Metabolic changes observed in astronauts.

C. S. Leach, Nitza Cintron, J. M. Krauhs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study of metabolic alterations that occur during space flight can provide insight into mechanisms of physiologic regulation. Results of medical experiments with astronauts reveal rapid loss of volume (2 L) from the legs and a transient early increase in left ventricular volume index. These findings indicate that, during space flight, fluid is redistributed from the legs toward the head. In about 2 days, total body water decreases 2 to 3%. Increased levels of plasma renin activity and antidiuretic hormone while blood sodium and plasma volume are reduced suggest that space flight-associated factors are influencing the regulatory systems. In addition to fluid and electrolyte loss. Skylab astronauts lost an estimated 0.3 kg of protein. Endocrine factors, including increased cortisol and thyroxine and decreased insulin, are favorable for protein catabolism. The body appears to adapt to weightlessness at some physiologic cost. Readaptation to Earth's gravity at landing becomes another physiologic challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-927
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacology
Volume31
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1991
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

Leach, C. S., Cintron, N., & Krauhs, J. M. (1991). Metabolic changes observed in astronauts. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 31(10), 921-927.