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Life on Mars would be tough. The next day the weather is a pleasant 70 degrees celsius, only to drop down to 100 below zero that night. It’s nasty summer dust storms that darken the atmosphere for months, it can also be a cause for concern.
A more immediate problem for the astronauts on Mars could be related to the partial gravity. The Red Planet’s gravity is about 40 percent that of the Earth, which could have a negative impact on the human body, so that the weight-bearing bones are weakened and are less challenged to be the muscles to atrophy.
While the astronauts float around inside the International Space Station (ISS), it would have to have access to exercise machines, to get these effects, for they would have no kind of equipment on Mars. The profits that they would have to pumping iron at Gold’s Gym, the ISS would have been gone quickly. However, the investigators from Harvard could have been found a nutritional supplement that may prevent this problem: the use of resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grape skin, berries, and perhaps one of the most famous red wine.
“The development of the four-hanger and living environment for the rat model of partial weight bearing. The pictures of the rodents, the jacket is composed of a necklace, a jacket, and a back bra extender (A), the pelvis harness (B), and the whole of the quadruple suspension (C), and the rat has to undergo to partial weight bearing (PWB) in the novel environment; and (D).” (Credit: Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
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The study’s lead author, Dr. Marie, Mortreux, a researcher at the Harvard Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is known for the connection to the study of type ii diabetes and obesity, and were also aware of the potential impact on the growth of muscle.
“Previous studies of the astronauts and for the ground analogues, have shown that environment-induced insulin resistance in the muscle, and the use of resveratrol has been extensively well-known for its anti-diabetic effects,” Mortreux, told Fox News. “Also, studies have shown that resveratrol can prevent bone loss during unloading (the removal of the vertical forces acting on the animal, and the increase in body weight in diabetic animals.”
The study has been published in the scientific journal ‘Frontiers’.
In order to test resveratrol’s potential effects against muscle atrophy in march, Mortreux, the team made up of a custom-built apparatus to simulate the Red Planet’s gravity.
“We have adapted the idea of the study, Mary Bouxsein, in mice, and with rats with a custom-made jackets, and pelvic armor,” Mortreux says. “These two items are then linked to each other in a triangle-shaped stainless-steel necklace at the top, in the middle of the cage, and by changing the length of the chain, we were able to reduce the weight and be able to carry on with our animals, while still allowing for a relatively normal behavior, and the four position.”
Half of the 24 rats that experienced normal load is equal to the gravitational force of the Earth, and the other half experienced a 40 per cent load, which is equivalent to Mars’ gravity. Six rats in each group were given only water to drink, while the other six were given 150 mg of resveratrol per day. They all ate the same food.
The team carried out weekly measurements of the rats’ calf circumference, and the hind leg, and grip strength. What the researchers found was astonishing– to the rats, which had only been water on Mars, weakened grip, and shrunken calf muscles, however, the rats that received resveratrol had the same muscle mass, and is nearly as strong a grip as the non-supplemented rats “on the planet.”
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So does this mean that if the astronauts have to drink a lot of red wine to Mars, they will continue to be in good shape and not loose muscle? Unfortunately, it is not, according to the Mortreux.
“But it’s a red wine, and any other sources of resveratrol are well known, they are not bad at all) to match the dose given to my rats (which would be about 1,500 mg,” she added. However, resveratrol is widely available as over-the-counter and online retailers, and the pills usually come in doses of 500 mg or 1000 mg. In addition, it would dramatically reduce the space taken in the aircraft with the help of the pills.”
Future study of Mortreux and her team will focus on the mechanisms that might be involved, and it will also look to see if the women respond well to men. They are going to examine different doses, in the event there is evidence of a dose-response effect, and in order to experiment on rats to see how they would fare on the Moon.
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