Ground-breaking research from a collection of leading Kiwi scientists has found eating two kiwifruit a day ensures optimal muscle health.
The findings of a study by the University of Otago, Christchurch, have been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the world’s most prestigious publication in the field of nutrition science.
New Zealand scientists, led by Professor Margreet Vissers of Otago University’s Centre for Free Radical Research, have used kiwifruit as the vitamin C source in a human clinical research project. Kiwifruit is one of the most nutritious domesticated foods and is particularly high in vitamin C.
The aim of the study was to understand the critical role of vitamin C in the human body and to determine the best way to obtain this from the diet. The finding around muscle health is one aspect of this larger project.
The latest work has found that skeletal muscle is the body’s most labile, and possibly the largest, store of vitamin C, and that muscle levels most accurately reflect vitamin C intake. To reach the optimal vitamin C levels in muscle, which will result in good energy and vitality, dietary intake should also be optimal. If intake drops, then so will muscle levels, as vitamin C cannot be stored for use later.
Vissers says while most people associate a lack of vitamin C with scurvy, this condition reflects extreme deprivation and there are a host of illnesses and conditions which can befall the human body if vitamin C is continually below optimal levels.
Late in 2012, Vissers urged consumers to ensure a kiwifruit was part of their 5+a day fruit and vegetable allowance.
“Not all fruit are created equal, and, surprisingly, most fruit contain only one tenth of a healthy daily vitamin C intake per serve,” Vissers says. “However, we have shown that the addition of two kiwifruit a day will deliver optimal vitamin C and meet your daily recommended dose of this important vitamin, as well as delivering other vital nutrients.”
For this reason, fresh fruit is considered to be far more beneficial than a supplement.
Zespri technical health advisor Lynley Drummond says these results further build the growing body of evidence for the role of kiwifruit in the diet to maintain optimal health, performance and vitality.