The same things that have been linked to red wine's health benefits can also help astronauts go on Mars one day. In a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology researchers say that resveratrol, a compound found in wines, can reduce muscle loss on the long journey to Mars.
The problem of traveling to Mars  Currently, a one-way trip to Mars takes something like nine months. To make the tour, the spacecraft that holds the astronauts will only have space for the absolutely necessary on board. As such, there will not be too much exercise equipment to help the crew keep their muscles strong in zero or low-key environments. And it is a problem for the chosen few who could ever lay foot on a planet that only has 40 percent of the earth's gravity pressure.
Weight-bearing muscles will shrink first ̵
But there may be a way around the lack of training equipment: "Dietary strategies may be important," says Marie Mortreux, a neurologist at Harvard University's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the paper's lead author, in a press release.
This is where resveratrol comes in. The compound is usually found in blueberries, pomegranates and grapes. (Hence's relation to wine, especially to red wine, which is yeast with grape skins beyond white wine.)
And it has been shown to preserve bone and muscle mass in rats under [situations that are] analogous to microwave during the space flight, "Morteux explained in the statement." So we assumed that a moderate daily dose would help alleviate muscle descaling in a gravitational channel from Mars. "
Resveratrol to Rescue
To test this, Morteux and her team studied 24 rats that were equipped with a body harness for two weeks Some of the rats were in what the researchers call a 40 percent load situation, where they were discontinued from their body harness in a manner similar to Martian's gravity, others were in a so-called normal load situation, where they experienced regularly In each of these loading situations, half of the rodents received resveratrol supplements while the other half did not.
As expected, they won the "Mars" rats that sans resveratrol muscle mass in their legs, their paw grips weakened and they saw a drop in how many slow muscle fibers they had. But their complementary comrades did not experience such losses. In fact, their muscle mass was approximately equal to the rats in the normal load situation which did not get any of the supplement.
Despite the promising results, it is still a rodent survey. And the mechanisms behind resveratrol's impressive ability to maintain muscle mass have yet to be revealed. Plus, scientists would still need to clear the non-insignificant barriers to clearing the compound for such use in humans. Until then, it is at least nice to think about how something as unpleasant as grape skin could hold the key to people who once walked the red planet.