Dr. Klaus Schaefer, a German physician warned against taking the maximum dose of Vitamin C supplements as given on the tablets’ label. The general practitioner who spoke in Hamburg on Tuesday argues that the ranges of risks from long-term use of the highest dose have not been adequately studied but insisted that with the study so far, medium doses are safer.
He said that although we need vitamin C to fight diseases and boost our immune system, he however warned that taking an overdoses of it, also known as ascorbic acid, are known to harm the kidneys.
“When it comes to guarding against illnesses, many people swear by Vitamin C and rightly so. We need it for our body’s defenses, because it stabilizes immune system cells. However, an overdose of Vitamin C acidifies the urine which can lead to kidney stones.”
He therefore advised against taking the maximum dose of Vitamin C supplements as given on the tablets’ label. He maintained that a balanced diet was the best way to prevent a deficiency, pointing out that foods rich in the vitamin includes citrus fruit (orange, grapefruit, lime and lemon) as well as broccoli and sauerkraut.
“Fruits and vegetables are not only an ideal source of vitamins, but also contain dietary fibre and dietary minerals. They’re healthier for the body and have no adverse side effects.”
Vitamin C is best known as an antioxidant. With other antioxidants, it helps prevent damage. Damage to the lens of the eye, damage to molecules circulating around in our bloodstream, and damage to genetic material (DNA) in our cells are all examples of damage and many more that have been shown to be prevented by vitamin C.