Age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass results in poor outcomes including sarcopenia, physical disability, frailty, type 2 diabetes, and mortality. A study conducted by researchers at the
University of East Anglia which has been published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that
dietary and plasma Vitamin C improves skeletal muscle mass in older people
The study cohort included 13,000 people aged between 42-82 years, who are participants of the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) Norfolk Study. The skeletal muscle mass was calculated along with their vitamin C intakes from a seven-day food diary. The amount of Vitamin C in the blood was also calculated. Multivariable regression models, including relevant lifestyle, dietary, and biological covariates, were used to determine associations between FFM measures and quintiles of dietary vitamin C or insufficient compared with sufficient plasma vitamin C (<50 μmol/L and ≥50 μmol/L).
Positive trends were found across quintiles of dietary vitamin C and FFM measures for both sexes. People with the highest amounts of vitamin C in their diet or blood had the greatest estimated skeletal muscle mass, compared to those with the lowest amounts. The finding strengthens the fact that dietary vitamin C is essential for muscle health in older men and women and may prevent age-related skeletal muscle mass loss.