"a designer diet layout for astronauts using a microbiome mediated approach."

Smriti Arora, Samikshha Puri, Nitika Bhambri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Astronauts undergo space travel to bring scientific information to benefit humanity under various missions of space agencies such as NASA, European Space Agency, Indian Space Research Organization etc. During space missions, they encounter several stressors namely microgravity, fluid shifts, cosmic radiation, sleep deprivation and alteration in the circadian rhythm perturbing the quality of sleep. In addition, confined spaces makes pathogen interaction more likely if a pathobiont gets introduced into spacecraft. Microbiota is the first line of resistance to various disorders and diseases. It directly influences the biochemical, physiological, and immunological pathways. 'Gut microbiota' is essential for maintenance of healthy gut barrier functions. 'Dysbiosis' refers to perturbation of microbiota which is correlated with several metabolic and psychological disorders. Microbial metabolites are implicated in maintenance of human health. Investigations conducted on astronauts in international space missions and on analog terrestrial models have indicated a 'dysbiosis' of the gut microbiota associated with spaceflights. 'Dysbiosis' of the gut microbiome observed in astronauts has been implicated in immune dysregulation and a probiotic enriched diet is proposed to restore immune homeostasis. This article not just summarizes the state of art research on dysbiosis of the gut microbiome of astronauts, but also a diet mediated correction plan to restore their health especially during long term space missions. A characterization of microbial metabolites of the gut to enable administration of astronaut specific probiotic, postbiotic or synbiotic to alleviate space associated dysbiosis is proposed. It is also recommended that astronauts maintain a balanced nutritious diet throughout life to promote a resilient microbiota that is not perturbed by space missions. Further, a bioregenerative life support system wherein a probiotic may be produced in space station is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfnac049
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • ISS
  • NASA
  • astronaut
  • diet
  • dysbiosis
  • microbiome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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