Study for evaluating the impact of continuous consumption of probiotics on immune function and intestinal microbiota in astronauts under closed microgravity environment (Probiotics) - 03.07.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Some species of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella grow stronger and more virulent in the microgravity environment of space. At the same time, the human immune system is weaker in space, leading to increased health risks. The Study for evaluating the impact of continuous consumption of probiotics on immune function and intestinal microbiota in astronauts under closed microgravity environment (Probiotics) investigation studies effects of beneficial bacteria (Probiotics) to improve crew members’ intestinal microbiota as well as their immune function on long-duration space missions.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Masayuki Kimura, Hiroshi Ohshima, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Experiment Details

OpNom: Probiotics

Principal Investigator(s)
Masayuki Kimura, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., Kunitachi-shi Tokyo, Japan
Hiroshi Ohshima, JAXA, Tsukuba, Ibaraki , Japan

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Satoru Ishida, JAXA, Tsukuba, Ibaraki , Japan
Takashi Asahara, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., Kunitachi-shi Tokyo, Japan
Takafumi Sakai, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., Kunitachi-shi Tokyo, Japan
Takahiro Matsuki, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., Kunitachi-shi Tokyo, Japan
Osamu Chonan, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., Kunitachi-shi Tokyo, Japan
Ryoko Iizuka, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. , Kunitachi-shi Tokyo, Japan
Natsuhiko Inoue, Ph.D., JAXA, Tsukuba, Japan
Kazuya Morikawa, University of Tsukuba/JAXA, Tsukuba, Ibaraki , Japan
Norikatsu Yuki, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. , Kunitachi-shi Tokyo, Japan
Kan Shida, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., Kunitachi-shi Tokyo, Japan
Koji Nomoto, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., Kunitachi-shi Tokyo, Japan
Yuko Nozawa, JAXA, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
Takuya Takahashi, Yakult Central Institute, Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd., Kunitachi-shi Tokyo, Japan
Shinichi Furumoto, JAXA, Tsukuba, Ibaraki , Japan
Jiro Manabe, Japan Space Forum, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo , Japan

Developer(s)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Space Environment Utilization Center, Tsukuba, Japan

Sponsoring Space Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Sponsoring Organization
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2017 - August 2018; -

Expeditions Assigned
51/52,53/54,55/56,57/58,59/60

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview
Human immune function and intestinal microbiota are thought to undergo changes during long-duration spaceflight. Accumulated evidence on Earth supports that the Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) may be a promising probiotic strain on the improvement of immune function and intestinal microbiota. The Probiotics investigation aims to study the impact of long-duration spaceflight, as well as intake of LcS, on immune system and intestinal microbiota in astronauts. This is the first attempt in space history to bring edible live bacteria to the International Space Station (ISS) and examine the effect of probiotics on board.

Description
Information Pending

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Applications

Space Applications
Probiotics are live microorganisms which aid digestion and improve overall health. The probiotics in this investigation could be incorporated into food for future space missions, providing an added benefit beyond basic nutrition. If probiotics function well in space and provide the benefits they confer on Earth, they could be used as a new countermeasure to safeguard crew members’ health. Results from this investigation shed light on the changes that take place in bacteria during spaceflight, benefiting efforts to reduce infections.

Earth Applications
This investigation exposes probiotics to space radiation, microgravity, and other stresses of spaceflight, providing new insight into how probiotics cope with extreme conditions. This benefits efforts to improve probiotics’ shelf life, enabling their use in extreme environments on Earth, including in remote areas and disaster zones.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

  • Continuously take 5 capsules of freeze-dried Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) every day from 4 weeks before the return to 1 day before the return.
  • Feces:  1g × 2 tubes.
  • Saliva:  2 mL.
  • On orbit sampling is performed 4 times (L+4W,R-4W,R-2W,R-5–1d).
  • LcS intake group:  each subject takes test preparation, records the date and time and the number of capsules on the intake diary (during the intake period). Also, each subject collects feces and saliva, records the date and time of sampling as well as the compliance to the restrictions on the check sheet.
  • Control group:  each subject collects feces and saliva, records the date and time of sampling as well as the compliance to the restrictions on the check sheet.
1) Fecal sample:  each subject collects his/her feces in a rest room of the ISS and promptly stores it in MELFI.
  • Setup of fecal sampling kit and check sheet.
  • Collection of fecal sample (1 g × 2 tubes).
  • Record the date and timing of sampling as well as the compliance to the test preparation intake on the check sheet.
  • Stowing of the kit.
  • Sample storage at -80°C.
2) Saliva sample:  each subject collects his/her saliva on the ISS and promptly stores it in MELFI.
  • Setup of saliva sampling kit and check sheet.
  • Collection of saliva sample (2 mL).
  • Record the date and timing of saliva sampling, as well as, exercise and eating/drinking on the day of sampling on the check sheet.
  • Stowing of the kit.
  • Sample storage at -80°C.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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Imagery

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Sampling Sequence. (Photo courtesy of JAXA)

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Saliva Collection Kit. (Photo courtesy of JAXA)

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Fecal Collection Kit. (Photo courtesy of JAXA)

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Minus Eighty degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). (Photo courtesy of JAXA)

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Minus Eighty degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI). (Image courtesy of JAXA)

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