Are Vitamin C Liquid Drops Safe?
While your goal should always be to provide your body with the nutrients it needs via your diet, that can sometimes become impossible. Whether it be hectic schedules eating up your time or poor quality food ingredients in the grocery store, there are many factors that can lead to nutritional gaps forming in your attempt at a well-balanced diet. Many people utilize supplements as a way to fill in those gaps. But are supplements safe? Do they really do what they claim to do? The answer is typically a resounding yes! As we will explain, you simply need to pay attention to the recommended amount of each nutrient that you should be consuming per day as well as the type of nutrient and how it affects your body. In this article, we will focus on vitamin C liquid drops in particular and demonstrate how to use them safely.
Recommended Dietary Allowance
One of the factors that supplement brands must take into consideration when creating the formulas for their products is recommended dietary allowance (RDA). The RDA for any given nutrient indicates the amount that your body needs to consume on a daily basis in order to stay healthy. Since all vitamins and minerals play their own unique roles within the body, their RDAs will vary according to how much or how little your body requires. Trace minerals, for example, are only needed in very small amounts compared to other nutrients. When choosing between supplement brands, you should aim to select one whose formula contains about the RDA for any given nutrient without exceeding it too much or being too low of an amount to have an impact.
RDAs may vary according to more than just different types of nutrients. Age, gender, health conditions, and other extenuating circumstances like pregnancy can also impact how much nutrition your body needs on a daily basis. Let’s take a closer look at the RDA for vitamin C across different demographics, as listed below (1):
- 0 to 6 months old: 40 mg
- 7 to 12 months old: 50 mg
- 1 to 3 years old: 15 mg
- 4 to 8 years old: 25 mg
- 9 to 13 years old: 45 mg
- 14 to 18 years old: 75 mg (male), 65 mg (female)
- Adults: 90 mg (male), 75 mg (female)
- Pregnant individuals: 80-85 mg
- Breastfeeding individuals: 115-120 mg
As you can see, there is a slight degree of variation among the age groups, between genders, and along with circumstances like pregnancy and nursing. Most vitamin C liquid drop formulas should contain a range of 45-90 mg of vitamin C, but take time to read the label to make sure you are providing your body with its optimal dosage. The upper intake level for adults taking vitamin C is 2,000 mg a day, so there is no need to worry excessively about having too much of this important nutrient.
Water Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin C’s classification as a water soluble vitamin also makes it less likely to have adverse side effects. Vitamins are sorted into two distinct categories: water soluble and fat soluble. The main differences lie in the way your body absorbs and stores these types of vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins are stored in your body inside the liver and fatty tissues. When taken in excessive amounts, they can begin to build up over time, sometimes leading to minor side effects. Water soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are not stored in the body at all. In fact, when there is too much of a water soluble vitamin like vitamin C present in your system, your body will naturally flush out that excess amount. Therefore, it is very difficult to overdose on a vitamin C supplement, meaning that most vitamin C liquid drops are entirely safe as long as you take them in accordance with medical instructions or the recommended dose on the label.
That being said, if you do begin to experience symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach cramps, or headache while taking your liquid vitamin C supplement, you should stop and talk to your doctor right away (2). Keep in mind that these symptoms will likely only occur if you take your supplement in extremely high amounts. Anyone who suffers from a pre-existing medical condition should exercise caution when starting a supplement regimen as well. Vitamin C may cause complications with the condition hemochromatosis in particular, so always follow the instructions of your primary physician (3).
- “Vitamin C Consumer Fact Sheet.” National Institutes of Health, 22 March 2021, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer.
- Zeratsky, Katherine. “Is It Possible to Take Too Much Vitamin C?” Mayo Clinic, 28 April 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vitamin-c/faq-20058030.
- “Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid).” Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2022, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid.