Space travel is something our scientists are constantly studying, to improve as also to study deeply. However, today we've come across a study that states that there might be adverse effects to space travel. Scientists are enlisting the help of 'pillownauts' to examine a potentially serious adverse effect of space travel and weightlessness on the human body.
Bed rest is a tried and tested way to measure the effects of weightlessness on the human body which include bone and muscle mass loss, cardiovascular decline and impaired carbohydrate metabolism which could be a risk for type 2 diabetes. And many astronauts come back to Earth from space showing signs of pre-diabetes because weightlessness can lead to insulin resistance whereby the muscles and liver can not absorb glucose to help regulate blood sugar levels. So, a 3-day bed rest study is being carried out at the University of Nottingham in the UK along with a 60-day bed rest study by the European Space Agency in France too!
"There is a big push at the moment for a manned mission to Mars - a journey that would take as long as nine months with huge implications for the fitness of the astronauts," said Ian Macdonald, professor at University of Nottingham. "Multiple scientific groups across NASA, the UK Space Agency and ESA, are working on many aspects of this physical deterioration in zero gravity and we hope our contribution to this will be significant and possibly lead to further studies about insulin resistance over a longer time period," said Macdonald. "Non-weight-bearing has a major negative impact on health, including reduced muscle mass and sensitivity to nutrition," said Paul Greenhaff, from University of Nottingham.