J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2012 Mar;67(3):295-301. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glr174. Epub 2011 Sep 20.
A significant relationship between plasma vitamin C concentration and physical performance among Japanese elderly women.
BACKGROUND: Maintenance of physical performance could improve the quality of life in old age. Recent studies suggested a beneficial relationship between antioxidant vitamin (eg, vitamin C) intake and physical performance in elderly people. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between plasma vitamin C concentration and physical performance among Japanese community-dwelling elderly women.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study involving elderly females residing in an urban area in Tokyo, Japan, in October 2006. We examined anthropometric measurements, physical performance, lifestyles, and plasma vitamin C concentration of participants.
RESULTS: A total of 655 subjects who did not take supplements were analyzed. The mean age (±standard deviation) of participants was 75.7 ± 4.1 years in this study. The geometric mean (geometric standard deviation) of plasma vitamin C concentration was 8.9 (1.5) μg/mL. The plasma vitamin C concentration was positively correlated with handgrip strength, length of time standing on one leg with eyes open and walking speed, and inversely correlated with body mass index. After adjusting for the confounding factors, the quartile plasma vitamin C level was significantly correlated with the subject's handgrip strength (p for trend = .0004) and ability to stand on one leg with eyes open (p for trend = .049).
CONCLUSIONS: In community-dwelling elderly women, the concentration of plasma vitamin C related well to their muscle strength and physical performance.