Vit C and E Toxicity

Are there any known levels of toxicity for Vits. C & E ?

Sometimes after 2-a-days I can be supplementing with Vits. C & E twice a day and then a Multi twice a day - is this something I should watch …

I’ve checked quite a few sources and can’t find anything so just throwing it out there …

i wouldnt sweat it much. You can’t really overdose vitamin C which is water based. You just piss them down the toliet anyway. That’s why it’s better to spread the doses thorugh out the day. Like 500mg-1000mg for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

For vitamin E, it’s fat soluble. It stays in your body a lot longer compared to water based. You probably will have to watch how much you take. Probably no more than 800IU at the most. I normally take around 400IU. The air pollution is bad so that’s why I take them to help protect my lungs. It’s like sucking a pack of cigarettes when you go out and run. They can cause a lot of free radicals so that’s why Vit C and E are necessary to help fight free radical and help support immune system.

Overdosing on Vitamin C - just like overdosing on any other nutrient - is RELATIVE to the level of those elements that interact with Vitamin C. In other words, it all depends on their ratio to Vitamin C.

Why do some people maintain good health without supplements?

If one analyzes people living to a ripe old age in reasonable health without the help of any supplements, one finds that they had a lot of odds in their favor. It usually starts with excellent genes, followed by a lack of factors that tend to upset the biochemical balance necessary to maintain good health. Anything upsetting that balance will either shorten someone’s life, worsen its quality, or require compensation through extra nutritional support or drug intervention. A centenarian who never touched a supplement inhis life has likely maintained such a balance as a result of little “pro-oxidant” activity, which necessitated little “antioxidant” activity – just to mention one example. On the other hand, let’s assume a very healthy individual with similar longevity odds in his favor ends up with a serious injury early in life. The imbalance introduced to his previously sound chemistry by drug treatments or organ damage will have him for the rest of his life search for compensatory factors to improve the quality of life. Unlike before his injury, he is now in the same situation as those born less fortunate health-wise, and may now have to become more reliant on better nutrition and/or additional
supplementation. So the reason for supplementation, and the amounts needed change with individual circumstances.
Even without previous injury, there are enough genetic variations or environmentally introduced factors that are responsible for some people to benefit from ingesting several grams of ascorbic acid per day,in contrast to those requiring no additional intake. The most common reason is that they likely exhibit excessive levels of Vitamin C antagonists, or factors that inhibit Vitamin C activity. Of those, by far the most common one is copper, but there are others, such as excessive levels or intake of zinc, calcium, manganese, Vitamin E…, or very low levels of nickel, which support Vitamin C.

People with very high Copper levels rarely reach optimum levels of Vitamin C (i.e. optimal benefits), unless they take close to, or in excess of 1,000mg / day (or unless they lower copper first through other means), and I not only see patients supplementing Vitamin C in the 5-10,000mg range and just barely
reach normal levels, but they start to suffer from medical symptoms as soon as they reduce that amount In contrast, you have someone whose copper level is already quite low, and they feel a cold coming on, so they start to take a few g of Vitamin C per day. Even after just a few days of doing so, copper levels may drop to a point of provoking an INFLAMMATORY response.
Continuously excessive vitamin C consumption (above 2000mg per day) may lead to softening and malformation of growing bones due to severe long-term copper deficiency.
Ascorbic acid lowers zinc directly, and it lowers it indirectly by supporting iron uptake, so while higher intake of Vitamin C would likely be beneficial for those suffering from some forms of anemia, leukemia, ovarian cysts, or from prostatitis, it could compromise benign prostatic hypertrophy, certain
liver conditions (hemochromatosis), or more serious kidney disease (renal failure). Larger amounts of Vitamin C lower manganese levels and aid greater insulin production in those capable of producing insulin, which may be beneficial for Type II diabetics, but it would worsen those with hypoglycemic tendencies that exhibit low sodium, since sodium slows insulin response, so high intake of Vitamin C would create larger insulin spikes. (see also Acu-Cell Disorders “Hypoglycemia”). By lowering manganese, Vitamin C affects glycogen stores in the liver, decreasing the liver’s ability to store larger amounts. Manganese has some control over the liver’s ability to break down estrogen, so too much Vitamin C can affect the length of the menstrual cycle and worsen low estrogenic-types of PMS. On the other hand, congestive liver disease of the right large liver lobe will benefit from high intake of Vitamin C by reducing a high mean average of estrogen, and high estrogenic-types of PMS. Calcium metabolism is VERY much affected by Vitamin C intake. For patients who suffer from calcium overload, larger amounts of Vitamin C are an effective part of the daily regimen to keep calcium soluble
and prevent it from calcifying soft tissue. Frequently, low stomach acid levels are involved with elevated calcium as well, for which higher Vitamin C intake is also beneficial, however acidifying strategies such as supplementing glutamic acid HCl with betaine HCl and pepsin are additionally required in most of these cases. Some patients also find pineapple juice, or apple cider vinegar helpful for their digestion under high-calcium circumstances.
Normal amounts of Vitamin C increase bioavailability of average calcium levels, while very high intake of ascorbic acid will eventually put extra demands on calcium stores (bone) to make up calcium loss,which is also reflected in lower cellular levels of calcium. There are a lot of people whose copper andzinc levels are excessively high, so Vitamin C becomes the ideal candidate because it is capable of lowering both, however the large amounts needed can at the same time significantly reduce calcium levels to the point of seriously accelerating bone loss. One way around that problem is using Buffered Vitamin C, such as calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate (if kidneys can handle the extra sodium).
With low calcium, there are a number of possible symptoms such as insomnia or light / restless sleep, anxieties, leg cramps (left-sided only, unless magnesium is also low), increasing daytime fatigue, joint pains (more so left-sided), brittle nails with vertical ridges due to low calcium ratios, or increasingly horizontal groove-like ridges as a result of prolonged, severe deficiency, or gastrointestinal problems, and others, depending on what else is affected in the body.
While both - Vitamin C and Vitamin E - exhibit synergistic properties in respect to antioxidant activity, increasing the amounts of one also increases the requirements of the other, otherwise a ratio conflict or balance problem in regards to nickel takes place, which can change vasodilating or vasoconstrictiveproperties of the coronary arteries. While this is generally not a big problem for the average, healthy individual, it can be detrimental for those suffering from angina-related conditions.

So should one supplement or not?

The difference between healthy people who supplement Vitamin C and other basic nutrients, and healthy ones who don’t can perhaps be compared to younger versus older people facing the same medical condition. Younger people simply tend to handle medical situations better, or recover faster
than older ones. Supplementing may perhaps be compared to lowering someone’s biological age. If uncertain what one’s actual requirements are, 500mg of Vitamin C / day is universally considered to be safe and covers basic requirements. In addition, it is better to use a basic multi-vitamin / mineralformulation with as many essential ingredients as possible, but not much higher than the RDA / DRI, even though it will not provide optimal amounts of Vitamin C and other nutrients. Those who exhibit
copper overload, or have a tendency to retain too much copper (the great majority), should try to get a brand without it. Iron can be another problem for some people. Higher dosage multi-formulations are not a good idea to take because even the best of them still don’t supply everything one needs, so the chance of creating a deficiency or ratio problem with the missing
ingredients increases by increasing the doses taken, and unfortunately, not a single multi-brand will ever be capable of normalizing someone’s individual chemistry. As far as mega-dosing on single nutrients (including Vitamin C) is concerned, there is a great potential of significantly imbalancing one’s system, and it makes little difference whether water-soluble vitamins
like Vitamin C and B-vitamins are used or not. While excessive intake of fat-soluble vitamins as well asoverdosing on a number of trace minerals can be toxic, even water-soluble nutrients can do an amazing amount of damage when regularly overdosed on during their sometimes short journey through the body. Any time a single nutrient is supplemented at excessive amounts, one is really dealing with a much more powerful, drug-like effect, which has a much greater potential to help a medical situation, but it may also make the condition much worse if inappropriately used. The reason to mega-dose on anynutrient - including Vitamin C - should at least be supported with some valid clinical evidence. In most cases, it is the synergistic effect of several similar nutritional compounds that yield the best results because of their more food-like attributes, and their lesser chance of provoking side effects.
Being educated about nutrition and trying to take control of one’s health is highly commendable, but sometimes it certainly helps to have a medical professional check out what all that supplementation is actually doing to one’s system.

Thanks for that - very interesting post - especially the influences re: iron etc.

Neospeed do you have a reference/book title where you got this information from? I haven’t heard of this problem with copper etc vs. vitamin c before, and would be interested to follow it up.

If anyone is interested, I found some references on, for the interaction between vit. C and copper, under the sectoin ‘Are there any side effects or interactions’

The account Neospeed gave seems to be a bit exaggerated with regards to the dangers of vit. C supplementation (at reasonable levels)?

In my book on optimum nutrition, ‘The protective role of vitamin C against varous cancers, cardiovascular disease and the common cold only becomes significant above 400-1000mg a day.’

Cheaskin, E. et al., ‘The ideal daily vitamin C intake,’ J. Med Assoc of the State of of Alabama , 46:12, p39-40, (June 1977)

Enstrom, J. and Pauling, L., ‘Mortality among health-conscious elderly Californians,’ Proc. Natl. Sci , vol 79: p6023-6027, (1982)

In the short term, supplementation up to 5000mg is considered to be safe. (but would only recommended to combat specific diseases etc.). The only reported side effect is a laxative effect.

Too much Vitamin E is as much a pro-oxidant as it is an anti-oxidant.

It’s important to supplement adequate amounts of CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) to regenerate the anti-oxidant form of Vitamin E after it has donated a proton. After Vitamin E has served its purpose as an anti-oxidant, Vitamin E becomes a free radical, itself. While Vitamin E is a fairly stable free radical, it is a free radical, nonetheless. In high concentrations, the free radical form of Vitamin E will promote oxidation - causing more damage than good. To return Vitamin E to its anti-oxidant state, ample amounts of CoQ10 are required.

This observation is of particular importance in terms of lipid peroxidation and its close relationship to cardiovascular disease. In terms of physical activity (and the prevention of eccentric lift induced catabolism, this same caution may apply - particularly when you take the roll of coenzyme electron transport chain and muscle metabolism into consideration), the same concerns may apply.

Check it…

Thomas, S.R., Neuzil, J., Stocker, R., “Cosupplementation with coenzyme Q prevents the prooxidant effect of alpha-tocopherol and increases the resistance of LDL to transition metal-dependent oxidation initiation”, Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 1996, 16:5, pp. 687-96.

What ratio of CoQ12 to Vit E would you recommend?

Ratio? Tough to say. It’s all individual. 100 mg lipid soluble CoQ10 and 800 IU Vitamin E would be safe recommendations to most patients. Endurance athletes have experimented successfully with 100 mg or more 3x/day.

Gee that’s a lot of CoQ10 - I must check but I htink my CoQ10 intake is only something like 60mg twice a day.

Give it a try for a good 2-3 weeks and see if you notice anything.