Can you take too much emergen c

Does Emergen-C Really Work?

Since Emergen-C supplies nutrients that interact with your immune system, many people take it to fend off colds or other minor infections.

Here is an in-depth look at each of Emergen-C’s major ingredients to determine whether the contained vitamins and minerals really boost immunity and increase energy levels.

1. Vitamin C

Each serving of Emergen-C contains 1,000 mg of vitamin C, which is much more than the RDA of 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women (1, 3).

However, research is mixed on whether large doses of vitamin C can prevent or shorten the duration of colds or other infections.

One review found that taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C daily only reduced one’s risk of cold by 3% and its duration by 8% in healthy adults (4).

However, this micronutrient may be more effective for people under high levels of physical stress, such as marathon runners, skiers and soldiers. For these people, vitamin C supplements cut the risk of colds in half (4).

In addition, anyone who is deficient in vitamin C would benefit from taking a supplement, since vitamin C deficiency is linked to increased risk of infections (5, 6, 7).

Vitamin C likely has such effects due to accumulating inside various types of immune cells to help them fight infections. Keep in mind that research into vitamin C’s mechanisms is ongoing (8, 9).

2. B Vitamins

Emergen-C also holds many B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

B vitamins are needed in order for our bodies to metabolize food into energy, so many supplement companies describe them as energy-boosting nutrients (10).

One of the symptoms of B vitamin deficiency is general lethargy, and correcting the deficiency is associated with improved energy levels (11).

However, it is unclear whether supplementing with B vitamins amplifies energy in people who are not deficient.

Certain deficiencies do harm your immune system. Insufficient levels of vitamins B6 and/or B12 can reduce the number of immune cells your body produces (12, 13).

Supplementing with 50 mg of vitamin B6 per day or 500 mcg of vitamin B12 every other day for at least two weeks has been shown to reverse these effects (14, 15, 16).

While studies indicate that correcting a B vitamin deficiency can boost immunity, more research is needed to understand whether supplementing has any effect on non-deficient, healthy adults.

3. Zinc

Some evidence suggests that taking zinc supplements can shorten the duration of a cold by an average of 33% (17).

This is because zinc is needed for the normal development and function of immune cells (18).

However, the amount of zinc in Emergen-C may not be enough to have these immune-boosting effects.

For example, one serving of regular Emergen-C contains just 2 mg of zinc, while clinical trials use much higher doses of at least 75 mg per day (17).

While the Immune Plus variety of Emergen-C gives a slightly higher dose of 10 mg per serving, this still falls short of the therapeutic doses used in research studies (19).

4. Vitamin D

Interestingly, many immune cells feature high numbers of vitamin D receptors on their surfaces, suggesting that vitamin D plays a role in immunity.

Several human studies have determined that supplementing with at least 400 IU of vitamin D daily can reduce your risk of developing a cold by 19%. It’s especially beneficial for people who are vitamin D deficient (20).

While original Emergen-C does not contain vitamin D, the Immune Plus variety boasts 1,000 IU of vitamin D per serving (17, 19).

Given that approximately 42% of the US population is deficient in vitamin D, supplementing may be beneficial for many people (21).

Summary There is some evidence that the ingredients in Emergen-C can improve immunity in people who are deficient in those nutrients, but more research is needed to determine whether similar benefits apply to non-deficient, healthy adults.

It’s that time of year. Your professor cancels class, your roommate is coughing nonstop, and the kid next to you in the library has a mound of used tissues piling up uncomfortably close to your laptop. You wash your hands and disinfect the doorknobs, but sometimes getting sick is just inevitable.

If you’re anything like me, that hint of a sore throat can turn you into a desperate health nut. Ginger shots? Sure. Apple cider vinegar concoction? Bring it on. $30 immune booster tablets from Whole Foods? Let’s do it.

This is why when I felt that familiar feeling of the beginning of sickness, I decided that a healthy dose of vitamin C might help. Thus, my vitamin C bender day began. I started with an Emergen-C packet, followed by a glass of OJ at brunch, a green juice for a late afternoon treat, an immune booster tablet with dinner, and a smoothie for dessert. By my calculations, I had about 2,000% of my daily value of vitamin C.

