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Astronauts from Mars can prevent muscle loss with antioxidant red wine



  Illustration of an astronaut in front of Mars

Resveratrol, a compound in red wine, can hold astronauts on Mars.


Sciepro / Photographic Library of Science
The key to keeping people on Mars can be found in red wine. A Harvard study published on Thursday reported that resveratrol, a compound in blueberries and the skin of grapes (and subsequently red wine) could retain muscle mass and the strength against reduced gravity on Mars. Resveratrol is believed to have antioxidant effects and is tested for its anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. Researchers have found that it significantly supports muscle mass and strength in rats exposed to simulation of gravitational attraction on Mars, which is 40% of that on Earth. Low gravitational levels can weaken muscles and bones, a challenge for astronauts in long missions to Mars. Mortreux said in a statement. "We assumed that a moderate daily dose would help mitigate muscle breakdown in Mars's gravitational analogue."

To simulate the gravity of Mars, the rats were placed in a harness of the whole body and hung on a cellular ceiling chain. For 1

4 days, 24 male rats were either exposed to a normal Earth-like load or 40% load similar to Mars. Half of the rats in each of these two groups receive resveratrol in water and the rest receive pure water. Each week the researchers measure the circumference of the rat calves as well as their paw holding force at the front and rear. Their calf muscles were analyzed on the 14th day.


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Stunning images of Mars from the European Space Agency



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Rats exposed to simulated gravity on Mars suffered from weak grip, folded calf circumference and reduced muscle weight. However, those who received resveratrol have adherence to the fore and hind paw comparable to those of non-resveratrol rats. The compound also retains the muscle mass of the rat Mars. Resveratrol, however, had its limits. It has not kept the circumference of the calf in the rats. In accordance with previous studies, it also does not affect food intake or total weight.

"Resveratol treatment promotes muscle growth in diabetic or unloaded animals by increasing insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake in muscle fiber release. "This is important for astronauts who are known to develop reduced insulin sensitivity during space flight." The anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol can help preserve muscles and bones, the study said. Scientists investigate this by using other antioxidants such as prunes. Future studies will have to look at the mechanisms included in this result and study the effects of different doses of resveratrol in men and women, says Mortreux. It will also be crucial to ensure there are no potentially harmful interactions between resveratrol and other compounds that astronauts receive in space missions, she said.

Originally published July 18, 14:07


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