Enhanced diet could improve astronauts’ health and performance compared to standard spaceflight food

Enhanced diet could improve astronauts’ health and performance compared to standard spaceflight food
Enhanced diet could improve astronauts’ health and performance compared to standard spaceflight food

Astronauts could possibly be given an enhanced eating regimen throughout spaceflights that features a better selection and amount of fruits, greens, and fish to enhance their well being and efficiency in comparison with customary spaceflight meals, stories a research revealed in Scientific Reports. Although performed in a spaceflight simulation chamber on Earth with 16 people, these findings might have implications for astronaut well being and choices about meals useful resource priorities on spaceflights.

Long-duration spaceflight is thought to impression human well being, and spacecraft dimension and energy constraints restrict what will be taken into area. The meals astronauts eat might have the potential to mitigate some damaging well being adjustments throughout spaceflight, however in flip the meals will be restricted by mass, quantity, shelf-life, and storage necessities.

Grace Douglas and colleagues investigated the distinction in impression of two diets on 16 people (10 males and 6 females). Four people participated in every of the 4 45-day missions in an Earth-based, closed chamber designed to simulate the confined spaceflight setting, alongside the practicality of storing completely different foodstuffs in these circumstances. Individuals ate both an enhanced eating regimen or a regular eating regimen. The enhanced eating regimen included an elevated variety of servings and number of vegatables and fruits, together with extra fish and sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The customary spaceflight eating regimen is at the moment used on the International Space Station, and whereas it meets most necessities, the authors suggest that it might use extra sources of vegatables and fruits, and extra sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

The enhanced eating regimen supplied greater than six servings of vegatables and fruits per day and between two to 3 servings of fish per week, amongst different wholesome meals. All meals have been shelf-stable, which is a requirement to assist the room temperature, prolonged storage circumstances on present area missions. To simulate actual spaceflight circumstances, the meals was saved within the chamber earlier than the beginning of every mission. Individuals supplied samples of saliva, urine, blood, and stool and accomplished cognitive evaluation duties all through the missions.

The authors discovered that people who consumed the improved spaceflight eating regimen had decrease levels of cholesterol, decrease cortisol ranges (suggesting decrease stress), better cognitive pace, accuracy and a spotlight, and a extra secure microbiome than people consuming the usual eating regimen.

The authors conclude that an enhanced spaceflight eating regimen has important well being and efficiency advantages for people and could also be useful for astronauts, even on quick area missions. Although additional investigation is required to evaluate more healthy diets in area, these findings might assist to information meals useful resource priorities on area exploration missions in future.


Journal reference:

Douglas, G.L., et al. (2022) Impact of eating regimen on human diet, immune response, intestine microbiome, and cognition in an remoted and confined mission setting. Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-21927-5.


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