For almost half of American adults fail to consume the minimum vitamin C requirement daily, the average person is unlikely to overdo it with vitamin C.
So what are these minimum daily requirements? According to national academies, the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is 75 milligrams for women (85 and 120 milligrams if pregnant or breastfeeding, respectively) and 90 milligrams for men, or approximately 1.5 oranges.
However, these basic starting levels are debated. Michels says a daily minimum of at least 200 milligrams is actually needed to maximize vitamin C blood levels. He recommends 400 milligrams per day, although evidence suggests even higher doses may help. bolster vitamin C status and support optimal cardiovascular benefits.*
When it comes to safety, those taking more potent vitamin C supplements shouldn’t worry — up to 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day is considered safe. Beyond that, the side effects listed above may start to occur, but are usually mild and short-lived, Michels says.
That’s because vitamin C is water-soluble, which means it’s carried in the blood and doesn’t need another mechanism to get around like a fat-soluble vitamin does. Thanks to vitamin C’s water solubility, “the body can easily eliminate any excess through the kidneys,” says Michels.