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Space Science

Red Wine Counters Some Negative Health Effects of Microgravity 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-sshmall-shhtep-for-man dept.
astroengine writes "Great news for astronaut red wine aficionados: the alcoholic beverage can counteract some of the most troublesome physiological effects of microgravity. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on whether or not you have to pilot a spaceship), you have to drink a lot of wine to reap any benefit. These findings are fresh from the labs of French researchers (abstract) who found that by dosing unfortunate rats — hung by their tails to simulate microgravity — with resveratrol (a compound found in red wine), they could help stave off bone density loss and muscle atrophy. Does this mean resveratrol is an astronaut's best friend? Possibly, but judging by the quantities that are needed, it would most likely come in supplement form, rather than 750 ml bottles."
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Red Wine Counters Some Negative Health Effects of Microgravity

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  • Booze counters lotsa stuff.
  • by rubycodez (864176) on Monday July 11, 2011 @05:16PM (#36726684)
    Fermented grapes...is there anything they can't do?
    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      You know, it's interesting, in my experience red wine has directly caused me to experience microgravity.

      Half a bottle and I'm walking on air. A full bottle and I can't feel my feet. A bottle and a half and I'm on my way to the moon.

      The border condition appears at approximately the two bottle mark. Microgravity disappears and I re-enter what feels like three or four gees. Finally, I end up looking through the porcelain port-hole, driving the bus, doing the technicolor yawn. Talking to Ralph on the big w

    • by Hatta (162192)

      This is pretty obvious if you think about it. Everyone knows that gravity can be simulated by centripetal acceleration. Drink enough wine and the room starts spinning.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      No. They can give you cancer [www.cbc.ca] just like most other things.

      • by rubycodez (864176)
        No, the focus of your article was BOOZE, not red wine, which is a different matter. Proven anti-carcinogenic properties, proven antibacterial and antibiotic-like properties, proven anti-arterial plaque properties, proven cardiovascular health benefits.

        Quit your prudish teetotaling whining, get your wuss ass down to the liquor store, and plug into a bottle of God's own cure to half a man's ills.
  • French solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mmarlett (520340) on Monday July 11, 2011 @05:17PM (#36726706)

    Why is it that every time the French see a problem, they throw red wine at it? I'm not being mean, just curious. They make fine cheeses, too, but you never see them suggesting cheese for bone-mass loss.

    • by rubycodez (864176)
      it's called "the French problem"....they smoke, they eat rich fat foods including cheese, they drink wine, but have longer life expectancy and fewer heart problems than Americans who "live and eat healthy"
      • by Anonymous Coward

        It was called the French Paradox, but it no longer exists.

        When they ate small meals of rich foods (fresh and organic, not processed) and walked or rode their bikes everywhere, the exercise and moderation kept them healthy inspite of the apparent unhealthiness of their lifestyle. Now that they've largely adopted the American lifestyle -- eat to excess, eat processed foods instead of fresh, drive instead of exercise -- their rates of heart disease match ours.

      • by riT-k0MA (1653217)
        The French consumed less sugar, which causes more health problems than fats do.
    • Re:French solution (Score:4, Insightful)

      by siddesu (698447) on Monday July 11, 2011 @05:25PM (#36726794)

      Because they produce and sell a lot of it, and want to sell even more. So there's always a sum of money around for every honest scientist, who can pen something that the wine marketing departments can use. I have very rarely seen research on the health benefits of wine that wasn't sponsored in some way by those who make it. Come to think of it, all positive "wine benefit" science that I bothered to research the funding for was paid for by the wine industry.

    • by Needlzor (1197267)
      Yes. And it's a problem. I guess we're going to see if some red wine can solve it (yes, I'm french).
      • by Methuseus (468642)
        I personally prefer German red wines (I know!), but I can drink to that idea.
    • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Monday July 11, 2011 @06:16PM (#36727274)
      If you only have a problem, you nail it by getting hammered
      or something like that..
  • Well, science journalism. So, tentative results from an animal trial using a compound that happens to be found in some wines (mostly red, but not all red and in some whites), cocoa, and peanuts leads to a headline about drinking in space? Really?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 11, 2011 @05:29PM (#36726836)

      Spin the bottle is a reallllllllllllllly long game in space.

