Doctors warn against vitamin C overuse – WEAU

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)– When you feel a cold coming on, you reach for the OJ or vitamin C right? Not so fast. Doctors say when it comes to knocking out that cold, more vitamin C isn’t the answer.

Dr. Nate Stepp with Marshfield Clinic says taking too much vitamin C can even be dangerous.

“The average daily dose you should be getting is about 500mg. Really, that’s not much. It doesn’t take a lot to get,” says Stepp.

“It’s not toxic, but it if you get over ten times the amount you can get really sick. The number one thing would be Kidney Stones. Vitamin C, it’s an acid, and it will condense into a stone in your kidney, then you get a kidney stone. So not only do you have a cold but you have a lot of pain,” says Stepp.

Pharmacist Jason Lau says this time of year people are stocking up on supplements even before they have a cold.

“There are a lot of questions about vitamin C and its effectiveness and treating cough and colds during cold and flu season especially this time of year. You just have to watch out for the products because there are so many different ones out there,” says Lau.

Experts say a well-balanced diet helps people get all the vitamin C they need.

“Diet controls most of it. If you’re eating a well-balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, they have all the vitamin C you need. You don’t need to supplement it. Even if you are sick, it doesn’t help at all,” says Stepp.

So what do doctors suggest if you do have a cold?

“The most important thing you can do is take care of yourself, get the extra rest, and be gentle to yourself. You shouldn’t be pushing yourself to your limits. That’s about it,” says Stepp.

Doctors say it is important to get the 500mg recommended amount of vitamin c. They just ask that if you are taking a supplement, to keep track of how much you really are taking.


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