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Procyanidins have been reported to possess potential for the prevention of hyperglycaemia. However, there are very few data for procyanidins about the difference the degree of polymerisation (DP) has on anti-hyperglycaemic effects. Moreover, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which procyanidins suppress hyperglycaemia are not yet fully understood. In the present study, we prepared procyanidin fractions with different DP, namely low-DP (DP≤3) and high-DP (DP≥4) fractions, from a cacao liquor procyanidin-rich extract (CLPr). These fractions were administered orally to Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice and their anti-hyperglycaemic effects were examined. We found that CLPr and its fractions prevent postprandial hyperglycaemia accompanied by an increase in the plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) level with or without glucose load. In the absence of glucose load, both fractions increased the plasma insulin level and activated its downstream signalling pathway in skeletal muscle, resulting in promotion of the translocation of GLUT4. Phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was also involved in the promotion of GLUT4 translocation. High- and low-DP fractions showed a similar activation of insulin and AMPK pathways. In conclusion, cacao liquor procyanidins prevent hyperglycaemia by promoting GLUT4 translocation in skeletal muscle, and both the GLP-1-activated insulin pathway and the AMPK pathway are involved in the underlying molecular mechanism.
Active participation in social activities is important for the wellbeing of older adults. This study explored benefits of active social engagement by evaluating whether relationships that comprise active involvement (e.g. co-engagement in activities) bring more social benefits (i.e. social support, companionship, positive social influence) than other relationships that do not involve co-engagement. A total of 133 adults ages 60 years and older living in a rural Midwestern city in the United States of America were interviewed once and provided information on 1,740 social network members. Among 1,506 social relationships in which interactions occurred at least once a month, 52 per cent involved engagement in social activities together and 35 per cent involved eating together regularly. Results of the generalised linear mixed model showed that relationships involving co-engagement were significantly more likely to also convey social support (i.e. emotional, instrumental, informational), companionship and social influence (encouragement for healthy behaviours) than relationships that do not involve co-engagement. Having more network members who provide companionship was associated with higher sense of environmental mastery, positive relations with others and satisfaction with social network. Interventions may focus on maintaining and developing such social relationships and ensuring the presence of social settings in which co-engagement can occur. Future research may explore whether increasing co-engagement leads to an enhanced sense of companionship and psychological wellbeing.
Breast-feeding initiation rates have increased in the USA; however, maintenance of breast-feeding for recommended durations is low. The objective of the present study was to identify factors that may facilitate breast-feeding for longer durations among first-time mothers, including physiological and social experiences and changes in maternal perceptions.
Survival analysis and linear regression methods were used to explore the relationship between experiences and breast-feeding duration, and the possible mediating effect of changes in maternal perceptions.
Secondary data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, conducted in the USA between 2005 and 2007.
Data from 762 first-time mothers who ever breast-fed were analysed.
Experiencing trouble with baby’s latch, problems with milk flow/supply and painful breast-feeding were significantly associated with breast-feeding duration (64, 26 and 36 % shorter duration, respectively). Meanwhile, positive changes in perception with respect to breast-feeding self-efficacy, opinion about infant feeding and belief about breast milk were associated with 16–27 % longer duration. Furthermore, changes in perception were observed to partially mediate the impact of physiological experiences on breast-feeding duration.
Perceptions of breast-feeding self-efficacy, beliefs and opinions can change over time and are influenced by breast-feeding experiences. The combined effect of experience and perception plays a key role in influencing breast-feeding duration. Future research should explore interventions to maintain or improve these perceptions while accounting for physiological experiences to support breast-feeding for recommended durations among first-time mothers.
Personal disaster and emergency support networks of rural older adults are described before and after participation in a disaster preparedness intervention, PrepWise.
At baseline, a total of 194 disaster support network members were identified by 27 older adults in a rural Midwest community. After the intervention, these participants identified 232 support network members. Multilevel logistic regression models were constructed to identify characteristics of the network members and social interactions associated with support providers at baseline as well as newly added support sources after the PrepWise intervention.
Member and interaction characteristics associated with being identified as emergency support sources at baseline were as follows: family, lived in close proximity, weekly or more frequent contact, and being someone whom participants shared concerns with, trusted, and exchanged emotional support with. After receiving PrepWise, participants on average identified 3 new sources of emergency support within their networks. Support sources added at follow-up tended to be nonfamily members and those participants trusted.
