Homemade kvas, a a lightly fermented traditional Russian drink, could help space travelers trekking between planets stay healthy, evidence from an experiment of the Mars-500 project showed.
Experiments during project by the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow revealed the slightly alcoholic drink had positive probiotic health benefits for the participants, RIA-Novosti reported.
The crew of the "mission" — who spent more than 500 days completely cut off from the outside world to simulate conditions on Mars — brewed the kvas themselves and drank 0.2 liters every day for two weeks. As a result, levels of helpful stomach-regulating bacteria increased for three participants, and they were also able to rid themselves of the harmful Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that had been affecting all members of the experiment.
The Mars-500 project was conducted in order to simulate and study the effects prolonged periods of space travel would have on humans. An international six-man crew spent 520 days living in isolation inside a specially designed complex in Moscow during the experiment, which ended in November.