Here’s news that will please citrus growers. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that adults with the highest levels of vitamin C—a nutrient commonly found in citrus fruits, berries and vegetables—had greater estimated skeletal muscle mass than those with the lowest levels.

The investigation included more than 13,000 men and women ages 42–82. Vitamin C status was analyzed using data from 7-day food diaries and blood samples.

This finding is important because people tend to lose skeletal muscle mass as they get older, and that contributes to frailty and can reduce quality of life. As an antioxidant, vitamin C may help defend muscle tissue against the destructive powers of free radicals.

See also: Building Muscle Mass at Any Age