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Scientists Discover Space Travel Accelerates Aging
New research published in the Nature Scientific Reports claims that living in space can accelerate the process of bone aging. In the lengthy study, courtesy of Anna-Maria Liphardt, a sports scientist at the Friedrich Alexander University, 14 male and three female astronauts had their tibia and radius bones assessed for bone density and strength after returning from long missions.
The study found that even 12 months after their return from space, more than half of the astronauts had a 2% reduction in bone strength and mineral density. That number might not sound significant, but in the words of Liphardt, “it corresponds to age-related bone loss of at least a decade.” Some astronauts already exhibited irreparable damage to a crucial tissue called trabeculae.
The longer a space mission lasts, the higher the chances that the lost density and strength can't be recovered, leading to the early arrival of serious problems like osteoporosis and higher susceptibility to fractures. The research postulates that a change in medication and fitness routines might help combat some of the bone-related damages caused by an extended stay in space.