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Antioxidants May Boost Muscle Strength in Mature Adults

Antioxidants may help mature adults keep muscles strong according to a study conducted by researchers with the University of Pittsburgh.

The findings of the study were presented at the Gerontological Society of America's annual meeting on November 21, 2009.

The study included 2,000 men and women in their 70s. They were followed for two years and during that time they filled out questionnaires regarding their eating habits.

The researchers also measured the grip strength of each participant at the beginning and end of the study period.

They found that participants with higher intakes of vitamin C and E had stronger muscles at the end of the study.

The researchers still need to determine if vitamin C and E specifically increases muscle strength or if participants with higher intakes of these nutrients just had healthier diets overall.

Eating more foods high in vitamin C and E is a great way to stay healthy in general. In fact, these antioxidants have been linked to a laundry list of benefits ranging from boosting the immune system to slowing the aging process and even reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Vitamin E can be found in a number of foods, but only in small quantities. For this reason, many people do not get enough vitamin E daily and could benefit from a supplement. The best supplements have vitamin E in the natural form (the synthetic version is about half as effective) and liquid supplements are usually best.

Vitamin C can also be found in supplement form, but many common foods have high levels of the antioxidant. Some of these foods include:

Oranges

Grapefruit

Tomatoes

Broccoli

Cabbage

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