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Eating in Space: Does Nutrition Matter?

Author(s): Joanne R. Lupton, PhD

Muscle Wasting Countermeasure Studies for NSBRI

The two key areas for countermeasures covered in this presentation are radiation-enhanced cancer and muscle wasting. Let’s start with countermeasures against muscle wasting.

To maintain muscle mass on Earth, muscle protein synthesis must equal muscle protein breakdown. This is not true in space, where protein breakdown exceeds protein synthesis, due to a number of factors, including inactivity (caused in large part by the microgravity environment), which does not place stress on the muscles. In addition, a depression in energy intake in space contributes to suboptimal nutrition and an increase in catabolic hormones, such as cortisol, as a reaction to stress. To counteract these negative effects on muscle mass and strength, it is necessary to develop countermeasures that supply optimal nutrition and appropriate exercise, and perhaps include anabolic agents.


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Space Biomedical Research Institute

National Space Biomedical Research Institute

This work was supported by National Space Biomedical Research Institute through NASA cooperative agreement NCC 9-58.