Enhancements in personal emergency support networks occurred after the intervention. Understanding characteristics of the network members and social interactions may assist in identifying additional emergency support sources. Larger studies investigating the impacts of enhanced support networks on disaster-related behaviors and outcomes will be beneficial. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:110–119)
The range of polishing-induced subsurface damage remaining in a commercially available production grade 4H-SiC (0001) epi-ready substrate was evaluated by the observation from the (-1100) cleavage plane using two kinds of highly strain-sensitive characterization methods. Firstly, the analysis using electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) with a submicron spatial resolution was conducted on the exposed cross sectional plane. Then, for the further quantitative evaluation excluding the influence of roughness or contamination of the cleavage plane, a synchrotron X-ray micro-diffraction experiment was carried out. The range of the subsurface damage evaluated in those experiments was ensured by confirming none of additional strain inserted at the cleavage, as compared with the damage-free substrate prepared by high temperature thermal etching. As a result, the depth of the residual strained region below polishing-induced scratches at the surface was estimated to be in the range of a few microns, which is much deeper than the previously reported value of 100 nm by cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy. It suggests a potential of EBSD for the conventional tool to characterize even a small amount of strain in SiC single crystal.
In the United States of America (USA), older adults in rural areas are at increased risk for adverse outcomes of disasters, partly due to medical needs, limited or long geographic distances from community resources, and less knowledge and motivation about preparedness steps. Older residents and ageing service providers in a rural community in the USA were interviewed regarding their perceptions about disasters and preparedness, and their reactions to the preparedness training programme using the concepts of the Extended Parallel Process Model. Participants generally indicated low motivation to engage in preparedness behaviours despite perceptions of personal risk and beliefs that preparedness behaviours were easy and could improve disaster outcomes. A theme of social relationships emerged from the data, with participants identifying social relationships as resources, barriers and motivators. People surrounding older adults can support or deter their preparedness behaviours, and sometimes elicit a desire to protect the wellbeing of others. Findings suggest two potential strategies to facilitate preparedness behaviours by moving beyond personal benefits: highlighting older adults' increased ability to protect the wellbeing of younger generations and their community by being prepared themselves, and engaging family, friends and neighbours in preparedness programmes to enhance the resilience of their social groups. Older adults in many cultures have a desire to contribute to their society. Novel and effective approaches to increase preparedness could target their social groups.
To identify the social contextual factors, specifically the presence of information that supports v. undermines clinical recommendations, associated with infant feeding behaviours among mothers in low-income areas.
Cross-sectional survey evaluating social support networks and social relationships involved in providing care to the infant along with feeding beliefs and practices.
Out-patient paediatric and government-funded (Women, Infants, and Children) clinics in an urban, low-income area of the south-eastern USA.
Eighty-one low-income mothers of infants between 0 and 12 months old.
Most mothers reported receiving both supportive and undermining advice. The presence of breast-feeding advice that supports clinical recommendations was associated with two infant feeding practices that are considered beneficial to infant health: ever breast-feeding (OR=6·7; 95 % CI 1·2, 38·1) and not adding cereal in the infant’s bottle (OR=15·9; 95 % CI 1·1, 227·4). Advice that undermines clinical recommendations to breast-feed and advice about solid foods were not associated with these behaviours.
Efforts to facilitate optimal infant feeding practices may focus on increasing information supportive of clinical recommendations while concentrating less on reducing the presence of undermining information within mothers’ networks. Cultural norms around breast-feeding may be stronger than the cultural norms around the introduction of solid foods in mothers’ social environments; thus, additional efforts to increase information regarding introduction of solid foods earlier in mothers’ infant care career may be beneficial.
We fabricated single-crystalline microspheres of wide-gap semiconductors with anisotropic crystal structures, such as ZnO and ZnSe, by laser ablation in superfluid helium and investigated their lasing properties. Whispering gallery mode lasing at their band edges in ultraviolet region was clearly observed under the optical excitation, reflecting their high sphericity and crystal quality.
We successfully fabricated semiconductor microspheres of ZnO, ZnSe, etc., by laser ablation in superfluid helium and investigated their morphology and optical properties. Time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy in ultraviolet region of single ZnO microspheres shows luminescence spectra with mode structures and remarkable reduction of the luminescence decay time compared to that of polycrystals or non-spherical microparticles. This indicates strong light-matter interaction due to efficient light-confinement in the ZnO microspheres. In addition, the fabricated ZnSe microspheres also show the photoluminescence spectra with typical mode structures indicating their high sphericity.
