Traditional Chinese Medicine Reduces Risk of Osteoporosis in Space

| August 17, 2011 | 0 Comments | 66 views

BEIJING, XINHUA - A Sino-French space experiment has shown that a traditional Chinese medicine is conducive to the proliferation of osteoblast, a bone-forming cell, during space flight, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis facing astronauts.

The conclusion is the result of a 15-day space experiment jointly sponsored by Chinese and French researchers last year.

Li Yinghui, a researcher with the National Institute of Space Medicine, said six laboratory boxes of bone cells were placed in a French-made cell-fostering facilities on a recoverable satellite owned by the Europe Space Agency (ESA) on a 15-day space flight last October.

She told Xinhua initial results have shown that the traditional Chinese medical compound did promote the generation of bone cells in space.

"However, it needs additional research to determine whether the traditional Chinese medicine works if taken by astronauts," she added, declining to disclose its main ingredients.

The loss of bone substances is a long-term, sustained process, which eventually leads to osteoporosis, and poses obstacles for astronauts adapting to gravity.

Traditional Chinese medicine has long been effective in curing bone injuries, said the researcher.

She said the national institute and ESA will continue to conduct the research.

In addition, other traditional Chinese medicine will be tested under conditions of simulated zero gravity.

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