A new study shows resveratrol can prevent bone density loss and muscle atrophy, two problems that commonly plague astronauts and those who lead sedentary lifestyles. A report published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) describes experiments in rats that simulated the weightlessness of spaceflight, during which the group fed resveratrol did not develop insulin resistance or a loss of bone mineral density, as did those who were not fed resveratrol.
According to Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal, "There are overwhelming data showing that the human body needs physical activity, but for some of us, getting that activity isn't easy. A low gravity environment makes it nearly impossible for astronauts. For the earthbound, barriers to physical activity are equally challenging, whether they be disease, injury, or a desk job. Resveratrol may not be a substitute for exercise, but it could slow deterioration until someone can get moving again."
Although NASA sent their spaceship Atlantis to its docking station for its final space shuttle mission last week, astronauts on long duration trips may in future take resveratrol supplements…or just a bottle of good red wine.
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