The antiviral effects of both a live and non-live Lactobacillus acidophilus strain L-92 (L-92) were investigated by oral administration (10 mg/mouse per d) daily for 21 d in a mouse model infected intranasally with influenza virus (H1N1). Virus titres in the lung of mice administered either live or non-live L-92 cells daily for 15 d were repressed 6 d after virus infection compared with the control group. Natural killer (NK) activity in the orally administered non-live L-92 group was higher compared with that of the control group before virus infection and on day 6. In contrast, NK activity in the live L-92 group compared with the control group was not significantly changed on both days, but was significantly higher on day 1. In contrast, live L-92 showed a greater repression of virus proliferation compared with non-live L-92, 6 d after the infection. Live L-92 decreased the number of neutrophils in the lung and suppressed lung weight, leading to the consequent deterioration of consolidation scores of the lung. These results indicated that pretreatment of live or non-live L-92 cells had protective effects against influenza virus infection. Among the measured cytokines and chemokines, eotaxin, macrophage colony-stimulating factor, IL-1β, RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) and interferon-α were significantly increased in the lung: IL-17 was significantly increased in Peyer's patch of the live L-92 group compared with the control group. A mechanistic study suggested that the enhancement of NK activity in the lung caused by stimulating various antiviral cytokines and chemokines after the oral administration of L-92 cells might be important in protecting against virus infection.
Hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance are associated with the increased risk of the
metabolic syndrome and other severe health problems. The insulin-sensitive GLUT4 regulates
glucose homoeostasis in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. In this study, we investigated
whether cacao liquor procyanidin (CLPr) extract, which contains epicatechin, catechin and
other procyanidins, improves glucose tolerance by promoting GLUT4 translocation and
enhances glucose uptake in muscle cells. Our results demonstrated that CLPr increased
glucose uptake in a dose-dependent manner and promoted GLUT4 translocation to the plasma
membrane of L6 myotubes. Oral administration of a single dose of CLPr suppressed the
hyperglycaemic response after carbohydrate ingestion, which was accompanied by enhanced
GLUT4 translocation in ICR mice. These effects of CLPr were independent of
α-glucosidase inhibition in the small intestine. CLPr also promoted GLUT4
translocation in skeletal muscle of C57BL/6 mice fed a CLPr-supplemented diet for
7 d. These results indicate that CLPr is a beneficial food material for improvement
of glucose tolerance by promoting GLUT4 translocation to the plasma membrane of skeletal
The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effects of hypochlorhydria induced by proton pump inhibitor (PPI) administration and intake of a dairy product fermented by lactobacilli (DFL) on bone metabolism in growing rats. Male rats, aged 3 weeks, were divided into two groups: a control group fed a casein-based diet and a group fed a DFL-based diet. Each group was fed its respective experimental diets for 9 d. At day 5 of the feeding period, each group was divided into two subgroups: one that received a saline injection and one that received a PPI injection. Rats were subcutaneously administered saline or PPI for 5 d. Faecal Ca excretion was determined from day 6 to day 9. At the end of the experiment, plasma and femurs were collected. Administration of PPI significantly decreased bone mineral density (shown by X-ray computerised tomography) and bone strength (shown by a three-point bending test) in the control group. Plasma osteocalcin, type I collagen C-telopeptides, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D and parathyroid hormone concentrations were elevated by PPI administration in the control group. Faecal Ca excretion and urinary P excretion in the control group were remarkably increased by PPI administration. On the other hand, these adverse effects of PPI were not observed in the DFL group. These results suggest that hypochlorhydria-induced bone loss may result from high bone turnover induced by secondary hyperparathyroidism due to Ca malabsorption and that DFL intake cancels these adverse effects probably via improving Ca malabsorption in growing rats.
Time-resolved photoluminescence spectra of an ensemble of CuCl quantum dots have been measured by an optical Kerr gate method. The excitation photon energy was tuned to resonant energy for two-photon excitation of biexcitons. We observed that the time profiles of biexciton bands were changed from an exponential fast decay to a pulsed shape. This result indicates a transition from amplified spontaneous emission to superfluorescence. These results will introduce a new field of coherent phenomena originating an ensemble of quantum dots.
