Attention Space Travelers: Here’s Your Excuse to Load Up on Red Wine

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This might be the best news ever that we absolutely want to believe is absolutely true: the antioxidants in red wine have been shown to help repair the effects of muscle atrophy and bone loss that come with weightlessness in astronauts. Not only that, but those are two things that are also side effects of a sedentary lifestyle. So, if you’re traveling into space or spending all your time watching TV shows about traveling into space, red wine is officially good for you. Science says so.

The key compounds that are naturally in wine that are so good for everyone — astronauts and non-astronauts alike –are flavonoids and resveratrol. The news that these are good for the heart is not new. What is new is that recent studies have shown those compounds have a positive, reparative effect on atrophied muscles and loss of bone density, which is something experienced by astronauts in zero gravity. Resveratrol also had a positive effect on insulin resistance. Though the most likely scenario would not include sending boxes and boxes of cabernet sauvignon on board the International Space Station — probably more along the lines of a resveratrol supplement.

But the same things that occur in weightlessness also occur in people who don’t get enough physical activity, including the disabled. (And bloggers …?) And the same compound could aid in reversing the damage to bones and muscles. Though it should not be considered a miracle cure.

“Resveratrol may not be a substitute for exercise, but it could slow deterioration until someone can get moving again,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., editor-in-chief of the [Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology] Journal.

In other words, wine is still not power elixir. But it does help. At least the stuff in it does.

So, if you’ve found yourself streaming almost every Star Trek episode that’s ever existed for hours (perhaps while also dicking around on the Internet), make sure to have a couple of glasses of red wine at the end of the day to justify it all.

Thank you, science. Thank you.

(PopSci via The Rumpus)


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