    • Well, science journalism. So, tentative results from an animal trial using a compound that happens to be found in some wines (mostly red, but not all red and in some whites), cocoa, and peanuts leads to a headline about drinking in space? Really?

      Well, it's from the same "science" and "learning" channel that brought you American Chopper and Hot Rod.

      Anyway, wait till this story hits the mainstream press a couple more steps down the line, it'll be turned into another "drinking red wine is good for you!" story. Then people will half-remember the bits they want to remember and a month later they'll be using this as some excuse to get totally shitfaced because they vaguely remembered something about Smirnoff Ice being good for you, and the more the bet

    • by Zephyn (415698)

      Well, science journalism. So, tentative results from an animal trial using a compound that happens to be found in some wines (mostly red, but not all red and in some whites), cocoa, and peanuts leads to a headline about drinking in space? Really?

      Process of elimination. You don't get peanuts when you fly anymore.

  • by Hylandr (813770) on Monday July 11, 2011 @05:36PM (#36726904) Homepage

    The atrophy claim is likely caused by the rats using their muscles to try and get upright. This sounds a lot like French researchers getting bored and drunk at work and said "Hey, Lets hang rats by their tails!! Woo hoo!"

    - Dan.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday July 11, 2011 @05:48PM (#36727018)
    Jesus walked on water and ascended bodily; two instances of micro gravity. He would normally need a lot of red wine to counter the effects, but as it turns out, that's His blood.
    • +1 000 000 funny

    • by Methuseus (468642)
      If Jesus is real (I'm Christian, so I believe he is/was) and has no sense of humor (I'm pretty sure he does, but here's for arguments' sake), then I'm probably going to hell for laughing so hard at this.
  • Red wine will fix most anything, yessssir, here have a little more !

  • I suspect like most claims of positive "red wine" effects, it has nothing to do with wine and everything to do with grapes.

    Drink grape juice, eat red grapes, take grape seed extract (and/or Resveratrol). None of it has anything to do with wine. People that claim "wine" instead of "grapes" just want a valid excuse to sell or drink alcohol :)

    • You say this like it's a bad thing.

  • Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on whether or not you have to pilot a spaceship)

    Doesn't the shuttle basically pilot itself at this point? Then again, I suppose you have a whole different sort of issues if your autopilot starts drinking... [theinfosphere.org]

    • by mbone (558574)

      Doesn't the shuttle basically pilot itself at this point? Then again, I suppose you have a whole different sort of issues if your autopilot starts drinking... [theinfosphere.org]

      From what I hear the pilots have a lot to do on landing and you would not them to be too distracted during their no-power, one-pass-only, dead-stick landing.

      (BTW, I have found that telling pilots who have to train for years to fly something that it "basically pilots itself" is not a good conversation starter.)

  • On the ISS, by the International Space Station Intergovernmental Agreement [state.gov] (Section 5.2), each country's law applies in the section it supplies. The American's do not allow alcohol in their sections, but I guess in the ESA and Russian modules, wine would be OK. Now, if we could just get the Dutch to launch a module, the astronauts could also enjoy some hash, which I am sure would be good for... something.

  • How does hanging a rat by its tail simulate microgravity?

  • by PPH (736903)

    How can you end up face down in the gutter if 'down' is no longer well defined?

  • WHO THE FSCK CARES!

    What a waste of time and money.

  • The contribution of resveratrol to the apparent beneficial effect of red wine is likely to be small. Red contains a ton of antioxidants and resveratrol is only one of them. In addition, the pharmacological dose administered to the animals is several hundred fold more than what we consume in red wine. Resveratrol is rapidly metabolized and therefore there is no additive effect either. It is strange that despite a large volume of literature on the potential of resveratrol in treating several diseases, human

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