US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — A new study reports that the astronaut’s body produces less sodium in space than on land, and this can be of great importance to the heart health of future space travelers.
Past research shows that space exploration poses a number of health risks to people that affect their brain, eyes, and bones. Space travel has a particularly noticeable effect on the cardiovascular system.
Without gravity, blood and water enter the upper body and head of the astronaut, making the face swollen. The lack of gravity leads to the fact that the body produces less blood, which leads to dehydration of the astronauts upon returning to Earth.
A new study, published Monday in the Journal of the American Heart Association Circulation, was devoted to atrial natriuretic peptides – hormones that help the body remove sodium from the body. Scientists said this study was the first to measure the content of these peptides in astronauts on a high sodium and low sodium diet, both in space and on Earth.
The study included eight male astronauts, each of whom used diets with low and high sodium in space and on Earth. A low sodium diet was 2 grams per day, and a high sodium diet was 5.5 grams.
The study showed that while in space, astronauts produce less sodium, and their levels of heart hormones were lower compared to when they were on Earth, regardless of what diet they were on.
The key conclusion of our study is that in space, although the concentration of cardiac natriuretic peptides responds to changes in sodium intake, it still resets sodium levels to lower levels,” the authors write.
Cosmonauts also had lower blood volume in space. than on Earth.
Dr. Michael Bango, who was not involved in the study, said the study adds yet another fly in the ointment to the growing amount of evidence that space travel has a profound effect on humanism.
“Astronauts in the news may look like they have a fun trip, where they create excellent living conditions. But there really is a lot of change in their bodies, ”says Bungo, a cardiologist and former head of the cardiovascular laboratory at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“In the short term – six months or less – none of these changes are harmful. But what are the long-term consequences if we go to Mars for a three-year flight? What if people begin to live in space for a long time? ” he said.
“There are a number of questions, and the answer to all of them: We just don’t know until the end.”
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