Author Topic: Could Deuterated Martian water be the elixir of youth?  (Read 2158 times)

Offline Terra Incognita

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Logic / Background:

Mars lost a lot of its lighter Hydrogen from its upper atmosphere and as such, it has ratio of Deuterium to Hydrogen that is 5 times higher than on Earth.

On Earth, there is 1 Deuterium to every 6420 Hydrogen atoms
On Mars, there is 1 Deuterium 1284 Hydrogen atoms

A Deuterium - Carbon covalent bond is up to 80 times stronger than a Hydrogen Carbon bond. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deuterium#Physical_properties

Ionising Radiation causes two types of damage:

1.   Direct:
DNA damage by breaking the DNA sugar backbone or by disrupting Hydrogen Bond between bases

2.   Indirect:
Production of Free radicals OH-, H+, H, HO

Free radicals go on to produce further inflammation and are responsible for many of the secondary effects of ionising radiation.

Because D-C bonds are up to 80 times harder to break than a H-C bond, they are much more resistant to direct damage from Ionising radiation and Free Radical Damage.

The free radical theory of ageing states that organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-radical_theory_of_aging

Could simply drinking Martian water, and eating Martian crops grown with Martian water, be protective against the increased radiation levels and free radical generation sufficient to even more than offset the oxidative effects to reduce ageing?

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026841-800-would-eating-heavy-atoms-lengthen-our-lives/



Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Could Deuterated Martian water be the elixir of youth?
« Reply #1 on: 11/01/2016 03:35 PM »
No. Some people even hint it could cause health problems.
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Offline JasonAW3

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Re: Could Deuterated Martian water be the elixir of youth?
« Reply #2 on: 11/01/2016 03:48 PM »
I get the impression that it may be much the same as drinking distilled water.

      I suspect that it's more likely to remove needed nutrients and minerals than to minimize damage from radiation and free radicals.
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Offline gargoyle99

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Re: Could Deuterated Martian water be the elixir of youth?
« Reply #3 on: 11/01/2016 04:30 PM »
A Deuterium - Carbon covalent bond is up to 80 times stronger than a Hydrogen Carbon bond. 

A quick google search brought up that same claim posted on a yahoo answers site. Based on my own experience with organic chemistry that doesn't look at all right. This reference shows bond energies more in line with what I would expect.

http://staff.ustc.edu.cn/~luo971/2010-91-CRC-BDEs-Tables.pdf

C - D 341.4 kJ / mol
C - H 338.4 1.2 kJ / mol

There is a small difference in bond energies, but it is typically a lot less than 80 times.

(I have no expertise or opinion on the health claims.)


Offline virnin

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Re: Could Deuterated Martian water be the elixir of youth?
« Reply #4 on: 11/01/2016 06:52 PM »
I get the impression that it may be much the same as drinking distilled water.

      I suspect that it's more likely to remove needed nutrients and minerals than to minimize damage from radiation and free radicals.
Ordinary distilled water won't likely kill you.  High quality de-ionized water might.  Neither has anything to do with the concentration of deuterium.

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: Could Deuterated Martian water be the elixir of youth?
« Reply #5 on: 11/01/2016 08:18 PM »
I get the impression that it may be much the same as drinking distilled water.

      I suspect that it's more likely to remove needed nutrients and minerals than to minimize damage from radiation and free radicals.
Ordinary distilled water won't likely kill you.  High quality de-ionized water might.  Neither has anything to do with the concentration of deuterium.

I didn't say it would kill someone, it just wouldn't be very good for them, and would do more harm than good.  (Mind you, that would be almost pure Deuterium Oxide doing the damage.  mixed in with regular H2O, it shouldn't really cause any issue).
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Offline dchill

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Re: Could Deuterated Martian water be the elixir of youth?
« Reply #6 on: 11/01/2016 08:34 PM »
I would suggest that a better area for research would be in developing GMO crops that use the Tardigrade (aka Water Bear) protein called Dsup that's discussed here <<http://www.nature.com/news/tardigrade-protein-helps-human-dna-withstand-radiation-1.20648>>

Once we get GMO corn growing on Mars, then we can work our way up to GMO Beagles on Mars.  If the GMO Beagles are doing better on Mars than unmodified Beagles on Mars, then maybe we could thinking about GMO people on Mars.  :o

Offline Rei

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Re: Could Deuterated Martian water be the elixir of youth?
« Reply #7 on: 11/16/2016 01:49 PM »
There has been some research on the effects of long-term exposure to increased (but not high) levels of deuterium in water in humans.  Most are published in rather low quality journals from rather questionable teams.  The most respectable I've come across was a multi-institutional study in a moderate quality journal, which found a statistically significant positive correlation between deuterium levels and depression even within the deuterium range found on Earth.  That is, as deuterium levels rise, so does the incidence of depression.  If true, this could be a significant problem offworld - but, it's the sort of thing that needs followup.

It's not ionizing radiation that's the issue, it's that some deuterated organic chemicals have much longer lifespans in the body than their non-deuterated equivalents.

Re, "life extension", I've seen a few studies studies that drosophila and a couple microorganisms live longer - but grow slower - in deuterated water (if I recall correctly, the quantity of deuterium was significant, not just slightly elevated - but this is just from memory).  But be very cautious about just assuming that that applies to humans.

Anyway, if high deuterium is your goal, Venus should be your target.  Mars's deuterium ratios are only half a dozen times higher than on Earth, but Venus's are 150-240x higher than Earth.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2016 01:54 PM by Rei »

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