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A second phase of an Italian study evaluating changes in space metabolism is underway

A second phase of an Italian study evaluating changes in space metabolism is underway

After observing the parameters of the Italian cosmonaut Parmitano, the second part of the analysis will be carried out during the six-month stay on the International Space Station of German astronaut Matthias Maurer by a research team from the University of Trieste: the measurements will be made once a month, in the morning on an empty stomach, until His mission ends in April 2022, and will work to develop nutritional plans capable of counteracting or limiting the effects of microgravity.

Astronaut Matthias Maurer

He’ll still have to be patient after a few days of that NASA postponed his departure From Florida to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, November 3, due to bad weather: we are talking about the Cosmis Kiss space mission of the German astronaut at the European Space Agency (ESA) Matthias Maurer, who during his six months of work. From perpetually on the orbital platform it will complete several European and international experiments, including one conducted by a research team from the University of Trieste that will monitor Changes in your metabolism in microgravity conditions. The project, called Nutriss, is the first study aimed at understanding changes in body structure in space and counteracting the loss of lean mass through diet control. The goal is to define a reference protocol for long-duration space missions, the researchers explained.

In this regard, the first stage of this scientific test has already been carried out by the Italian astronaut Luca ParmitanoOn the occasion of the Beyond mission on the International Space Station from July to February 2019. This second phase will allow to expand the evaluation and possibilities of using the International Space Station for the benefit of the Italian research sector. “The topic of proper nutrition – Giovanni Valentini, in charge of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) for the use of the International Space Station, explained – It is one of the main topics on which the research of major global space agencies focuses in the current context of space exploration, to study the risks associated with sending missions with astronauts beyond low Earth orbit.“.

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From Parmitano’s observation, both a balanced diet and physical activity were necessary in conditions of immobility and microgravity, indicating the importance of a high-protein diet (not a high-protein diet), with a good supply of antioxidants, provided by vegetables, fruits, chocolate and even coffee. . “long-term space flight – Filippo Giorgio Di Girolamo determinant of the University of Trieste team – It leads to changes in body composition, and almost always leads to a decrease in body mass. It is possible, through nutritional intervention, to counteract or reduce the harmful effect of microgravity on metabolism and skeletal muscle“.

Astronaut Luca Parmitano during the first experimental phase of Project Nutris

Astronaut Luca Parmitano during the first experimental phase of Project Nutris

The results obtained with Parmitano showed “Effectiveness of the dietary approach suggested by our team Professor Gianni Piolo, team coordinator of the University of Trieste, added. In light of this, ASI planned with the European Space Agency to continue the study of NUTRISS on the occasion of two other missions of ESA astronauts to the International Space Station, Matthias Maurer and Predicting Samantha Cristoforetti in 2022“.

During the Maurer mission, it will be equipped with a bioimpedance analyzer, a tool for analyzing and monitoring body composition, adapting it to go into orbit. To make this measurement, some electrodes on the wrists and ankles, This will allow scientists to determine the percentage of fat and lean body mass.

Before leaving for the International Space Station, researchers have already conducted a first observation to obtain comparison data, and once Maurer reaches the orbital station, measurements in space, which will take place once a month, will begin in the morning. Fasting until the end of the mission in April 2022. Through this practice it will be determined Gaining fat and losing muscle in microgravity conditions. Based on this information, the nutritional plan strategy will be developed, discussed and coordinated on the ground with the ESA medical team, with the ASI and with researchers at Trieste. In the event of positive or negative changes exceeding a specified threshold, the nutrition team will make suggestions to increase or decrease the energy consumption of the astronaut in order to maintain his energy balance.

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