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Why you need to be careful with Vitamin C

Most people get enough Vitamin C in their daily diet and it's possible to overdo it when it comes to supplements.

ATLANTA — ATLANTA – It’s the time of year when many people gobble Vitamin C, but research shows it won’t prevent the common cold and can cause problems if you ingest too much.

It might be the celebrity of all vitamins. An adequate dose of Vitamin C each day can help repair damaged cells, reduce inflammation, and even give you healthier skin.

But it might not be the superhero you've been led to believe.

There is no evidence that Vitamin C will help prevent you from getting COVID-19. In fact, there's little evidence to support the long-held belief that it helps prevent the common cold.

“There are some people that strongly believe that if you take Vitamin C on a regular basis when you catch a cold it may make it less severe,” said 11Alive Medical Correspondent Dr. Sujatha Reddy. “There's no concrete data that Vitamin C can prevent a cold.”

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In fact, you need to be careful not to overdo it when it comes to Vitamin C.
One orange or a cup of broccoli a day will provide enough Vitamin C for most people. Vitamin supplements are fine, but medical experts say taking more than 2000 milligrams in a day is risky. The recommended daily allowance for Vitamin C is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women.

“When you get higher than that, it effects medication,” said Dr. Reddy. “It can cause side effects like nausea and vomiting.”

Too much Vitamin C can lead to fatigue, headaches, and in some cases kidney stones.

Your body doesn't produce or store Vitamin C, so it's important to consume an adequate amount each day through your diet or supplements.

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There is currently a clinical trial to see if Vitamin C is helpful for people hospitalized with COVID-19 who have developed pneumonia. The results won't be available for a while.

Vitamin C will keep its celebrity status. Just remember you can get too much of a good thing.