Protective travel provisions contained in red wine and grapes: the ingredient resveratrol could protect future astronauts against muscular atrophy – and so their fitness on missions to Mars. Because the substance may be at least part of the muscle degradation in low gravity prevent experiments with rats as now. In the case of daily administration of resveratrol, kept the animals despite the lack of loading your grip strength and a large part of their muscle mass.
The plant ingredient is resveratrol in grapes, red wine, and blueberries – and he is regarded as a healthy pace with a wide range of effects. Because the antioxidant has anti-inflammatory, protect against cardiovascular diseases can inhibit and even cancer. The health-promoting effects of food additives with resveratrol, however, are controversial, possibly because this means a lot not always a lot helps, as recently a study suggested.
Resveratrol as gravity replacement?
Another potential effect of resveratrol has now Marie Montreux from the Harvard Medical School in Boston and her team examined in more detail: Protection against muscle breakdown at reduced gravity. A man for a long time in the weightlessness of space rapidly on, he loses both strength and muscle mass. Although targeted training can reduce this loss of muscle tissue, but not completely. The same applies to stay on the moon or Mars – both objectives of future space missions. The force of gravity on them is only one-sixth or one third as strong – and also the leads without countermeasures to muscle breakdown. If the daily dose of resveratrol can protect against this loss of muscle tissue, the researchers have now investigated with rats.
Strength of grip is retained
In this experiment, the animals were suspended for 14 days in special harnesses so that your leg muscles were charged only to 40 percent – this corresponds roughly to the Mars Gravity. One-half of the rats received a daily dose of 150 milligrams of resveratrol per kilogram of body weight, the other does not. Before and after the researchers tested grip strength, muscle mass and a number of muscle fibers in the leg muscles of the animals. The result: after two weeks, the untreated control animals significantly as expected in muscle mass and strength of grip will be lost. But not the rats that had been given to you on a daily basis: Resveratrol was the muscle mass also slightly, their strength of grip at the front and rear legs but despite reduced burden remained the same, as the researchers report. The loss of muscle fibers was also significantly less in these animals.
How this positive effect comes into being, is still unclear.
The researchers suspect, however, that the effect of the resveratrol in the Sugar budget, could play a role. “Resveratrol promotes muscle growth in diabetic mice, by the insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake in the muscle fibers increases,” says Moreau. This mechanism could help to counteract the muscle atrophy at reduced gravity. “Our results highlight the therapeutic potential of resveratrol”, explains the researcher. Because earlier studies had a similar muscle protective effect of resveratrol also observed in complete weightlessness.
Resource for astronauts in the view of Moreau and her team, it is quite possible that these positive effects of resveratrol to protect astronauts on Mars missions or for longer stays on the moon. The gift of the substance as a food supplement could then, for example, the muscle-preserving effect of physical training. Previously but were still more studies are needed. “We still need to find out what mechanisms are involved and what are the effects on men and women have different doses of resveratrol,” says Moreau. “It is also important to confirm that resveratrol no harmful interactions with other drugs.”