The positive effect of vitamin C on the liver is achieved through the vitamin’s antioxidant properties. The vitamin can flush out toxins and fats from the organ, preventing cirrhosis of the liver. Beneficial dosages of vitamin C are between 500 to 5,000 milligrams daily.
The liver has many functions in the body. For example, it secretes bile, which is important in the absorption of certain fats and vitamins. The liver also protects the body against toxins, whether environmental or consumed, such as drugs or alcohol. The liver also synthesizes, stores and metabolizes fats, carbohydrates and some proteins. The vital importance of the liver to the body’s functions makes it important to keep one’s liver healthy; one way to promote liver health is through daily consumption of vitamin C.
Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant and prevents or lessens toxic damage to liver cells. High amounts of vitamin C also have been known to “clean out” the liver, flushing away fats and fatty buildup, protecting the liver against cirrhosis. Some studies indicate that the effect of high levels of vitamin C on the liver could go so far as to reverse or lessen diseases of the liver, such as jaundice or cirrhosis.
In order to see the results of vitamin C on the liver, the vitamin must be taken in specific amounts. The recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 90 milligrams per day and no greater than 2,000 milligrams per day, yet many nutritionists disagree with this recommendation and claim that the body could benefit from a higher amount. It is suggested that 500 milligrams per day will prevent the fatty buildup that could result in cirrhosis, while 5,000 milligrams will actively flush the liver of fats.
Consuming vitamin C is largely safe, but one must be aware of some possible side effects and complications. Vitamin C may have a negative effect on some diabetes drugs, making them less potent. Additionally, taking vitamin C regularly with aspirin may cause stomach irritation that can result in ulcers. Large doses of vitamin C can also cause indigestion, stomach irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue and flushed skin. The fatal toxic levels of vitamin C are unknown, as there has never been a case of this occurring.
The effect of vitamin C on the liver is beneficial, yet in order to achieve a measurable effect, large amounts of vitamin C must be consumed. Vitamins and supplements also have the potential to interact with existing medications or conditions. Although largely safe, a doctor should be consulted before adding any supplements to the diet.