Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Examines Kidney Stone Prevention In Astronauts

Date:
June 27, 2006
Source:
University of Minnesota
Summary:
As the space shuttle Discovery prepares to launch on July 1, researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified a way for astronauts to reduce their risk of developing kidney stones while in space.

As the space shuttle Discovery prepares to launch on July 1, researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified a way for astronauts to reduce their risk of developing kidney stones while in space.

Astronauts lose calcium in their bones and strength in their muscles while in space because of the zero-gravity environment. This calcium can end up in their kidneys, putting them at risk for developing kidney stones.

At least 14 American crew members have developed kidney stones in the last 5 years, and as missions become longer, the number is likely to grow. While astronauts have exercised in space to attempt to combat bone loss, the lack of gravity makes it difficult to achieve enough resistance to maintain their pre-flight fitness levels.

"This becomes a real health concern, as the time astronauts spend in space and living in the space station is extended," said Manoj Monga, M.D., professor of urologic surgery and lead investigator. The study will be published in the July 2006 print issue of the Journal of Urology and is available online now.

Kidney stones are mineral deposits in the kidneys that can travel through the urinary tract, causing intense pain. One of the most common types of kidney stones is caused by the buildup of calcium oxalate.

Researchers studied the effects of exercise in pairs of identical twins, since a portion of a person's risk for developing kidney stones is genetic. The study participants had no history of kidney stones and were placed on standardized diets.

The twins were put on bed rest on a tilted bed that positioned their head lower than their feet to simulate low gravity for 30 days. One twin per pair was randomly selected to exercise (while still reclining) in a chamber that put negative pressure, or resistance on their lower body, and the other twin served as a non-exercising control. The pressure in the chamber was roughly equivalent to what a person would experience running on Earth.

Monga found that the non-exercising study participants had higher levels of urinary calcium than the exercising group, and thus had a greater risk of developing kidney stones. Additionally, many astronauts do not drink enough water while in space, so their urine output is lower, and the food they consume is higher in sodium, which also increases the risk for kidney stone development.

"In combination with hydration therapy, exercise in a machine that simulates gravity could reduce the astronaut's risk of developing kidney stones, a condition that could be particularly painful and lead to an aborted mission," Monga said.

The research was funded by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Minnesota. "Study Examines Kidney Stone Prevention In Astronauts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060627234104.htm>.
University of Minnesota. (2006, June 27). Study Examines Kidney Stone Prevention In Astronauts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060627234104.htm
University of Minnesota. "Study Examines Kidney Stone Prevention In Astronauts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060627234104.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins