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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 577-581

Mental and physical workload, salivary stress biomarkers and taste perception: Mars desert research station expedition

1 Kepler Space University, South Carolina, USA; Simulated, Microgravity and Human Body, JBR Institute of Health Education Research and Technology, Punjab, India
2 Simulated, Microgravity and Human Body, JBR Institute of Health Education Research and Technology, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Balwant Rai
Halgreensgade 1, 3rd, Copenhagen S, 2300, Denmark

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.103318

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Background: Very few studies have been conducted on the effects of simulation of Mars conditions on taste. Aims: This study was planned to find the effects of physical and mental workload on taste sensitivity and salivary stress biomarkers. Materials and Methods: Twelve crew members were selected. Taste reactions and intensity of the taste sensations to quinine sulfate, citric acid, and sucrose were tested before and after mental and physical tasks for one hour. Also, psychological mood states by profile of mood state, salivary, salivary alpha amylase and cortisol, and current stress test scores were measured before and after mental and physical tasks. Results: Average time intensity evaluation showed that after the mental and physical tasks, the perceived duration of bitter, sour, and sweet taste sensations was significantly shortened relative to control group. There were good correlations between average time intensity of sweetness, bitterness, sourness and cortisol levels. Conclusions: Taste alterations due to stress can have an effect on the health and confidence of astronauts in long- term space missions. Thus, this issue remains one of the important issues for future human explorations.

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