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Implications of Taking Large Doses of Vitamin C

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Are There Any Benefits to Taking Very Large Doses of Vitamin C?

(Written by Ryan Raman on April 20, 2021 — Medically reviewed by Amy Richter, RD)

Vitamin C is essential for good health, but is it beneficial to consume more than the recommended daily amount? Our nutritionist says it’s unlikely.

Q: Are there any benefits to taking large doses of vitamin C, say, five times the recommended amount?

Vitamin C is an important nutrient that plays many roles in your health.
It helps support your immune system, aids in iron absorption, and has antioxidant properties that help protect against damage from oxidative stress

In recent years, many people have started taking high doses of vitamin C in an attempt to improve their health and gain benefits beyond the amount obtained through their diet.
However, high doses of vitamin C are unlikely to provide any additional benefit.
This is because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it dissolves in water. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins aren’t stored in your body — instead, excess amounts get excreted through your urine (3Trusted Source).
In addition, consuming excessive amounts of vitamin C through supplements may cause adverse effects in susceptible individuals. These include:
• Kidney stones. Excess vitamin C is removed by the body as oxalate, a waste product. In some cases, though, oxalate may form crystals and lead to kidney stones. Consuming too much vitamin C may increase the amount of oxalate in your urine and increase the risk of kidney stones (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
• Digestive symptoms. Consuming excess vitamin C through supplements may cause digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps (6Trusted Source, 7).
• Iron overload. Individuals with hemochromatosis, a condition that raises the risk of iron accumulation in the body, may experience iron overload. This is a serious condition that may cause damage to various organs (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
Vitamin C has a daily value (DV) of 90 mg per day, which is the recommended amount you should consume each day. It can easily be reached by consuming vitamin C–rich foods, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli, and bell peppers (7).
However, you can safely consume up to 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day without experiencing adverse health effects. This is the established tolerable upper limit for vitamin C intake (7).
It’s important to note that it’s nearly impossible to consume excessive amounts of vitamin C through foods. It’s far more likely to happen through supplements.

Supplement marketers go into overdrive during cold and flu season, advertising products that promise to decrease your odds of getting sick. Vitamin C is among the best-known, most accessible antioxidants that have been touted to help prevent you from getting sick.
Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is one of the many water-soluble nutrients found naturally in fruits and vegetables. Many people also take supplements to ensure they’re getting enough of it. This has raised concerns over the likelihood of an accidental overdose.
Too much vitamin C can cause undesirable effects. However, a severe overdose is rare and unlikely. The key is to learn how much vitamin C you really need.

Vitamin C is a type of antioxidant. It helps protect the body from free radicals that damage and destroy otherwise healthy cells. In this respect, getting enough of the nutrient is just one way you can support your body’s natural defenses against illness. This is how it gained its reputation as a virus-fighting vitamin.
It also helps increase iron absorption, which is essential for growth and overall body functions. Not having enough vitamin C can lead to a potentially deadly condition known as scurvy.
Oranges and orange juices are perhaps the best-known sources of vitamin C, but other items in the produce aisle are chock-full, including:
• bell peppers
• broccoli
• cantaloupe
• grapefruit
• kiwi
• potatoes
• strawberries
• tomatoes
You probably don’t need a vitamin C supplement if you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. In fact, just one serving of any of the above foods likely will get you to your daily quota.

How Much Is Too Much?

According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult woman requires 70mg of vitamin C a day. The average man requires 90mg. Recommended amounts are higher for pregnant and nursing women.
It’s important to discuss your individual nutritional needs with your doctor. The maximum recommended amount, or upper limit, is 2,000mg per day for all adults.
Taking more than the upper limit for vitamin C isn’t life-threatening, but you may experience side effects like:
• abdominal pain
• cramps
• diarrhea
• headaches
• nausea (and possible vomiting)
• sleeping problems

People with hemochromatosis are in danger of a vitamin C overdose. This condition causes your body to store excessive amounts of iron, which is exacerbated by taking too much vitamin C. This condition can lead to body tissue damage.
Vitamin C supplements may also interact with certain medications. This is especially true of medications for heart disease and cancer. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking a supplement.

Other Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Despite what supplement makers have led you to believe, there is no scientific evidence that vitamin C directly prevents colds and flu viruses. In fact, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine says that taking these costly supplements only slightly minimizes the duration of a cold. Furthermore, taking vitamin C after getting sick doesn’t help at all.

You’re better off saving your money and making sure you get enough vitamin C in your daily diet instead.
As with other preventive health measures, the best way to ward off cold and flu viruses is to take care of yourself. You can accomplish this by:
• getting adequate sleep every night
• exercising regularly
• eating nutritious foods
• refraining from excess caffeine and alcohol

 

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Health

COVID-19: FG Hasn’t Introduced New Lockdown – SGF Clarifies

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…We Are Only Maintaining Existing Regulations, He Says
Boss Mustapha

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee, (PSC) on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, has clarified misrepresentation in the briefing of the PSC on Monday.

Mustapha, who spoke to News Agency of (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja, said it was erroneously reported that the had re-introduced nationwide curfew between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. as part of the COVID-19 safety protocols.

 

 

He, However, said the announcement by the National Incident Manager, Dr. Mukhtar Mohammed, during the PSC press briefing was taken out of context because the did not relax the curfew imposed earlier under Phase Three of the eased lockdown.

Rather, he explained that what Mohammed said was that the was maintaining the curfew under the Phase Four of the phased restriction of movement.

 

 

“Under the Fourth Phase of restriction of movement, night clubs, gyms and others will remain closed till further notice; while all citizens will also ensure that mass gatherings outside work settings do not exceed maximum of 50 people in an enclosed space.

“These restrictions have been in existence under the Third Phase but are being maintained under the Phase Four of the phased restriction of movement,” said the SGF.

 

 

He further said because people had been violating the safety protocols, they had forgotten that the protocols were never relaxed in the first place.

“Therefore, the PSC hereby reiterates that there is no newly introduced lockdown. There is no need for the panic that followed the announcement of the Fourth Phase of the phased restriction of movement.

 

“We will continue to appeal to members of the public to comply with these restrictions because they are necessary safety measures against contracting the dreaded coronavirus, which is still ravaging human populations across the world,” said Mustapha.

NAN reports that approved the transition of the Presidential Task Force () on COVID-19 to PSC on COVID-19, which took effective from April 1, with a modified mandate to reflect the non-emergent status of COVID-19 as a potentially long-term pandemic.

“The structure of the PSC shall reflect the new focus of the response with a targeted approach on vaccine oversight, risk , international travel quarantine processes and sub-national engagement; and that the tenure of the PSC shall last till 31 December, 2021,” said the president.

He added that the PSC would maintain the present constitution, functions and strategies of the ; be supported by a slim technical and administrative structure.

Mohammed is expected to formally take over from the National Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu, and function as the Head (Technical Secretariat) and member of the PSC. (NAN)

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Health

FG Reintroduces COVID-19 Restrictions, Shuts Bars, Recreational Centres, Limits Public Gatherings

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The Federal Government has reintroduced COVID-19 restrictions across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This new directive is to take effect by midnight of Tuesday, a member of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Dr Mukhtar Mohammed, declared.

Mohammed, who is the Head of Technical Secretariat of the PSC, made the announcement while briefing reporters on Monday in Abuja.

With the restrictions imposed, mass gatherings in public spaces have been restricted to 50 people at any given time.

Access to government institutions would also be denied to anyone not wearing a face mask while government meetings and travels have been limited to the virtual platform.

According to Mohammed, the government has directed that bars and nightclubs should remain closed and the nationwide curfew will be in force until further notice.

He added that only essential international travels would be encouraged, and all existing protocols must be strictly adhered to.

The PSC member, however, stated that there was no limitation to intra-state travel.

A file photo of a healthcare worker holding a COVID-19 test kit. TARSO SARRAF / AFP

 

On his part, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, said returning foreign passengers who fled the quarantine facilities and violated the compulsory requirement would not go unpunished.

He noted that the committee has received reports that some persons who recently returned to the country violated the mandatory quarantine requirement under the advisory by escaping from the facilities.

Mustapha, who is also the PSC Chairman, condemned the violation of the nation’s laws and hospitality, noting that the committee was awaiting the report of ongoing investigations and would impose appropriate sanctions on the violators.

He revealed that the PSC has considered several pre-emptive measures to be taken to mitigate the likely impact of the variants of COVID-19, should they get imported into Nigeria.

The SGF explained that the step became important in view of the fragile state of the nation’s health systems, the disruption to the delivery of vaccines, and the lack of compliance with the extant public health measures and social measures contained in the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021.

According to him, it is imperative to reinstitute the various public health measures that were put in place under the health protection regulations.

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Aviation

COVID-19: Nigeria Bans Flights From India, Brazil and Turkey

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Reduces PCR Test to 72 Hours from 96 Hours

…To Fine Airline $3,500 For Each Defaulting Passenger

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19,  has reduced the COVID–19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for all Nigeria-bound passengers from 96  to 72 hours.

This is just as the Committee also stated that PCR test results older than 72 hours before departure shall not be accepted;

The Committee came to this conclusion after due consideration and agreed to implement these  protocols as it concerns Brazil, India and Turkey.

According to the Committee non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents, who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria, shall be denied entry into Nigeria, adding that this regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.

The  Committee said that the following measures shall apply to airlines and passengers, who fail to comply with I and II(a) above:
Airlines, it said  shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 for each defaulting passenger while non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the Airline.

A statement signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation/ Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19,Mr. Boss  Mustapha, explained that Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria shall be made to undergo seven  days of mandatory quarantine in a Government approved facility at the point-of-entry city and at cost to the passenger.

The following condition , he said shall apply to such passengers within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test. adding that if positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with National treatment protocols.

If Negative, the passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of their quarantine.
Mustapha said that passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinations must observe a 7-day self-isolation at their final destination.

The passenger shall carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at selected laboratory. and shall be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities.

The Committee warned that passenger(s) who provided false or misleading contact information will be liable to prosecution while person(s) who willfully disregard or refuse to comply with directions of Port-Health staff, security agencies or evade quarantine shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

“State Governments are required to ensure that all returning travelers from ALL countries are monitored to ensure adherence to the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period and the repeat COVID-19 PCR test on the seventh day after arrival.

“We urge members of the public to adhere to all COVID-19 preventive measures in place including adherence to the national travel protocol, proper use of face mask, regular hand washing and physical distancing.

“This travel advisory shall come into effect from TUESDAY 4TH day of May 2021. The guidelines provided in this document shall be subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks,” the Committee said.

The Committee said that its action is part of effort to continue to safeguard the health of the Nigerian population, as well as to minimize the risk of a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, the Presidential Steering Committee carried out a risk assessment of countries with high incidence of cases.

The risk assessment, according to the Committee  took into consideration the epidemiology of cases, prevalence of variants of concern and average passenger volume between Nigeria and each country among other indicators.

It stated that of the countries assessed, this interim travel advisory applies to three countries in the first instance and that these precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries, while national response activities continue.

It  advised Nigerians to avoid any non-essential international travels to any country at this period and specifically to countries that are showing rising number of cases and deaths.

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 said it has over the last few weeks been monitoring with concern, the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in several countries, with additional focus on countries with high incidence, fatality rate and widespread prevalence of variants of concern.

The Government of Nigeria, the Committee  deeply empathizes with the citizens and governments of these countries and assures them of our commitment, unflinching support and solidarity at this time of need

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