Antioxidants May Help Maintain Muscle Function

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

At a recent meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, researchers described a new study that found diets rich in antioxidants to be potentially helpful for preserving the muscular strength of older adults. The scientists examined the long-term eating patterns of more than 2,000 persons in their seventies. In addition, they recorded the subjects’ handgrip strength at baseline, and then again after the passage of two years. (For more news about grip strength, see the following article.)

A significant positive association was found between muscle strength change and the consumption of vitamins C and E. This was true even for subjects who started out with low levels of strength. Researchers don’t think it is effective to take high-dose vitamin C and E supplements, which in some cases can be unhealthy. Instead, these findings point to the value of following a well-balanced diet that is high in nutritious fruits and vegetables.

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