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High Vitamin C Intake Associated With Greater Skeletal Muscle Mass

Vitamin C is essential to the formation of collagen, the foundation that bone mineralization is built on. Previous studies have associated increased vitamin C levels with greater bone density. Now a new study has found that mature adults with the highest intake of vitamin C have greater skeletal muscle mass than those with the lowest intake.

For their study, the researchers used data from 13,000 people between the ages of 42 and 82 who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Norfolk Study. Dietary vitamin C intake was measured using a 7-day food diary. Blood samples were used to evaluate plasma vitamin C levels. Skeletal muscle mass was estimated using bioelectrical impedance analysis.

Participants with the highest intake of vitamin C, approximately 170 mg per day, had greater estimated skeletal muscle mass compared to those with the lowest intake, approximately 37 mg per day. Participants with higher plasma vitamin C levels also had greater estimated skeletal muscle mass compared to those with insufficient levels.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of East Anglia. It was published online ahead of print on August 27, 2020 in The Journal of Nutrition.

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