Chloe Scheuch

By the end of the day I didn’t feel any different, but at least my sore throat didn’t hurt anymore than before. I went to bed at a decent hour with the hopes that the extra sleep would kick the cold for good.

However, after lying in bed for over two hours, I realized that I hadn’t yet fallen asleep. I tried deep breathing and lavender oil (more uses for essential oils here), but after another restless hour, I knew sleep just wasn’t in the cards. Coming from someone who can fall into REM sleep in an airport, I knew this bout of insomnia wasn’t normal.

Chloe Scheuch

In a 4:30 am haze, I googled “is too much vitamin C bad?” I browsed web page after web page detailing the various symptoms of consuming too much vitamin C. Sure enough, insomnia was listed as one of the many side effects.

Although having too much vitamin C is not exactly harmful, there are a variety of unpleasant side effects including vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and cramps.

So the moral of the story is that vitamin C, like most things, should be taken in moderation. It’s also purely a preventative measure, not a treatment. So stay healthy and go easy on the OJ!

Can Emergen-C Actually Prevent a Cold?

If you find yourself reaching for a packet of Emergen-C every time you feel a tickle in your throat, you’re certainly not alone. The fizzy orange power—a mix of vitamins C and B, along with other nutrients—has become a mainstay of medicine cabinets, winter-weather survival kits, travel packing lists, and even wedding weekend goodie bags.

“A lot of patients ask me about these products, and many of them can be very adamant about how certain they are that it helps them,” William Curry, MD, professor of internal medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, tells Health.

Because Emergen-C is a supplement, it can’t make specific health claims. (In fact, its manufacturer settled a lawsuit in 2014 after it was accused of doing just that, without any real evidence.) But it does promise to offer “everyday immune support,” and devotees swear by its ability to keep them healthy through cold-and-flu season, or even shorten the duration of a cold once it starts.

But is there any real evidence of these supposed benefits? Not really, says Dr. Curry. In fact, there are exactly zero published clinical trials on Emergen-C itself, although there have been lots studies on its main ingredient, vitamin C. Here’s what we know, and what we still don’t, about this popular over-the-counter remedy.

RELATED: 11 Signs It’s More Serious Than the Common Cold

A look at Emergen-C’s ingredients

The company behind the iconic orange Emergen-C powder has expanded in recent years and now offers many different flavors and colors of its original “immune support” product. It also offers chewables and gummy varieties, as well as additional products aimed at hydration, better sleep, electrolyte replenishment, and gut health.

For now, let’s focus on the brand’s flagship “immune support” formula. The product’s main ingredient is vitamin C—1,000 milligrams per packet of powder, 500 milligrams per gummy, and 1,000 milligrams per chewable. (For comparison, many other over-the-counter vitamin C supplements contain only 500 milligrams per dose, while multivitamins may contain only around 60.)

Emergen-C immune support also contains antioxidants like zinc and manganese, electrolytes like sodium and potassium, and seven B vitamins—thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, and pantothenic acid—“to enhance energy naturally,” according to the product’s website.

The ingredient list also contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and chromium, along with sugar, flavorings, and other additives to preserve texture and freshness.

RELATED: How to Stop a Cold In Its Tracks

What the evidence suggests

Emergen-C’s claim to fame is a high dose of vitamin C. But studies on this topic have been inconclusive at best, says Dr. Curry. “The research has not been very high quality, and the results have been mixed,” he says.

A 2013 Cochrane Review found that 1,000 milligrams a day of vitamin C seemed to help prevent colds in people who were very physically active—marathon runners and skiers, for example. But those benefits didn’t translate to other studies on more general populations.

“That was a little surprising, and we still don’t really know why this was the case,” says Dr. Curry. “But there seems to be something about the combination of being really physically active and taking vitamin C that may be protective.” He adds that the study was only able to show an association between high doses of vitamin C and fewer colds, and not a cause-and-effect relationship.

