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Nutrition

Sara R. Zwart, Ph.D.


Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory
Johnson Space Center - NASA

Monica V. Trevathan
Education Specialist
Human Health and Performance
Johnson Space Center - NASA

June 23, 2005


Learning Objectives
Participants will expand their science content
knowledge in the area of Nutrition by:
Describing the importance of proper nutrition
for our bodies on Earth and for human space
exploration.
Identifying human body systems that are
affected by inadequate nutrition (on Earth
and in space).
Explaining some challenges in nutrition and
food for human exploration and long duration
space flight.
Adaptation to Weightlessness
Muscle
Psychological/
Behavioral/ Bone
Performance
Fluid shifts,
Taste & odor hematological
Cardiovascular
Neurosensory
Gastrointestinal
Sleep &
circadian rhythm
Environmental
What is the Function of
Nutrition?
Psychosocial aspects
Meet energy/nutrient requirements
Countermeasure
Classroom Project Idea

Go to www.mypyramid.gov
My Pyramid Tracker can track food intake for
24 hours and give a report
Energy Intake
Energy Intake

POLL QUESTION
In general, most astronauts eat less
than their recommended intake.
Does this necessarily mean they lose
weight?
Body Weight
SLAMMD
Vitamin D
Vitamin D
Vitamin D
Stimulates calcium absorption in the
intestine
Deficiency can lead to:
Rickets
Osteomalacia
Where is
vitamin D
synthesized in
the body?
POLL QUESTION
Which of the following is NOT a source of
Vitamin D?
Nutrients Critical for
Bone Health
Calcium
Vitamin D
Vitamin K
Phosphorus
Magnesium
Bone

Bone breakdown
Bone formation
Bone Loss
Bone Loss
Fracture Risk
Stone Risk

Adapted from Heaney et al, 2000


Potential Countermeasures
Nutrition
Exercise
Pharmacology
Biochemical Markers of Bone
Breakdown

N-telopeptide Helical peptide


NTX (nmol/d)
Sodium

Level of dietary
sodium at each
stage of the study
Experiment days
European Mir Mission (Days)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Beneficial effects on cholesterol, lipid
metabolism, and cardiovascular health
Inhibit muscle loss in subjects with
hyper-catabolic diseases
Protective effects on bone health
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Clinical trial with cancer cachexia patients

(Wigmore et al. 1996)


Animal protein/Potassium
Chicken Bone in Acid
In the classroom, use the famous chicken
bone in acid lab experiment to demonstrate
acid effects on bones

See:
http://haco.jsc.nasa.gov/pdf/pH Experiment.pdf

.plus, ideas for more on nutrition and bones!


Next Stop: Mars!!

Nutrition is critical due to length of missions


Critical issues:
1. Are vitamins stable after exposure to
deep-space radiation?
2. Are nutrients stable for long shelf life
(up to 5 years)?
Food System Issues
Nutrient content
Palatability
Shelf-life
Preparation
Storage
Trash
How will Extreme Conditions
of Space Affect Food
Supply?
Closed food system
Radiation
Long-term storage
Depletion of a single nutrient could be
deadly after 3 years
For Example
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Easily destroyed by heat and light
Deficiency
beriberi
develops within 2-3 months
neurological and cardiovascular
effects
Another Example
Vitamin C
Deficiency
Scurvy
Bleeding around hair follicles, gums and
underneath fingernails

Effects of radiation and


long-duration storage are
unknown for space flight
Nutrition Research
On Earth and in space:
Nutrition is more than just eating
food
Food choices are important
Nutrition affects all body systems
Countermeasures for conditions
such as osteoporosis
Related NASA Education Material
National Space and Biomedical
Research Institute

Activities Guides
for Teachers

5-8 grade

http://www.nsbri.org/Education/index.html
Related NASA Education Material
NASA CONNECT
Math & Science
integration
Better Health from
Space to Earth
Grades 5-8

http://connect.larc.nasa.gov
Sara R. Zwart, Ph.D.
Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory
Johnson Space Center - NASA

Monica V. Trevathan
Education Specialist
Human Health and Performance
Johnson Space Center - NASA