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Weightlessness and Weight Loss: Malnutrition in Space

  • Author(s): Senter, Carlin
  • et al.
Abstract

Most astronauts in orbit suffer physically during space flight, experiencing weight loss, muscle atrophy, bone mineral density depletion, fluid loss, motion sickness, olfactory and gustatory changes, and radiation damage. While these physical changes are minor in short space missions, astronauts in compromised health will be unable to complete, or will fail to recover from, more lengthy spaceflights. It is imperative that astronauts maintain health while in microgravity, particularly by maintaining a positive energy balance. Finding nutritional countermeasures to the physiological and logistical challenges imposed by microgravity will not only allow space exploration to go beyond Earth's orbit, but it will provide information about important health concerns on Earth as well.

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