The review also noted that while some studies have shown a link between vitamin C and shorter cold duration, others have shown no benefit. Given vitamin C’s low cost and relative safety, the authors wrote, “it may be worthwhile for common cold patients to test on an individual basis whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial for them.”

As for zinc, says Dr. Curry, some studies have also suggested that this mineral may speed up recovery time for common-cold patients. But a packet of Emergen-C only contains 2 milligrams of zinc, which some experts say isn’t enough to be effective against colds. And while the other ingredients in Emergen-C may have antioxidant or electrolyte properties, Dr. Curry says there’s no evidence that they can directly protect against colds or other viruses.

RELATED: 25 Ways to Survive Cold and Flu Season

Are there downsides to taking Emergen-C?

The tolerable upper limit for vitamin C, as set by the Institute of Medicine, is 2,000 milligrams a day. “Beyond that you run the risk of getting kidney stones, and you’re probably beyond the point where there’s going to be any benefit anyway,” says Dr. Curry. Excess vitamin C has also been shown to cause diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.

Dr. Curry cautions patients who want to take Emergen-C or similar products to pay attention to their dosage and to not exceed this upper limit. That means don’t take several doses of Emergen-C in a day, and be careful when taking it alongside other supplements that may also contain vitamin C. (The recommended dose for Emergen-C is one packet, one chew, or three gummies per day.)

Some studies have also suggested that vitamin C can interact with certain medicines, including some statins and chemotherapy drugs—and it likely won’t protect you if you’re coming down with a more serious illness like the flu. If you’re unsure about whether vitamin C might affect your current medication regimen (or if you’re having serious symptoms and think you might need real medical attention) it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor.

RELATED: Here’s Where You Can Get a Free Flu Shot This Year

So how much vitamin C should you get—and where should you get it?

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adult women and men is 75 and 90 milligrams per day, respectively; smokers and women who are pregnant or lactating should get more than that, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Obviously, you don’t need a daily Emergen-C to achieve those levels; in fact, it’s not difficult to reach that amount from food alone. Eating the recommended minimum two daily cups of fruit and three daily cups of vegetables will get you at least 200 milligrams of vitamin C, says Health Contributing Nutrition Editor Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. That’s “enough to keep your immune system well supported every day so you won’t need to play catch-up,” she wrote in a previous column.

So does it make sense to spend your money on mega-doses of vitamin C on top of that—at least during cold and flu season? “As long as you’re not taking enough to hurt yourself, and you recognize that the benefit is unclear, I don’t have a problem with patients who use these products,” says Dr. Curry. “If your experience is that it’s helpful for you, then that’s great.”

If you do choose to take Emergen-C, however—or any other supplement—don’t let it be an excuse to skimp on food-based sources of vitamins and minerals. “The best way to keep your immune system strong is to eat healthfully, including vitamin C-rich produce, all the time,” says Sass.

Citrus fruits (like oranges and grapefruit) may be the most famous source of vitamin C, but you can also find the nutrient in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kiwi, strawberries, papaya, and pineapple, Sass says. And topping the list of vitamin C-rich foods is red bell pepper, which contains around 200 milligrams in just one chopped cup.

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Mineral toxicity

Causes and symptoms

The causes and symptoms of mineral toxicity depend on the specific mineral in question:

