Vitamin C & Gas

Organic oranges, on homegrown orange tree
Oranges grow on a tree branch. (Image: Mermusta/iStock/Getty Images)

Because vitamin C is water soluble, your body does not store the excess, and this makes the likelihood of overdosing rare. However, if you consume vitamin C supplements in very high doses, this can lead to symptoms of digestive upset, such as gas. Discuss your vitamin intake with your health care provider, and ask about lowering your dosage if you experience gas or other side effects from taking supplements.

Function of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for your body. Your tissues need it to repair themselves, as well as grow, and it also aids in the production of collagen, which is an essential protein found in your cartilage, tendons, skin, ligaments and blood vessels. It also helps to ward off free radicals and other environmental aggressors that can build up in your body and lead to conditions such as heart disease, arthritis and certain cancers. You need 75 milligrams of vitamin C a day if you are an adult female and 90 milligrams a day if you are male.

Overdose

If you overdose on vitamin C, it will most likely be because you are taking supplements in large doses. The tolerable upper limit of this vitamin is 2,000 milligrams a day. Taking more than this can cause gas both on its own and gas that is associated with diarrhea, vomiting and other intestinal disturbances. You may also experience heartburn, headaches, insomnia, kidney stones and abdominal cramping. If this occurs, talk to your doctor about consuming fewer vitamin C supplements.

Vitamin C in Diet

By eating a healthy, balanced diet, most people can meet the RDA for vitamin C and will not need to take supplements. This will help you avoid the gas and other complications from consuming large doses of vitamin C in supplemental form. Try eating more oranges, strawberries, red peppers, winter squash, watermelon or kiwi. However, be aware that certain food sources of vitamin C are more prone to cause gas, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. If you experience gas from food, try eliminating these sources from your diet.

Additional Considerations

While taking too much vitamin C can have adverse effects, not getting enough can be harmful as well. A vitamin C deficiency can result in a compromised immune system, gingivitis, anemia, nosebleeds, rough skin, splitting hair, swollen joints and other symptoms. If you believe you are not getting enough vitamin C in your diet, talk to your doctor about what foods you can eat or the dosage of supplements you should take. Let her know about your gas and other intestinal issues, and she can help you come up with solutions to meet the RDA for vitamin C without upsetting your bowels.

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