Space Radiation To Cause Bone Loss

According to a new study published by researchers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), astronauts may undergo loss of bones and muscles due to space radiation. The researchers found it while study the combined impact of space radiation and microgravity on bone and muscles.

Researchers conducted a study on mice by restricting their movements to create a similar experience to microgravity. Then those mice were put into to simulated space radiation.

They found that microgravity alone caused loss in bone and muscle. However, radiation alone was not able to cause bone and muscles loss. They discovered the intensity of loss increased when space radiation was combined with microgravity.

“Radiation plus microgravity amplifies the negative effect of microgravity on bone, but does not affect muscle loss,” said Henry J Donahue, Virginia Commonwealth University in the US. “It’s as if exposure to radiation itself doesn’t affect bone, but it makes it more sensitive to the negative effects of microgravity.”

On the other hand, the astronauts suffer a loss of muscles and bones from legs, hips, and lower back in a reduced gravity of space.

Researchers from NASA published the study in the journal PLOS ONE. It highlighted that astronauts travelling in the space for extended period of time would have significant bone and muscle complications.

Researchers aimed to determine what precautions need to be taken to maintain bone and muscle health during space travel. Moreover, they wanted to devise preventive exercises that could help in maintaining health.

Donahue outlined that the loss of bone and muscle suffered by astronauts in microgravity resembles with what happens when people age.