arouse some questions in your mind. Is it safe? Is it effective? Does it interact with any medications? Can I take too much? If so, what will happen? Here are a few answers to these questions.

1) Is it safe? In normal supplement amounts, Vitamin C is safe. It is a water soluble vitamin, so most of the time what you don’t need isn’t stored in your body, it’s excreted.

2) Is it effective? To prevent colds or get you over them really. Oh, if you are under extreme stress, say you’re competing in an Iron Man contest, it may cut the likelihood of catching one. Unfortunately, the rest of us won’t see much of a benefit. Drinking the juice will do more good, as it provides your body with extra fluids.

3) Does it interact with other medications? Yes, it does. NSAIDs (like aspirin, Tylenol, etc.), birth control pills, barbiturates, some heart medications, chemotherapy drugs, some types of antacids, protease inhibitors, some antibiotics and Coumodin (also known as warfarin). If you take any medications, speak to your doctor before taking a C supplement.

4) Can I take too much? Yes and no. An occasional overdose won’t be much of a problem, as it gets excreted. You may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a headache and other symptoms, but once the excess amounts have been eliminated, these disappear. Continual overdoses can cause problems bigger problems. One of them is kidney damage. It is advisable that you stay within the normal parameters suggested on the label.

If you have questions about how much Vitamin C you should take, speak to your doctor. You may also be referred to a nutritionist, who can help you plan a diet that will meet all of your nutrition needs. It’s a good idea to tell both the doctor and the nutritionist about your medical background. This includes any medical conditions you have an any medications or supplements you take. This can help prevent side effects and harmful drug/herb interactions.