Space flight and oxidative stress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Space flight is associated with an increase in oxidative stress after return to 1g. The effect is more pronounced after long-duration space flight. The effects lasts for several weeks after landing. In humans there is increased lipid peroxidation in erythrocyte membranes, reduction in some blood antioxidants, and increased urinary excretion of 8-iso-prostaglandin F and 8-oxo-7,8 dihydro-2 deoxyguanosine. Isoprostane 8-iso-prostaglandin F and 8-oxo-7,8 dihydro-2 deoxyguanosine are markers for oxidative damage to lipids and DNA, respectively. The changes have been attributed to a combination of the energy deficiency that occurs during flight and substrate competition for amino acids occurring between repleting muscle and other tissues during the recovery phase. The observations in humans have been complemented by rodent studies. Most rodent studies showed increased production of lipid peroxidation products postflight and decreased antioxidant enzyme activity postflight. The rodent observations were attributed to the stress associated with reentry into Earth's gravity. Decreasing the imbalance between the production of endogenous oxidant defenses and oxidant production by increasing the supply of dietary antioxidants may lessen the severity of the postflight increase in oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-871
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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