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Low dietary vitamin C intake is associated with low muscle strength among elderly Korean women.

Nutrition Research 2024 May 26
Although vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants, its effect on muscle quality is not fully understood. Therefore, we hypothesized that low dietary vitamin C intake is associated with low muscle strength. To test the hypothesis, a single 24-h dietary recall and handgrip strength test of 10,883 younger adults 19-64 y and 3,961 older adults ≥65 y from the seventh Korea National Health and Examination Survey (KNHANES VII 2016-2018) was analyzed by multivariable linear and logistic regression models, and low muscle strength was defined as handgrip strength <28 kg for men and <18 kg for women. Approximately 15.5% of Korean adults met the recommended intake of dietary vitamin C, and those with higher dietary vitamin C intake had higher total energy and protein intake. After adjusting for confounding variables, including age, body mass index, total energy intake, household income, alcohol consumption, smoking, resistance exercise, medical condition, and dietary intake of protein, vitamin E, and β-carotene, dietary vitamin C was correlated with maximal handgrip strength in younger women 19-64 y (β = 0.002; SE = 0.001; P-value = .026) and older women ≥65 y (β = 0.005; SE = 0.002; P-value = .013). Among older women ≥65 y, those in the lowest quartile of dietary vitamin C intake had a higher risk of low muscle strength compared to those in the highest quartile after adjustment of confounding factors (odds ratio, 2.16; 95% confidence interval, 1.49-3.15). These results imply that adequate dietary vitamin C intake may reduce the risk of sarcopenia in older Korean women.

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