Myths or Facts: Vitamin C Makes Stomach Acid Rise

19 September 2022

Vitamin C is one of the vitamins needed by our body.

Vitamin C is one of the vitamins needed by our body. Our body cannot produce vitamin C on its own, so we must obtain it externally from food, drink, or supplements.

You need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in your body. Apart from that, vitamin C is also an antioxidant that can protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C may be known by its other name: ascorbic acid. As it is called ‘acid’, you may be wondering whether it can increase your stomach acid as they are both acidic.

Let us find out if ‘Vitamin C causes rise in stomach acid’ is a fact or a myth.

Is it true that vitamin C causes raise in stomach acid?

For people who do not have problems with stomach acid, taking vitamin C in high quantities may not cause significant problems. The body has its own system to regulate the acid balance.

This is different for people with sensitive stomach or those who have stomach acid problems. Foods that contain highly acidic vitamin C, such as oranges and tomatoes, are often associated with acid reflux.

This is also in line with the recommendation by the American College of Gastroenterology which stated that people with acid reflux (GERD) should avoid certain foods that worsen their symptoms.

Sources of vitamin C to avoid for stomach acid problems

It should be underlined that not all acidic foods and foods containing vitamin C directly cause rise in your stomach acid. People with stomach acid problems do not have to avoid all fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C.

You may take note of what causes your stomach acid rising after consuming certain food as source of vitamin C so that you may want to avoid it completely. These are some of the most acidic food sources that you may need to avoid: oranges, lemons, limes, and tomatoes.

On the other hand, fruit and vegetable sources of vitamin C with low acid content that you can still consume includes watermelon, melon, papaya, mango, banana, avocado, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower.

So, there is no reason for those of you with stomach problems to not be able to meet your daily vitamin C needs. There are many foods that have low acidity vitamin C.

Those of you who have stomach problems should also avoid high doses of vitamin C supplements such as vitamin C 1000 mg. Large doses of vitamin C can make the stomach more acidic and cause symptoms such as heartburn.

How much vitamin C does the body need?

Compared to the vitamin C content in supplements, the body actually only needs vitamin C in small amounts. According to the Nutritional Adequacy Ratio (RDA), adult women need 75 mg of vitamin C while adult men need 90 mg of vitamin C. Compare this with the vitamin C content in supplements which are usually around 1000mg. This excess of vitamin C will be removed by the body. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that will be excreted by the body if it is excessive, and it cannot be stored in the body.

Therefore, it is enough to meet your daily needs of this vitamin C. For those of you who suffer from stomach acid, you should not forget to eat first before taking a multivitamin. That way, the digestive tract would have some ‘buffer’ so that it does not immediately contact ascorbic acid and causes an increase in stomach acid reaction. You can also take a complete multivitamin supplement that contains not only vitamin C but also 8 vitamins and 7 minerals. Of course, getting your vitamins from natural source such as from fruits and vegetables will be even better which is safer for people with stomach acid.


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