A compound present in crimson wine, known as resveratrol, may help hold astronauts preserve their muscle mass throughout journeys in area or future Mars missions, a research carried out by Harvard researchers in mice suggests.
The NASA-funded research, revealed within the journal Frontiers in Physiology, reveals that resveratrol considerably preserves muscle mass and power in rats uncovered to the losing results of simulated Mars gravity.
“After just three weeks in space, the human soleus muscle shrinks by a third,” mentioned Marie Mortreux, from Harvard Medical School within the US.
“This is accompanied by a loss of slow-twitch muscle fibres, which are needed for endurance,” mentioned Mortreux, lead creator of the research.
To permit astronauts to function safely on lengthy missions to Mars — whose gravitational pull is simply 40 per cent of Earth’s — mitigating methods might be wanted to forestall muscle deconditioning.
“Dietary strategies could be key, especially since astronauts travelling to Mars won’t have access to the type of exercise machines deployed on the ISS,” Mortreux mentioned.
A powerful candidate is resveratrol: a compound generally present in grape pores and skin and blueberries that has been broadly investigated for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-diabetic results.
“Resveratrol has been shown to preserve bone and muscle mass in rats during complete unloading, analogous to microgravity during spaceflight. So, we hypothesised that a moderate daily dose would help mitigate muscle deconditioning in a Mars gravity analogue, too,” mentioned Mortreux.
To mimic Mars gravity, the researchers used an method first developed in mice, wherein rats have been fitted with a full-body harness and suspended by a sequence from their cage ceiling.
As many as 24 male rats have been uncovered to regular loading (Earth) or 40 per cent loading (Mars) for 14 days. In every group, half obtained resveratrol (150 miligrammes per kilogramme per day) in water; the others received simply the water.
Calf circumference and entrance and rear paw grip pressure have been measured weekly, and at 14 days the calf muscle tissue have been analysed.
As anticipated, the ‘Mars’ situation weakened the rats’ grip and shrank their calf circumference, muscle weight and slow-twitch fibre content material, researchers mentioned.
Resveratrol supplementation nearly totally rescued entrance and rear paw grip within the Mars rats, to the extent of the non-supplemented Earth rats.
Resveratrol utterly protected muscle mass (soleus and gastrocnemius) within the Mars rats, and particularly lowered the lack of slow-twitch muscle fibres.
The safety was not full, the complement didn’t totally rescue common soleus and gastrocnemius fibres cross-sectional space, or calf circumference.
“A probable issue right here is insulin sensitivity. Resveratrol therapy promotes muscle progress in diabetic or unloaded animals, by growing insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake within the muscle fibres.
“This is relevant for astronauts, who are known to develop reduced insulin sensitivity during spaceflight,” Mortreux mentioned.
The anti-inflammatory results of resveratrol might additionally help to preserve muscle and bone, and different anti-oxidant sources similar to dried plums are getting used to check this, she mentioned.