Apr 8, 2009 | 2
A new study shows that despite exercise regimens designed to mitigate the atrophying effects of microgravity, astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are experiencing dramatic muscle loss on their missions.
Scott Trappe, a professor of exercise science and director of Ball State University's Human Performance Laboratory, and his colleagues report in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology that the volume of calf muscles of nine ISS crew members decreased by an average of 13 percent during six months in space. (The researchers selected the calf for their NASA-funded study because it shows atrophying effects more dramatically than other muscles.) Trappe says that the magnitude of loss in muscle mass is akin to the difference between a 25-year-old and an 80-year-old.
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