SPACE causes the human body to destroy its own red blood cells, and scientists don’t know why.
The strange phenomenon is known as space anemia, and new research shows it causes illness in astronauts even when they return home.
A new study published in Natural Medicine discovered that space causes the human body to destroy red blood cells at a faster rate than on Earth.
The medical term for the destruction of red blood cells is hemolysis.
It’s still unclear why space causes hemolysis to happen at a faster rate, but new research has made some progress on the topic, researchers say.
The study notes: “As humanity plans extraterrestrial travel, understanding the health effects of living in space will be critical to planning safe voyages.”
The researchers worked with 14 astronauts over a six-month period.
All astronauts are on duty at the International Space Station.
For the study, the astronauts regularly breathed into the boxes and brought all the boxes back to Earth.
Researchers on Earth then tested the astronauts’ breath for carbon monoxide.
It is thought that carbon monoxide is produced every time a red blood cell is destroyed in the body.
The results show that the astronauts are destroying about 3 million red blood cells every second.
54% higher than the average here on Earth.
Five of the 13 astronauts who had their blood drawn upon landing back on Earth were still anemic.
After a year, their red blood cell destruction was still higher than in those who had never been to space.
According to research, the longer a person is in space, the longer they will suffer from anemia on land.
The researchers suspect bone marrow or spleen may be the cause and plan to investigate these areas further.
They also wanted to conduct a longer experiment to see what was happening to an astronaut’s blood after a year-long mission.
The discovery could help space agencies decide when to carry out missions as well as how to treat injuries or illnesses in space.
Red blood cells are important for things like maintaining energy levels and wound healing.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/17355485/astronauts-space-anemia-mystery-red-blood-cell-destruction/ Space is making human blood self-destruct and scientists are completely confused