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Vitamin C and Weight Control

Vitamin C May Reduce Age-Related Weight Gain

According to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study, by taking more vitamin C older adults may be able to combat oxidative stress in their cells that may damage tissues and interfere with normal physiological functions.

It suggests that oxidative stress may have played a part in previous observations of reduced resting metabolism in older adults.

In 1998 and 2001, a group led by Assistant Research Professor Pamela Parker Jones of the kinesiology and applied physiology department published papers showing that older adults burn fewer calories at rest than their younger counterparts. This was an important finding, said Bell, demonstrating that more calories are available to turn into fat in older adults.

In 2001, Jones’ group also published a follow-up study showing that the lower metabolic rate in older adults is due in part to a decreased ability of the nervous system to support resting metabolism. Jones’ group believes this decline in neural support of resting metabolism with age may be related to increased oxidative stress.

In preliminary experiments, Bell has measured resting metabolism before and after an infusion of vitamin C directly into the veins of older adults between 60 and 74 years old. The results show that following vitamin C infusion, resting metabolism increases on average by almost 100 calories per day, he said.

“It is possible that the removal of oxidative stress using vitamin C could lead to a significant increase in resting metabolism in these older adults,” said Jones. “This has important implications for reducing age-related weight gain.”

SOURCE: University of Colorado

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