We take vitamin C almost every day. It is important for bones and connective tissues, muscles, and blood vessels. Normally found in vegetables, fruits and tomatoes, vitamin C is now proved to help older people grow the best skeletal muscle mass, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).
In this study, over 13,000 men and women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Norfolk cohort aged 42-82 years participated. Bioelectrical impedance analysis was used to estimate the proportion of skeletal muscle in the body. Besides, participants recorded everything they ate and drank over seven days, so the calculation of their dietary vitamin C would be more accurate.
Findings were interesting. People who consumed the highest amount of dietary vitamin C had the best muscle mass. The difference was distinct for women. Those who consumed more vitamin C had muscle mass 3% greater than those consumed less. Compared to the previous study, this one adds more certainty that vitamin C is important for maintaining muscle as we age in both young and older people.
Why vitamin C matters
During the process of aging, both our skeletal muscle mass and our ability to move decline. These signs could give us an alarm of a condition called sarcopenia. People with sarcopenia often experience weakness and lose stamina. This can affect their ability to carry out physical activities.
Currently, there are more than 50 million people above 50s suffering from sarcopenia, and thus it is a severe problem from the perspectives of individuals and the society. However, solutions for treating sarpopenia are still limited, so early intervention is suggested.
Data shows that nearly 60% of men and 50% of women do not consume enough vitamin C in their diet. This habit may influence their muscle health in the future.
As vitamin C is available in vegetables and fruits, eating more should be relatively straightforward and have benefits for skeletal muscle health in people of all ages. Here are some foods that can help add vitamin C:
· Kakadu plums contain up to 5,300 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams, making it the richest known source of this vitamin.
· Kiwis and broccoli are good choices, too. They are easily accessible and affordable.
So try to eat more vegetables and fruits every day.