  • Sodium: An increase in sodium concentration in the bloodstream can be toxic. The normal concentration of sodium in human blood plasma is 136–145 mM, while levels over 152 mM can result in seizures and death. Increased plasma sodium, which is called hypernatremia, causes the cells in various body tissues, including those of the brain, to shrink. Shrinkage of the brain cells results in confusion, coma, paralysis of the lung muscles, and death. Death has occurred when table salt (sodium chloride) was accidentally used to feed infants instead of sugar. Death due to sodium toxicity has also resulted when baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) was used to treat excessive diarrhea or vomiting . Although a variety of processed foods contain high levels of sodium chloride, the levels in these items are not enough to result in sodium toxicity.
  • Potassium: The normal level of potassium in the bloodstream is in the range of 3.5–5.0 mM, while levels of 6.3–8.0 mM (severe hyperkalemia) result in cardiac arrhythmias or even death due to cardiac arrest. Potassium is potentially quite toxic; however, potassium poisoning is usually prevented because of the vomiting reflex. The consumption of food results in mild increases in the concentration of potassium in the bloodstream, but these levels of potassium do not become toxic because of the uptake of potassium by various cells of the body as well as by the action of the kidneys transferring the potassium ions from the blood to the urine. The body’s regulatory mechanisms can easily be overwhelmed, however, when potassium chloride is injected intravenously, as high doses of injected potassium can easily result in death.
  • Iodine: Iodine toxicity can result from an intake of 2.0 mg of iodide per day. Toxic levels of iodine inhibit the secretion of thyroid hormone, resulting in lower levels of thyroid hormone in the bloodstream. As a result, the thyroid gland becomes enlarged. This condition is known as goiter or hyperthyroidism . Goiter is usually caused by iodine deficiency. In addition to goiter, iodine toxicity produces a brassy taste in the mouth, excessive production of saliva, and ulcers on the skin. This skin condition has been called kelp acne because of its association with eating kelp, an ocean plant that contains high levels of iodine. Iodine toxicity occurs fairly frequently in Japan, where people consume large amounts of seaweed.
  • Iron: Iron toxicity is not unusual in small children due to the wide distribution of dietary supplements containing iron. A lethal dose of iron is in the range of 200—250 mg iron/kg body weight, meaning that a child who accidentally eats 20 or more iron tablets may die as a result of iron poisoning. Children are unfortunately likely to take large amounts of these pills because they look like candy. Within six hours of ingestion, iron toxicity can result in vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain , seizures, and possibly coma. In the second period of iron poisoning, the patient’s symptoms appear to improve; however, this phase is followed by a terminal phase in which shock, low blood sugar levels, liver damage, convulsions, and death occur 12 to 48 hours after the fatal dose.
  • Nitrite: Nitrite poisoning should be considered along with iron toxicity, since nitrite produces its toxic effect by reacting with the iron atom in hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-containing protein that resides within the red blood cells. This protein is responsible for transporting nearly all of the oxygen acquired from the lungs to various tissues and organs of the body. Hemoglobin accounts for the red color of red blood cells. A very small fraction of hemoglobin spontaneously oxidizes per day, producing a protein of a slightly different structure called methemoglobin. Normally, the amount of methemoglobin constitutes less than 1 percent of the total hemoglobin. Methemoglobin can accumulate in the blood as a result of nitrite poisoning. Infants are especially susceptible to poisoning by nitrite.
  • Nitrate: Nitrate is naturally present in green leafy vegetables and in the water supply. It is rapidly converted to nitrite by the bacteria that live in the mouth as well as in the intestines and then absorbed into the bloodstream. The amount of nitrate that is supplied by leafy vegetables and drinking water is generally about 100 to 170 mg/day. The amount of nitrite supplied by a typical diet is much lower, about 0.1 mg nitrite per day. Poisoning by nitrite (or nitrate after its conversion to nitrite) results in the inability of hemoglobin to carry oxygen throughout the body. This condition can be seen by the blue color of the skin. Adverse symptoms occur when over 30 percent of the hemoglobin has been converted to methemoglobin. These symptoms include cardiac arrhythmias, headache , nausea and vomiting , and in severe cases, seizures.
  • Calcium and phosphate: Calcium and phosphate are closely related nutrients. Calcium toxicity is rare, but overconsumption of calcium supplements may lead to deposits of calcium phosphate in the soft tissues of the body. Phosphate toxicity can result from the overuse of laxatives or enemas that contain phosphate. Severe phosphate toxicity can result in hypocalcemia and in various symptoms resulting from low plasma calcium levels. Moderate phosphate toxicity occurring over a period of months may result in the deposit of calcium phosphate crystals in various tissues of the body.
  • Zinc: Zinc toxicity is rare but is more likely to occur in adults than in children. It is usually related to occupational hazards and has been reported to occur in metal workers exposed to fumes containing zinc. A few instances of zinc toxicity have been reported in people who consumed acidic food or beverages that had been stored in galvanized zinc containers. Taking excessive supplemental zinc can result in nausea , vomiting, and diarrhea. The chronic intake of excessive zinc supplements can result in copper deficiency, as zinc inhibits the absorption of copper.
  • Copper: Copper toxicity in humans is usually the result of disease. Severe alterations in copper metabolism occur in two genetic diseases, Wilson’s disease and Menkes disease. These diseases are rare. They involve mutations in the proteins that transport copper, that is, in special channels that allow the passage of copper ions through cell membranes. Wilson’s disease, which is caused by a mutation of the ATP7B gene on chromosome 13, first produces symptoms in teenagers and young adults. Copper accumulates in the liver, kidney, and brain, resulting in damage to the liver and nervous system. In Menkes disease, which is usually first noticed in infancy, impaired transport of copper from the digestive tract results in low levels of copper in the blood, while copper accumulates in the kidney, pancreas, and skeletal muscle. Children with Menkes disease have characteristic kinky hair, seizures, developmental failures, and progressive degeneration of the brain.
  • Selenium: Selenium toxicity occurs in a few regions of the world, most notably some parts of China where soils contain high levels of the mineral. A daily intake of 0.75 to 5.0 mg selenium may occur in these regions due to the presence of selenium in foods and water. Early signs of selenium toxicity include nausea, weakness, and diarrhea. Continued intake of selenium results in changes in the fingernails, hair loss, and damage to the nervous system. The person’s breath may acquire a characteristic garlic odor as a result of the increased production of dimethylselenide in the body and its release via the lungs.
  • Manganese: Manganese toxicity is most likely to affect adults rather than children. It occurs most commonly in workers in manganese mines who must breathe air containing high levels of manganese dust (in a concentration of 5–250 mg/cubic meter). Manganese toxicity in miners has been documented in Chile, India, Japan, Mexico, and elsewhere. Symptoms of manganese poisoning typically occur within several months or years of exposure. These symptoms include a mental disorder resembling schizophrenia as well as hyperirritability, violent acts, hallucinations, and difficulty in walking.

