Mars astronauts could prevent muscle wasting with red wine antioxidant

CNET | 7/18/2019 | Abrar Al-Heeti
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Resveratrol, a compound in red wine, could keep astronauts strong on Mars.

The key to keeping humans strong on Mars could be found in red wine. A Harvard study published Thursday reported that resveratrol, a compound in blueberries and the skin of grapes (and, by extension, red wine) could preserve muscle mass and strength against the reduced gravity on Mars.

Resveratrol - Effects - Antioxidant - Properties - Researchers

Resveratrol is believed to have the effects of an antioxidant, and is studied for its anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. Researchers found that it significantly maintained muscle mass and strength in rats exposed to a simulation of Mars' gravitational pull, which is 40% that of Earth's. Lower gravity levels can weaken muscles and bones, presenting a challenge for astronauts on long missions to Mars.

"Resveratrol has been shown to preserve bone and muscle mass in rats during complete unloading, analogous to microgravity during spaceflight," lead author Marie Mortreux said in a release. "We hypothesized that a moderate daily dose would help mitigate muscle deconditioning in a Mars gravity analogue, too."

Gravity - Mars - Rats - Harness - Chain

To simulate gravity on Mars, rats were placed in a full-body harness and suspended by a chain from the ceiling of their cage. For 14 days, 24 male rats were either exposed to normal loading similar to Earth, or 40% loading similar to Mars. Half the rats in each of those two groups received resveratrol in water, while the rest got plain water.

Each week, researchers measured the circumference of the rats' calves, and their front and rear paw grip force. Their...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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