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Longevity Briefs: Vitamin C helps prevent muscle injury

Posted on 22 October 2020

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Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: Strains, sprains and ruptures are all types of musculoskeletal injury. They make up over 50% of the injuries that are reported. While small sprains only require a few days rest, some other musculoskeletal injuries can result in a considerable amount of time on the sideline.

How do we prevent these?

Studies have shown that nutrition plays a big role in keeping your body strong to limit the occurrence of these injuries. One of the ways that nutrition is important is via the production of collagen. Collagen is a structural protein that is vital for maintaining healthy muscle, bones and skin.

What did the researchers do: In a randomized, double-blind, cross-over study a research team recruited 8 healthy male volunteers to find out whether vitamin C supplementation increased the rate of exercise induced collagen synthesis. The men consumed enriched gelatin containing 5g of vitamin C, 15g of vitamin C or placebo. The participants were then instructed to exercise to stimulate collagen synthesis. Blood tests were then taken throughout the experiment.


Key takeaway(s) from this research: The results revealed that the subjects who took 15g of vitamin C enriched gelatin experienced double the amount of amino-terminal propeptide of collagen in their blood, showing elevated levels of collagen synthesis.

The authors conclude

These data suggest that adding [vitamin C enriched] gelatin to an intermittent exercise program improves collagen synthesis and could play a beneficial role in injury prevention and tissue repair

Source: Vitamin C–enriched gelatin supplementation before intermittent activity augments collagen synthesis. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.138594

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