What: A new study in The Journal of Nutrition found that people with the highest amounts of vitamin C consumption had the greatest skeletal muscle mass. This is important to know, since people over 50 lose up to 1% of their muscle mass each year, often leading to frailty, disability, and other poor health outcomes.
Vitamin C helps defend cells and body tissues–including muscle tissue–from potentially harmful free radicals. Unopposed, these free radicals contribute to the destruction of tissue, thus speeding up age-related decline.
Takeaway: The study found that most people (~55% of participants) were NOT consuming the recommended amount of vitamin C necessary to help retain muscle mass. According to lead researcher Dr. Richard Hayhoe, “We’re not talking about people needing mega-doses. Eating a citrus fruit, such as an orange, each day and having a vegetable side to a meal will be sufficient for most people.”