Stable discharging of pure nitrogen can be maintained even at atmospheric pressure when alternative pulsed voltage is applied between two parallel plate electrodes. From optical emission spectroscopy, strong emissions from the N2 2nd positive system, weak emissions from N2 Herman's infrared system and N2 1st positive system were observed. The emission intensities from the N2 2nd positive system and the N2 Herman's infrared system increase with increasing the nitrogen gas pressure, whereas the emission intensities from the N2+ 1st negative system and N2 1st positive system decrease. The thickness of the silicon nitride film fabricated at 500 Torr was 1.6 nm at a nitridation temperature as low as 25°C, regardless of the nitridation temperature and nitridation time. From these results, we conclude that N2(C3IIu) plays an important role for the excellent reactivity of the nitrogen plasma generated near atmospheric pressure.
The memory retention properties of Pt/YMnO3/Y2O3/Si capacitors were investigated for the application of ferroelectric gate transistors. The epitaxially grown Pt/YMnO3/Y2O3/Si capacitors showed ferroelectric type hysteresis loop on the capacitance-voltage properties. Although the retention time of the as-deposited capacitors was ∼103 s, it was prolonged up to 104 s when the leakage current density was reduced from 4×10−8 A/cm2 to 2×10−9 A/cm2 by the annealing under N2 ambience. To reveal the relationship between the retention time and leakage current, the leakage current mechanism was investigated comparing several conduction mechanisms. It was found that the dominant leakage mechanisms at high and low electric fields were Poole-Frenkel emission from the Y2O3 layer and ohmic conduction, respectively. This result indicates that the leakage current was limited by the Y2O3 layer at high electric field and was mainly dominated by the amount of defects in the YMnO3 layer at low electric field. From the pseudo isothermal capacitance transient spectroscopy (ICTS), it was determined that the trap density was in an order of 1015 cm−3. Since the variation of the leakage current by annealing was observed only in the low electric field region, it is suggested that the retention properties of the Pt/YMnO3/Y2O3/Si capacitors was influenced by the amount of defects in the YMnO3 layer.
CuInS2 nanowires synthesized by a chemical treatment method were examined using X-ray diffraction and field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). The nanowires, which were identified to have a chalcopyrite structure of CuInS2, were 30–100 nm in diameter and several micrometers in length. A remarkable correlation between the color of a sample with nanowires and their FE-SEM image was disclosed. Photoluminescence spectra of the obtained nanowires were also studied. At low temperatures (∼ 10K) a broad peak centered at photon energy of 2.05 eV was observed. This energy is by 0.5 eV larger than the energy gap of the well-studied crystalline bulk samples of CuInS2. The observed rise in energy can be ascribed to quantum size effects expectedly developing in CuInS2 samples with nanosize dimensions.
The memory retention properties of Pt/YMnO3/Y2O3/Si capacitors were investigated for the application of ferroelectric gate transistors. The epitaxially grown Pt/YMnO3/Y2O3/Si capacitors showed ferroelectric type hysteresis loop on the capacitance-voltage properties. Although the retention time of the as-deposited capacitors was ∼103 s, it was prolonged up to 104 s when the leakage current density was reduced from 4×10-8 A/cm2 to 2×10-9 A/cm2 by the annealing under N2 ambience. To reveal the relationship between the retention time and leakage current, the leakage current mechanism was investigated comparing several conduction mechanisms. It was found that the dominant leakage mechanisms at high and low electric fields were Poole-Frenkel emission from the Y2O3 layer and ohmic conduction, respectively. This result indicates that the leakage current was limited by the Y2O3 layer at high electric field and was mainly dominated by the amount of defects in the YMnO3 layer at low electric field. From the pseudo isothermal capacitance transient spectroscopy (ICTS), it was determined that the trap density was in an order of 1015 cm-3. Since the variation of the leakage current by annealing was observed only in the low electric field region, it is suggested that the retention properties of the Pt/YMnO3/Y2O3/Si capacitors was influenced by the amount of defects in the YMnO3 layer.
In an effort to achieve as high a storage capacity as possible on a disc format that is similar to conventional DVD using blue-violet laser, a number of new technologies have been implemented for the phase change rewritable media. The technologies include the ways to meet challenges in obtaining larger signal amplitude for shorter bit lengths and lowering the cross erase for narrower track pitches. Technologies developed for both the single layer and the dual layer discs are discussed.