Vitamin C could help older adults retain muscle mass – new research

As we get older, our skeletal muscle mass, strength and power to move gradually decline, which may lead to a condition called sarcopenia.

It affects more than 50 million people over the age of 50 years worldwide, and contributes to type 2 diabetes, frailty, physical disability, loss of independence and poor quality of life. Sarcopenia is an important condition to prevent during ageing to minimize both personal and societal costs.

Currently there are limited solutions for treating sarcopenia, so early intervention, before symptoms become too severe, is preferable. Most research has focused on the effect of increasing protein intake to prevent or treat sarcopenia.

But very few studies have actually investigated the importance of dietary vitamin C with loss of skeletal muscle mass and function in middle and older age. A new paper shows that the more dietary vitamin C middle-aged and older adults consume, the greater their skeletal muscle mass.

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