As we become old, our skeletal muscle mass, energy and energy to maneuver steadily decline, which can result in a situation known as sarcopenia. Sarcopenia impacts greater than 50 million folks over the age of 50 years worldwide, and contributes to sort 2 diabetes, frailty, bodily incapacity, lack of independence and poor high quality of life. So it’s an essential situation to stop throughout ageing to minimise each private and societal prices.
Presently there are restricted options for treating sarcopenia, so early intervention, earlier than signs turn out to be too extreme, is preferable. Most analysis has centered on the impact of accelerating protein consumption to stop or deal with sarcopenia.
However only a few research have really investigated the significance of dietary vitamin C with lack of skeletal muscle mass and performance in center and older age. Our new paper exhibits that the extra dietary vitamin C middle-aged and older adults eat, the better their skeletal muscle mass.
Vitamin C is already recognized to play an essential position in bone well being, however may additionally assist us preserve robust muscle mass. This vitamin is barely present in greens, potatoes and fruits.
Individuals who don’t eat sufficient of those of their eating regimen are liable to vitamin C deficiency, which can trigger weak point, tiredness and fragile bones. In excessive circumstances, it might result in scurvy. However earlier than this happens, inadequate dietary vitamin C consumption might produce other results on well being, together with our muscle mass.
Round two-thirds of our physique’s complete vitamin C is present in skeletal muscle. It’s used for making carnitine, an important substance that gives vitality for muscle mass to perform, and collagen, which is an important structural element of muscle.
As well as, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that may assist to counteract free radical molecules, which enhance once we age. Unopposed, these free radicals can contribute to the destruction of muscle cells.
Skeletal muscle mass
Our examine checked out information collected from over 13,000 women and men within the European Potential Investigation into Most cancers and Diet Norfolk cohort, aged 42-82 years. We used bioelectrical impedance evaluation – which sends small electrical alerts by means of the physique to calculate water and fats share – to estimate the proportion of skeletal muscle within the physique.
Members additionally accomplished a diary of every part they ate and drank over seven days so we might precisely calculate their consumption of dietary vitamin C. We grouped folks in keeping with their consumption of vitamin C, starting from low to excessive.
Vitamin C was additionally measured instantly of their blood, offering outcomes much less inclined to potential error in reporting eating regimen. This allowed us to categorise folks in keeping with whether or not they had adequate vitamin C consumption.
Our statistical evaluation took into consideration different essential components, together with participant’s bodily exercise, protein and vitality consumption, which could additionally have an affect on skeletal muscle mass.
We discovered that the folks in our examine who consumed the very best quantity of vitamin C of their eating regimen had the best muscle mass. The most important distinction was seen in ladies: these ladies within the highest class of vitamin C consumption had muscle mass 3% better than these within the lowest class.
These variations are more likely to be clinically related, particularly provided that most individuals are estimated to lose 0.5% to 1% of muscle mass yearly after age 50.
An identical image was seen for each under- and over-65s, indicating vitamin C is more likely to be essential in each center and older age. The findings have been additionally supported by the truth that these with adequate ranges of blood vitamin C had better muscle mass than these within the inadequate class.
This examine enhances the findings from our earlier work in younger and older ladies. There we discovered that girls who ate extra vitamin C not solely had extra muscle mass but additionally had significantly better leg perform, that means they have been stronger. Our new findings in older age teams and males add extra certainty that vitamin C is essential for sustaining muscle as we age in each younger and older folks.
Knowledge exhibits that greater than 80% of over-75s within the UK don’t eat sufficient vegetables and fruit day by day. Our examine additionally discovered almost 60% of males and 50% of girls who participated have been consuming inadequate vitamin C, in keeping with suggestions. The shortfall in intakes of fruit and greens might subsequently have implications for muscle well being at a inhabitants degree.
Our new findings construct on the idea that optimum vitamin might assist cut back the decline in muscle. This supplies additional emphasis and encouragement for folks of all ages to observe the wholesome consuming pointers and eat all kinds of greens and fruits every day, not just for common well being however to guard their muscle mass.
As vitamin C is available in greens and fruits, consuming extra must be comparatively simple and have advantages for skeletal muscle well being in folks of all ages. However the place enhancing eating regimen just isn’t doable, dietary supplements might present an acceptable different.