Emergen-Zzzz Reviews

What is Emergen-Zzzz?

Emergen-Zzzz is one of the most important supplements which have recently been introduced into the market in an effort to shorten the duration that one takes to fall asleep.

Emergen-Zzzz – Nighttime Sleep AID

It is therefore not a formulation for those who are engaged in heavy duties like driving and operations of active machines. The supplement can, however, be incorporated in the body of the user after participating in such duties.

Table of Contents

In order to get the best out of the supplement, it is recommended that the user gets to consume the supplement as prescribed about 30 minutes before bedtime.

Immediately the supplement is consumed, the body of the user starts to relax and attains the mode necessary for sound sleep with no side effects on the user.

The supplement which is rich in melatonin is currently being sold at a mere price of $17.46 and gives the user perfect results in so far as sleeping is concerned.

The troubles of looking for the best way to attain good sleep are finally over and the users can now simply follow the instructions provided on the website to get the best of Emergen-Zzzz.

Those who are using the supplement should be capable of reporting the demerits if at all any, that they realize from the use of this sleeping supplement consumption.

Who is the Manufacturer of Emergen-Zzzz?

This sleep support supplement is claimed to give the users a shortened length of sleep time.

As opposed to the placebo group, those who used the supplement managed to fall asleep very fast and gained enough sleep hence ending up with a refreshed brain when they wake up. It is also claimed that the supplement helps the users to fight restlessness.

If at one point in time one has felt that something is really wrong with the body, then it is the moment that one gets to bed but falls asleep almost four hours later. This is a waste of both time and energy.

Such people will register an improved sleep when they get to use Emergen-Zzzz. Emergen-Zzzz is manufactured by Emerrgen-C.

Emergen-Zzzz Ingredients – Are they Safe & Effective?

In order to attain these benefits, the supplement has been equipped with the following ingredients in its formula:

  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Melatonin

What are the Advantages of Emergen-Zzzz?

  • May promote sleep and relaxation.
  • Could fortify your body during sleep with Vitamin C and other antioxidants.
  • The supplement may help those who are experiencing pain in their body to stay out of pain by giving them deep sleep.
  • Might enhance the overall productivity of the user.

