New research from the University of East Anglia, found Vitamin C might be the answer to improved muscles later on in life.
The study, recently published in the Journal of Nutrition found older people with high Vitamin C intake through diet or supplementation had the best skeletal muscle mass and reduced risk of sarcopenia (the decline of skeletal muscle tissue with age). People over the age of 50 can lose up to 1% of their skeletal muscle mass yearly. It is believed over 50 million people worldwide are affected by this loss of skeletal muscle mass.
Data from over 13,000 people participating in the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) Norfolk study was reviewed. Participants in the EPIC study ranged in age from 42 to 82 years. Skeletal muscle mass was calculated and Vitamin C intakes from a seven-day food diary were analyzed. Vitamin C levels in the blood were also examined.
Individuals with the highest amounts of Vitamin C in their blood or in their diet had the greatest estimated skeletal muscle mass when compared with participants with the lowest Vitamin C intakes. Researchers found that almost 60% of men and 50% of women participants were not in taking adequate amounts of Vitamin C and 35% of men and 17% of women had actual Vitamin C insufficiencies. In the USA alone, 14% of men and 8% of women in the age categories similar to study participants are deficient in Vitamin C.
The study findings suggest consuming a diet rich in Vitamin C has the potential for protecting skeletal muscle health as a person ages.
Further studies are needed.
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