February 4, 2023

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Scientists have improved the diet of astronauts. There are traces

enrich meals, incl. Not only did fish and fruit improve health parameters, but also the astronauts’ brain efficiency. Below are the results of an experiment conducted at the NASA facility.

Space flights, especially those far (to the moon) and very far (to Mars), there are many problems that need to be solved. One is to provide astronauts with an optimal diet for the trip—knowing what they should eat to help their bodies endure a long flight in good condition, and possibly survive on another celestial body.

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45 days in the simulator

To answer this question, an international group of scientists from the USA, Germany and Canada decided to conduct a very interesting experiment. They invited 16 volunteers: ten men and six women, with an average age of 40 (plus or minus 9). Each took part in at least one “mission” that involved staying for 45 days in a room simulating a spacecraft, located at the space center. NASA With them. Johnson in Houston, Texas.

The activities planned for that time (such as physical exercise) and the stress associated with them are also similar to what awaits real astronauts. In addition, study participants were trained on how to collect and secure their own biological samples, keep accurate dietary records, and administer psychological tests of cognitive function.

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They ate the same food as the astronauts on the space station

The main part of the experiment was nutrition. For this purpose, the scientists earlier supplied the simulation chamber with sufficient amount of food. Two types of it were prepared, but the volunteers did not know (it was determined by lottery, and the packaging looked identical) which one they would consume for 45 days.

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The first was a standard healthy diet developed for astronauts aboard the orbiting International Space Station. The second is a scientifically enhanced version that offers six portions of fruit and vegetables per day, two servings of flavonoid-rich foods, two to three servings (220-340g) of fish per week, and five tomato-based foods per week (these vegetables are a source of lycopene). The protein content was maintained at the level of 1.2 to 1.7 g/kg/day, calcium – 1000 to 1200 mg/day, vitamin D – 800 IU/day, and sodium – about 2.3 thousand. mg/day and iron is about 10 mg/day.

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“Astronaut” lowered cholesterol and pressure

When the trial was over and the researchers analyzed the results, it turned out that those on the improved diet had lower levels of cholesterol and cortisol (the latter indicating less stress), did better on tests of cognitive function, and microbiome Show more stability in terms of configuration.

The authors of the experiment write:Scientific reports(where they presented their findings) that such an improved diet could bring significant health and performance benefits to astronauts, even during short spaceflights. Of course, more research is needed to develop the best diets, and the results of the Houston trial will certainly help. Because although only 16 people took part in it, it was the first time that what they ate was controlled for a long time and accurately, and their health parameters were checked.

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