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22:29 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Russian Kvass May Help Astronauts Sustain Long Space Travel

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A traditional Russian drink may help crews of interplanetary spacecraft to maintain healthy microbacterial balance in the intestines, a report by Russian scientists said.

A traditional Russian drink may help crews of interplanetary spacecraft to maintain healthy microbacterial balance in the intestines, a report by Russian scientists said.

A group of Russian scientists from the Institute for Biomedical Problems monitored the changes in microbacterial levels in the intestines of the participants of the Mars-500 experiment, and the influence of certain probiotic substances, including kvass, on it.

Kvass is a traditional Russian fermented beverage made from regular rye bread. It is classified as a non-alcoholic drink by Russian standards, as the alcohol content from fermentation is typically less than 1.2%.

Three members of the “Martian” crew drank 200 milliliters of homemade kvass and registered an increase in the amount of bifidus bacteria in their bodies.

“Drinking kvass led to the increase in the amount of bifidus bacteria and the normalization of microbacterial flora in test subjects compared to the rest of the Mars-500 participants,” said the report, which was delivered at the International Symposium on the results of the Mars-500 experiment.

The unique Moscow-based Mars-500 experiment was completed on November 4 last year.

Six volunteers were isolated from the outside world in a specially designed complex simulating a spaceship for 520 days. The experiment attempted to recreate at least some of the conditions of a flight to the Red Planet.