Last Published:  03/26/21 03:33:57 PM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Open

Initial State of Gap: MedB8.1/Clinical Nutritional Assessment and initial analysis of the Nutritional Status Assessment SMO findings have provided a valuable database of nutritional status, including many micronutrients and there is evidence that status of some micronutrients changes during and after long-duration flights on ISS.  One key micronutrient is vitamin D, and several studies have provided information on vitamin D intake necessary to maintain vitamin D status in an environment with little or no UV light exposure.  Dosing to maintain terrestrial bone health has been defined, but little is known about the optimal dose for other systems.  Ground analog data document the interrelationship between vitamin D, stress, and immune system function (e.g., viral reactivation).

Interim steps:

  1. Evaluate the final set of Nutrition SMO data to assess the changes in micronutrient status during spaceflight [30% gap completion]
  2. Evaluate Space Biochemistry Profile data to assess the changes in micronutrient status during spaceflight; assessments related to gender, repeat fliers, longer missions, and more subgroups [20% of gap completion]
  3. Evaluation of Nutrition SMO data and Integrated Nutrition Countermeasure Study to assess changes in micronutrient status relative to intake and physiological function and health [30% of gap completion]
  4. Determine level of vitamin D supplementation to minimize viral shedding from existing Polar studies.  Conduct Antarctic research to further understand the relationship between vitamin D, stress, and immune function [20% of gap completion].
  5. Determine normal range of individual variation in micronutrients during and after long-duration spaceflight and relationship to ground-based data
  6. Identify micronutrients that change significantly during or after flight for follow-up or updates to food system requirements
  7. Update standard, as appropriate


  1. Evaluate data from the Integrated Nutrition Countermeasure Study
  2. Review the Nutrition SMO data, which will provide limited information based on less comprehensive intake data
  3. Evaluate data from the Space Biochemistry Profile
  4. Perform Antarctic research to define optimal dose of vitamin D required to maximally suppress vital reactivation in a stressful environment
  5. Review the literature for relevant findings in studies of vitamin D and health outcomes

Target for Closure
Quantify micronutrient requirements for spaceflight.
Risk Risk of Performance Decrement and Crew Illness Due to Inadequate Food and Nutrition
You are here! Gap N3.2: Determine the micronutrient requirements for spaceflight

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