Simulated manned Mars exploration: effects of dietary and diurnal cycle variations on the gut microbiome of crew members in a controlled ecological life support system.
PeerJ. 2019 Sep 26;7:e7762. doi: 10.7717/peerj.7762. eCollection 2019.
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Dong HS1,2, Chen P2, Yu YB3, Zang P2, Wei Z2.
- 1 Department of Chemistry, Beijing Key Laboratory of Microanalytical Methods and Instrumentation, MOE Laboratory of Bioorganic Phosphorus Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.
- 2 State Key Lab of Space Medicine Fundamentals and Application, Key Laboratory of Space Nutrition and Food Engineering, China Astronaut Research and Training Center, Beijing, China.
- 3 SPACEnter Space Science and Technology Institute, Shenzhen, China.
Changes in gut microbiome are closely related to dietary and environment variations, and diurnal circle interventions impact on human metabolism and the microbiome. Changes in human gut microbiome and serum biochemical parameters during long-term isolation in a controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) are of great significance for maintaining the health of crewmembers. The Green Star 180 project performed an integrated study involving a four-person, 180-day duration assessment in a CELSS, during which variations in gut microbiome and the concentration of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, α-tocopherol, retinol and folic acid from the crewmembers were determined.
Energy intake and body mass index decreased during the experiment. A trade-off between Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes during the study period was observed. Dynamic variations in the two dominant genus Bacteroides and Prevotella indicated a variation of enterotypes. Both the evenness and richness of the fecal microbiome decreased during the isolation in the CELSS. Transition of diurnal circle from Earth to Mars increased the abundance of Fusobacteria phylum and decreased alpha diversity of the fecal microbiome. The levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the CELSS were significantly lower than those outside the CELSS.
The unique isolation process in the CELSS led to a loss of alpha diversity and a transition of enterotypes between Bacteroides and Prevotella. Attention should therefore be paid to the transition of the diurnal circle and its effects on the gut microbiome during manned Mars explorations. In particular, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels require monitoring under artificial light environments and during long-term space flight. Large-scale studies are required to further consolidate our findings.