http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/science/red-wine-s-resveratrol-could-help-mars-explorers-stay-strong/article/555057

Red wine’s resveratrol could help Mars explorers stay strong

Posted Aug 1, 2019 by Tim Sandle
A new study finds that nutraceuticals which preserve muscle in reduced gravity are an essential requirement in the diet of astronauts embarking long-term space missions. These chemicals include resveratrol, found in red wine.
An artist’s impression shows how Mars may have looked about four billion years ago. The young plan...
An artist’s impression shows how Mars may have looked about four billion years ago. The young planet Mars would have had enough water to cover its entire surface in a liquid layer about 140 metres deep, but it is more likely that the liquid would have pooled to form an ocean occupying almost half of Mars’s northern hemisphere, and in some regions reaching depths greater than 1.6 kilometers.
ESO/M. Kornmesser/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)
Going on a deep space mission will be challenging on a number of fronts, not least on the physiology of the body of the space traveler. The expected mission time to Mars, based on current technology, will be nine months. Under micro-gravity conditions, the muscles and bones of an astronaut will weaken. With this process, the weight-bearing muscles will be affected first such as the soleus muscle in the calf.
Commenting on this aspect study, lead researcher Dr. Marie Mortreux states in communication with Digital Journal: “After just 3 weeks in space, the human soleus muscle shrinks by a third. This is accompanied by a loss of slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are needed for endurance.”
For this reason, researchers have been examining the nutritional balance needed to support space travellers on deep space missions. The initial research has been undertaken on rodents, with a focus on what is required to preserve muscle mass and strength. The experiments using rats, subjecting the animals to the same gravitational conditions are found on Mars (just 40 percent of the gravitational pull found on Earth), has shown resveratrol substantially boots muscles.
The effect on the rats’ muscles was significant. This means that mitigating strategies will be needed to prevent muscle deconditioning. This is in the form of a dietary strategy. A type of food supplement will be needed because astronauts travelling to Mars will not have access to exercise machines, such as those found on the International Space Station.
A number of dietary supplements were examined, and a strong candidate was found to be resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene). This is a compound commonly found in grape skin and blueberries. The chemical has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-diabetic properties This means it can play a role in preserving bone and muscle mass.
When the study was re-run, resveratrol supplementation almost completely recovered muscle mass in rats, such as recovering front and rear paw grip to the level of rats found on Earth. The chemical also protected muscle and it reduced the loss of slow-twitch muscle fibers.
The new research has been published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology. The research paper is titled “A Moderate Daily Dose of Resveratrol Mitigates Muscle Deconditioning in a Martian Gravity Analogue.”