The same material associated with the health benefits of red wine could one day help astronauts walk on Mars. In a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology researchers say that resveratrol, a wine-based compound, could reduce muscle loss on the long journey to Mars.
19659003] Currently, a simple trip to Mars takes about nine months. Regardless of which spacecraft astronauts heading for the hike, there is only room for the bare essentials on board. For this reason, there is not much room for exercise equipment that allows the crew to keep their muscles strong in low-weight or weightless environments. And that's a problem for the chosen few who one day could enter a planet that has only 40 percent of Earth's gravity.
Weight-bearing muscles will shrink first ̵
But there could be a way out of the lack of exercise equipment: "Nutritional strategies could be crucial," says Marie Mortreux, a neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Harvard University and lead author of the newspaper, in a press release.
Here Resveratrol comes in. The compound often occurs in the shell of blueberries, pomegranates and grapes (hence its relationship with wine, especially red wine, which is fermented longer with grape skins than white wine.)
And it has been shown that "Bone and muscle mass in rats during [situations that are] remains analogous to weightlessness during space travel, Morteux explained in the statement." We hypothesized that a moderate daily dose would also help alleviate muscle loss in a Mars gravity analog.
Resveratrol to Rescue
To test this, Morteux and her team examined 24 Council Those who were equipped with a body harness, for two weeks. Some of the rats were in a stress situation identified by the researchers as 40 percent suspended in their body harness in a manner that mimicked the gravitational force of Mars. Others were in a so-called normal stress situation in which they regularly experienced the gravity of the earth. In each of these stress situations, half of the rodents received resveratrol preparations, while the other half received resveratrol preparations.
As expected, the "Mars" rats who went without Resveratrol lost muscle mass in their legs, their paw grip weakened and they saw a decrease in the slowly twitching muscle fibers they had. However, such losses did not occur in the replenished colleagues. In fact, in the normal stress situation where no dietary supplement was included, her muscle mass was approximately at the level of the rats.
Despite the promising results, it is still a rodent study. And the mechanisms behind Resveratrol's impressive ability to maintain muscle mass have yet to be uncovered. In addition, the researchers would have to overcome the not insignificant hurdle to release the compound for such use in humans. Until then, it is at least nice to think about how something as modest as wine bowls one day could hold the key to people who travel the Red Planet.