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Is Ascorbic Acid Bad For You?

Also Known As: vitamin C



Short answer

Ascorbic acid is a necessary part of the human diet and is needed to carry out many bodily functions. However, risks can arise when consumed excessively.



Long answer

Ascorbic acid is the chemical name for Vitamin C, a necessary part of a healthy diet. This essential dietary nutrient can be found in most citrus fruits as well as a variety of vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet peppers, and peas. In addition to the natural sources of ascorbic acid, this has also become a common food additive, being added to foods such as cheese, sherbet, powdered milk, and cereals to name a few. Ascorbic acid can also be taken as a supplement.

Ascorbic acid, when consumed in the proper amounts, is a vital and uncompromising piece of a healthy human diet. Typically, consuming foods that contain ascorbic acid will provide the appropriate amount of the nutrient to keep one healthy. However, there are some significant risks and discomforts that can be associated with too much of the vitamin.

Too much ascorbic acid can result in uncomfortable outcomes such as diarrhea and abdominal cramping. One of the most serious side effects of too much ascorbic acid is kidney troubles, more specifically an increased risk of kidney stones. According to a 2005 study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, individuals who consumed 2000 mg or more of ascorbic acid per day had a forty percent higher risk of having a kidney stone. The cause of this is that the ascorbic acid, when breaking down, leaves behind high levels of urinary oxide, which can collect and turn into stones.

The key is consuming the correct amount of ascorbic acid. Be aware of how much you are consuming, and take supplements with care. If you have any questions, always consult your doctor.

Possible short-term side effects

  • overconsumption can cause:
  • nausea
  • heartburn
  • stomach cramps
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • diarrhea

Possible long-term side effects

  • kidney stones with overconsumption

Big is ascorbic acid bad for you 2


  • fights the common cold
  • protects skin
  • helps heal wounds
  • helps fight stress
  • decreases cholesterol
  • improves blood flow
  • lowers risk of disease and cancer
  • promotes eye, nail, and hair health
  • fights asthma / arthritis symptoms

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Written by Brendan Quigley | 12-28-2015

Written by Brendan Quigley
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