The loss of muscle mass and function is one of several health risks associated with spaceflight. Dr. Douglas Paddon-Jones and colleagues contend that this loss in microgravity is impacted by age: In particular, they are concerned with the progressive impairment of a person’s ability to use nutrients to reduce muscle mass loss as they age.
The scientists are conducting a study to determine if enriching daily meals with a low volume leucine supplement will reduce the loss of muscle mass and function during a 14-day bed-rest study. They will also examine whether leucine facilitates muscle mass recovery during a seven-day rehabilitation period. The age range of the participants is 45-60 years.