Nutrition and Metabolism
As it pertains to space travelers, the term “nutrition” encompasses many things, including the body’s basic need for nutrients. The amounts of nutrients required for optimal health can be affected by aspects of the environment, including gravity, radiation, temperature, and humidity. Nutritional requirements can be further altered by effects of microgravity on the body’s absorption, processing (metabolism), and excretion of nutrients. “Nutrition and metabolism” also encompasses the interaction of nutrients with the biochemical pathways (metabolism) by which physiological systems, such as bone, muscle, and cardiovascular systems, and even behavior and performance, accomplish their functions.
For exploration, having enough food is important, but having the right nutrition is critical. History provides many examples of how insufficient knowledge of or planning for nutrition led to disastrous results. Scurvy among sailors is a common example, and while many people...
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