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The scientists here at Randox work hard on research and development, to ensure that we are producing the highest quality range of clinical diagnostic tests on the market.  Excitingly, as a result American astronauts have recently enlisted our help to test their antioxidant levels before they go to space!

Why do astronauts need their antioxidant levels tested?

It is very important for astronauts to monitor their health and take plenty of antioxidant supplements in order to prevent bodily damage and to survive long periods of time in space!  The main concern is to monitor and control the levels of free radicals in the body as well as to prevent damage from radiation which can cause bone and muscle loss and diminished immunity.

What can antioxidants prevent the astronauts against?

Bone loss – Bone loss can happen during long periods of microgravity (weightlessness), where astronauts can suffer from calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K deficiency.  Vitamin supplementation paired with exercise can protect against this.

Vision-related hazards – Astronauts can suffer from degraded vision, caused by a shortage of vitamin B, especially vitamin B9 (folic acid).

Magnesium deficiencies – There can be a lack of magnesium due to a loss of fluid volume in the blood circulation which can cause damage to DNA stabilisation. This lowers the ability of mitochondria to produce cellular energy (mitochondria is part of the cell related to respiration and energy production).

Memory loss – Lipoic acid can reduce the risk of astronauts developing memory problems which can occur through being exposed to radiation.

Radiation – A reduction in the capacity of astronaut antioxidant defence systems and damage to DNA can occur due to exposure to space radiation. Vitamins A, C, E, zinc, selenium, glutathione and sulphur compounds are all nutrients which should be supplemented to their diet to counter these effects.

The Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) test from Randox can help give astronauts an overall picture of their antioxidant health, which helps them manage their wellbeing in space.  To find out more about Randox antioxidant testing, download our Antioxidant Products brochure, or contact reagents@randox.com.

Astronaut

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