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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2016 Jul;26(7):755-63. doi: 10.1111/sms.12506. Epub 2015 Jul 1.

Vitamin C and E supplementation blunts increases in total lean body mass in elderly men after strength training.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, Sport and Nutrition, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway.
2
Department of Physical Performance, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo, Norway.
3
Southern Norway Hospital Trust, Agder, Norway.
4
Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
5
Division of Cancer Medicine, Surgery and Transplantation, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of vitamin C and E supplementation on changes in muscle mass (lean mass and muscle thickness) and strength during 12 weeks of strength training in elderly men. Thirty-four elderly males (60-81 years) were randomized to either an antioxidant group (500 mg of vitamin C and 117.5 mg vitamin E before and after training) or a placebo group following the same strength training program (three sessions per week). Body composition was assessed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and muscle thickness by ultrasound imaging. Muscle strength was measured as one-repetition maximum (1RM). Total lean mass increased by 3.9% (95% confidence intervals: 3.0, 5.2) and 1.4% (0, 5.4) in the placebo and antioxidant groups, respectively, revealing larger gains in the placebo group (P = 0.04). Similarly, the thickness of m. rectus femoris increased more in the placebo group [16.2% (12.8, 24.1)] than in the antioxidant group [10.9% (9.8, 13.5); P = 0.01]. Increases of lean mass in trunk and arms, and muscle thickness of elbow flexors, did not differ significantly between groups. With no group differences, 1RM improved in the range of 15-21% (P < 0.001). In conclusion, high-dosage vitamin C and E supplementation blunted certain muscular adaptations to strength training in elderly men.

KEYWORDS:

Antioxidant supplementation; lean mass; muscle thickness; one repetition maximum; undulating periodization

PMID:
26129928
DOI:
10.1111/sms.12506
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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