Red wine can counteract effects of microgravity

London: In what can be considered as good news for astronauts, researchers in France have claimed that drinking red wine can counteract some of the most common physiological effects of microgravity.

Scientists have known for a while now that red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that prevents blood clots, lowers "bad" cholesterol levels, and just helps protect your blood vessels in general. And now it seems as if resveratrol can also prevent bone density loss and muscle atrophy, a few negative effects of microgravity.

The French researchers took a bunch of rats and placed them in a simulated microgravity environment for extended periods. Half of the rats received doses of resveratrol and the other half did not. The rats that didn``t get the supplement showed loss of bone and muscle density, along with the early signs of pre-diabetes (insulin resistance), reports Discovery News.

Gerald Weissman, editor of the scientific journal which published the study, told CBS News that "resveratrol ``flips a switch`` for cell metabolism that lets the cells ``breath internally.``"

The study is detailed in Journal of the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology.