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Can consuming too much vitamin C cause an early period? Let’s find out

There is an old wives’ tale that consuming high quantities of vitamin C can cause our period to start earlier than usual but how true is it? Let’s find out.
Changing period date can be a matter of concern. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Published: 15 Oct 2021, 11:00 am IST
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Most of us have a rough idea about when our periods will arrive but more often than not, they may surprise us! Our periods are influenced by multiple factors and we may not always understand them. From stress to vitamin consumption, anything can cause our periods to come in a little early or get delayed.

When it comes to our periods arriving earlier than expected, an old wives’ tale claims that consuming too much vitamin C may be to blame! But, how true is it? Let’s find out.

vitamin c
Vitamin C influences our health, including our menstrual cycle. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
How vitamin C affects our health

Vitamin C has always been an extremely important nutrient for our body. It not only makes our immunity system strong but also protects cardiovascular health, keeps our vision healthy and can even delay the appearance of wrinkles. In fact, the recent Covid-19 pandemic saw people stocking up on vitamin C tablets to improve their immunity.

At the same time, many women have been sceptical about consuming vitamin C in large quantities because of the belief that it may disrupt the menstrual cycle and cause periods to start earlier than expected.

Vitamin C’s effects on menstrual cycle

Women menstruate every month and due to the blood loss, iron levels get depleted. If iron in the body is not replenished, it may cause anaemia which can, in turn, lead to periods becoming lighter or stopping altogether. Needless to say, this also has an impact on female fertility. At the same time, consuming iron in our diet is not enough.

Vitamin C benefits the menstrual cycle by improving iron absorption. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

We need to also consume vitamin C to enable iron absorption. A study published by the Ulster Medical Society found that women who were anaemic were also likely to be deficient in vitamin C. Hence, consuming vitamin C is important to regulate our menstrual cycle because it ensures our body is able to absorb iron.

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Does vitamin C cause our periods to arrive early?

The belief is that vitamin C can influence hormones that play a role in menstruation. Many think that vitamin C can raise estrogen levels while simultaneously lowering progesterone levels. This hormonal change causes the uterus to contract and the lining of the uterus to break down, leading to menstruation.

Do keep in mind that there has been no scientific evidence that shows vitamin C can influence the menstrual cycle in a way that periods arrive early.

The last word

There is no research or scientific evidence that vitamin C may lead to the onset of menstruation earlier than usual. At the same time, vitamin C does impact our menstrual cycle by enabling the absorption of iron. However, consuming any vitamin in high quantity should not be done without the direction of a physician.

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