Nutritional Biochemistry

    Nutritional Biochemistry Projects

    The International Space Station The International Space Station
    The operational and research projects are designed to provide information regarding the nutrient requirements for space flight, including the International Space Station, and potential exploration missions outside of low-Earth orbit (e.g., Lunar base, mission to Mars). There is also critical interaction with groups in other areas. Some examples include space medicine, countermeasure development, evaluation and validation, food system development, and advanced life support.

    Current Projects

    Nutritional Status Assessment

    The Nutritional Status Assessment measures dietary intake, body composition, protein, bone, iron, mineral, vitamin, and antioxidant status. It was developed as a Supplemental Medical Objective as part of the Space Medicine Program. This project was completed on NASA/Mir Increments 6 and 7. Currently, it is a medical requirement for the U.S. crew-members on-board the ISS.

    • Weekly dietary intake is measured using a computerized food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). The FFQ provides information on six key nutrients.
    • Body mass is measured using the body mass measuring device.
    Astronauts aboard the International Space Station working in microgravity Astronauts aboard the International Space Station working in microgravity
    • Blood/urine samples are collected and analyzed for 60+ analytes.
    • Data is provided to each crewmember's flight surgeon.
    These procedures will also provide a better understanding of the physiological changes that occur in microgravity. Furthermore, the studies will be helpful in defining and assessing countermeasures to the physiological changes.

    The nutritional assessment profile was developed in collaboration with an extramural panel of experts, including:
    • Gladys Block, University of California at Berkeley
    • Stephen Coburn, Fort Wayne State Developmental Center
    • Michael Holick, Boston University
    • Carl Keen, University of California at Davis
    • Donald McCormick, Emory University
    • James Olson, Iowa State University
    • Connie Weaver, Purdue University