By Gideon Chukwuemeka Ogbonna
I was about to take a drug when my sister said to me that she was advised not to take that drug because of its side effects.
What are the side effects? I asked.
I can’t remember, she said.
OK. But are there drugs without side effects?
Many people, like my sister, believe that Vitamin C tablets have no side effects, no overdose. It is candy. But does candy not have its effect too.
This myth of Vitamin C having no side effects stems from the fact that it is a water-soluble vitamin, thus, does not accumulate in the body and has a low toxicity profile. While this is good, it doesn’t erase the clichéd truth that too much of everything is bad.
So what can happen if you take too much vitamin c?
Heard of kidney stones? Where the kidney becomes a sea bed filled with hard deposits made of minerals and salts. And as usual one would need a team of
miners doctors to mine these minerals. Not all the time, though.
What about Conditional Scurvy? Although lack of Vitamin C causes scurvy – a disease characterized by weakness, sore arms and legs, decreased red blood cells, and bleeding – excess Vitamin C can also cause scurvy. The answer to this paradox is that as large doses of Vitamin C is being taken, it conditions the body to clear quickly the Vitamin. Thus, the Vitamin is eliminated from the body almost immediately as it gets into the body. A perfect let me come and be going scenario.
You see, there are a myriad of side effects – nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache – and although these effects are rare, have it in mind next time you want to take a lot of those orange tablets that they have their dark sides too. That orange can be the new black.