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Clinical Nutritional Assessment (NEEMO-MR016L)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Metabolism and nutrition
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The Clinical Nutritional Assessment study was designed to determine the impact of a semi-closed food system on nutritional status, nutrient intake, and to assure repletion following return to a normal diet. Detailed nutritional assessment will be conducted before, during, and after a 14-day mission in an underwater habitat. This study will be important in assessing the food system for the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS food system is still in development, and the data collected here will be important to further define and refine these food systems to assure optimal health during long duration flights. This will also help in defining the interrelationship of confinement/stress and nutritional assessment in a space flight analog.

Two key areas were hypothesized as being affected in this environment: stress-induced alterations in energy and protein utilization, and pressure-induced changes in bone and calcium metabolism. Furthermore, the consumption of a space flight food system allowed for an assessment of the impact of this food system (in short-duration) on nutritional status.

Stress has a well-documented impact on nutritional status. This ranges from increased energy expenditure and cortisol-induced proteolysis to increased metabolism of individual vitamins (e.g., vitamin C). Documentation of this effect in a ground analog will assist in understanding the role of stress in space flight-induced changes.

The increased atmospheric pressure of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Objective (NEEMO) environment is likely to alter bone and calcium homeostasis. The NEEMO studies helped to define and understand this phenomenon, and are important in evaluating potential countermeasures. Several groups are currently investigating the effects of pressure, either negative or positive, on potential countermeasures. Furthermore, as atmospheric pressure in space vehicles is often reduced, the NEEMO experiments provided information on the counter-effect of increased pressure. If, as expected, the increased pressure results in increased bone formation and reduced bone resorption, this will provide further evidence for evaluation of positive pressure as a potential bone countermeasure.

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Smith SM, Davis-Street JE, Fesperman JV, Smith MD, Rice BL, Zwart SR. Nutritional status changes in humans during a 14-day saturation dive: the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations V project. J Nutr. 2004 Jul;134(7):1765-71.[]

25-Hydroxyvitamin D3
Body composition
Body mass index
Body weight
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Some data sets are online.
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Some data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
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1 25 hydroxy vitamin D serum
25 hydroxy vitamin D serum
3 methylhistidine urine
8 hydroxy 2 deoxyguanosine 8OHdG urine
Alanine aminotransferase ALT serum
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
NEEMO 5 06/16/2003 06/29/2003 14 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)