Vitamin C Consumption, Key to Maintaining Muscle Mass in Old Age
A new study from the University of East Anglia (UEA) has revealed that older people who consume more foods that are rich with vitamin C have the best skeletal muscle mass.
 
Generally, as we get older, our muscle mass, strength and power to move, gradually declines, often leading to condition called sarcopenia. "People over 50 lose up to one per cent of their skeletal muscle mass each year, and this loss is thought to affect more than 50 million people worldwide. It's a big problem, because it can lead to frailty and other poor outcomes such as sarcopenia, physical disability, type-2 diabetes, reduced quality of life and death,” said lead researcher Prof Ailsa Welch, from UEA's Norwich Medical School.
 
Currently, there are limited solutions for treating sarcopenia, so early intervention, before symptoms become too severe, is preferable. Most research, until now, has focused on the effect of increasing protein intake to prevent or treat sarcopenia. 
 
However, this new study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, attempted to investigate the importance of dietary vitamin with loss of skeletal muscle mass and function in middle and older age. The study concluded that the more dietary vitamin C middle-aged and older adults consume, the greater their skeletal muscle mass appears to be. 
 
Vitamin C is abundantly found in citrus fruits, berries and vegetables and people who do not consume enough of these in their diet are at risk of vitamin C deficiency which, in turn, causes weakness, tiredness and fragile bones. In extreme cases, vitamin C deficiency may lead to scurvy. 
 
Around two-thirds of our body’s total vitamin C is found in skeletal muscle and is used for making carnitine, a substance crucial in providing energy for muscles to function, and collagen which is an essential structural component of muscle. Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that can help to counteract free radical molecules which increase with age. Unopposed, these free radical molecules can contribute to destruction of muscle cells. 
 
For this study, researchers looked at data from over 13,000 men and women aged 42-82 years who were participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Norfolk study. They used biological impedance analysis, which sends small electrical signals through the body to calculate water and fat percentage, thus estimating the proportion of skeletal muscle in the body. 
 
Participants were requested to maintain a diary of everything they ate and drank over a period of seven days so that the research team could accurately calculate their intake of dietary vitamin C. Vitamin C levels were also measured directly in their blood, providing results less susceptible to potential error in reporting diet. Participants were then grouped according to their intake of vitamin C, ranging from low to high.
 
Analysis of the collated data took into consideration other important factors, including participant’s physical activity, protein and energy intake, which might also have effects on skeletal muscle mass. 
 
They found that participants who had consumed the highest amount of vitamin C in their diet had the greatest muscle mass. The results indicated the largest difference in women who had consumed highest category of vitamin C, showing muscle mass 3% higher than those in the lowest category. For participants under as well as over 65, vitamin C was seen to be an important factor in maintaining better skeletal mass. These findings were also supported by the fact that those with sufficient levels of vitamin C in their blood had greater muscle mass than those in the insufficient category. 
 
"We found that nearly 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women participants were not consuming as much Vitamin C as they should, according to the European Food Safety Agency recommendations. 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,” said Dr Richard Hayhoe, from UEA's Norwich Medical School.
 
The results from this study build on the concept that optimal nutrition may help reduce the decline in muscle. This provides further emphasis and encouragement for people of all ages to follow the healthy eating guidelines and consume a wider variety of fruits and vegetables every day. 
 
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    States should implement Centre's SOP on Covid-19, says SC
    The Supreme Court on Friday said state governments are obligated to implement the Centre's standard operating procedure (SOP) on the Covid-19 pandemic, including on transporting a confirmed case or a person suspected of infection.
     
    A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah said all states should follow the SOP and take appropriate measures in connection with augmenting the capacity of ambulances.
     
    The observation by the bench was made during the hearing of a PIL filed by an organisation named 'Earth', which claimed that ambulances are charging excessively from Covid-19 patients, therefore the state governments should fix charges for them.
     
    Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted before the bench that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had issued the SOP on this issue and all state governments would have to implement it.
     
    The petitioner's counsel argued that the SOP does not cover the pricing aspect of ambulances and hospitals are charging patients arbitrarily. At this, the bench observed that the states would have to fix reasonable charge for the ambulance services for patients, and disposed of the plea.
     
    According to the SOP issued by the Centre on March 29, there should be ambulances identified specifically for transporting suspected Covid patients or those who have developed complications, to the health facilities.
     
    "Currently, there are two types of ambulances - ALS (with ventilators) and BLS (without ventilators). States may empanel other ambulances having basic equipment like that of BLS and use it for Covid patients. However, this must be ensured that strict adherence to cleaning and decontamination protocols given here in the guidance note need to be followed. The fleet in-charge or person designated by CMO/CS, will supervise its adherence," said the SOP.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Reckless behaviour, dodging COVID testing could be damaging: Health Ministry
    The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Tuesday that irresponsible behaviour of people could lead to a damaging situation as far as the Covid-19 pandemic is concerned in India.
     
    The Health Ministry officials said that as per the inputs received from the state governments, people are avoiding tests despite having symptoms of the disease.
     
    Besides, many people are also not following the basic Covid-19 preventive measures such as wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings.
     
    "This could damage the situation which is still in our command," said V.K. Paul, Head of the National Task Force on Covid-19, at the weekly press briefing of the Health Ministry on Tuesday.
     
    "The situation is still in our command as we have successfully reduced the mortality rate and the share of active cases. However, we have received complaints from the state governments that people are not confirming to testing and Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. This can make India's case volatile," Paul said.
     
    He also cautioned that avoiding testing could be particularly dangerous.
     
    "If we do not undergo testing despite having symptoms, it is not just dangerous for the individual, but also for the family members and the community at large," he said.
     
    Paul also said that a tendency has been observed in people where they go for tests only after showing severe symptoms.
     
    "We lose crucial time to contain the spread of the virus by such acts. Such an individual could infect many during the period. This attitude should be changed. There is nothing to be afraid of getting tested," he said.
     
    Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that "do gaz ki door" (social distancing) and use of masks is mandatory and should be followed at all times.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    k2712m

    2 weeks ago

    Indian Elites are most stupid and irresponsible zand an indisciplined lot and their prajas see them on TV without masks and in functions and think Covid is not so bad.

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