Red wine and weightlessness studied

June 30, 2011 at 4:45 PM
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BETHESDA, Md., June 30 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say an ingredient in red wine, resveratrol, may prevent the negative effects that spaceflight and long exposure to zero gravity have on people.

A report in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology describes experiments in rats that simulated the weightlessness of spaceflight, during which one group fed resveratrol did not develop the insulin resistance or loss of bone mineral density seen in the group that was not fed resveratrol.

"There are overwhelming data showing that the human body needs physical activity, but for some of us, getting that activity isn't easy," Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal, said.

"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."

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