What are the Disadvantages of Emergen-Zzzz?

  • Results may vary from individual to individual
  • The product appears to be available online only


How Should You Take Emergen-Zzzz?

You can take it before going to bed to enjoy a good night sleep.

How Much is Emergen-Zzzz?

The product is sold at a price of $17.46.

Does Emergen-Zzzz Offer a Free Trial?

The manufacturer does not offer any free trial on the product.

Emergen-Zzzz Review – Final Verdict

Emergen-Zzzz is a natural sleep aid supplement which gives the users an opportunity to get better sleep at no side effects at all. Of the ingredients involved in this natural supplement, skullcap and chamomile are the best in helping users all over to gain adequate sleep. The ingredients are natural and boast of being well formulated together, no hangovers and will give better results throughout the period of use.


Toddlers at the Roberta Shirley Center may have been given Emergen-Zzzz, an adult nighttime sleep aid, and the lead teacher in the Tri-County Head Start Prickly Pears program has resigned in lieu of termination after an internal review.

Lisa Muntz, executive director of Tri-County Head Start, said her agency has no proof the teacher gave the children the product, which contains multivitamins and melatonin, a sleep aid.

But in a letter sent home to Prickly Pear parents, Muntz said, “We have reasonable cause to believe this may have occurred due to statements from other teachers.”

The agency notified parents in an effort “to err on the side of caution,” Muntz said.

Muntz declined to offer additional information about the suspicion, and she said any personnel issues related to the suspicions were dealt with internally based on Tri-County’s policies. She declined to offer additional information and did not provide the name of the teacher who resigned.

The letter given to parents does not state when the sleep aid may have been given to the children or the time period when they could have been given it. The letter states Tri-County Head Start became aware of the situation Feb. 7.

Muntz said Tri-County Head Start has self-reported the incident to the Child Care Licensing Agency, a division of the Colorado Office of Early Childhood, and Child Protective Services, a division of the Colorado Department of Human Services.

Rosemary Salyer of Durango said she and other parents of children in the toddlers class at the Roberta Shirley Center were given the letter informing them Tri-County Head Start has reasonable cause to believe the teacher may have given children the product containing multivitamins and melatonin.

Salyer’s son, Tatum, 2, is in the toddler class. His mother said she suspects the sleep aid was given to the children for months because her son was usually sleeping when she arrived to pick him up daily at 1:30 p.m., and the children were put down for naps at 11:15 a.m.

Tatum joined the toddler class in June 2018.

“I pick him up at 1:30 and he’s still groggy for another half hour,” she said.

Tatum, who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, an inherited disorder that affects connective tissues, and Chiari malformation, in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal, among other medical conditions, was recently diagnosed with bloody stool. Tatum said, based on her research, a bleeding stomach is one of the symptoms children might exhibit if given Emergen-Zzzz.

Salyer, who did not know the name of the teacher who resigned, said she believes her son could have been given Emergen-Zzzz as late as last week, and she said if the teacher is found to have given the toddlers the adult sleep aid, she should face legal consequences, possibly even criminal charges.

Salyer said she was told the suspected incidents happened “months ago,” but she suspects the sleep aid was given to the children until recently.

She said when she picked up Tatum, it was normal for most of the children to be sleeping despite having classmates who suffered from numerous medical conditions.

“Why would you give it one or two times months ago, and then stop and don’t do it again for months?” she said.

The Roberta Shirley Center offers early childhood care for low-income families who qualify for the federally subsidized program. The center is located at 2019 East Third Ave.

The letter given to parents said Tri-County’s nurse consultant, Allie Enoch, researched possible effects of Emergen-Zzzz on children.

The letter said “consuming vitamins within normal guidelines should pose no risk in otherwise healthy children.” The letter also states, “There is a wide margin of safety for both vitamins and melatonin. However, children who take multivitamins and other supplements and who eat fortified foods and beverages might consume nutrients at levels exceeding the upper limit, increasing the possibility of adverse effects (National Institutes of Health, 2015).”

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