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A higher intake of foods rich in flavonoids such as quercetin can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Enzymatically modified isoquercitrin (EMIQ®) has a bioavailability 17-fold higher than quercetin aglycone and has shown potential cardiovascular disease moderating effects in animal studies. The present study aimed to determine if acute ingestion of EMIQ® improves endothelial function, blood pressure, and cognitive function in human volunteers at risk of cardiovascular disease. Twenty-five participants (12 males, 13 females) with at least one cardiovascular disease risk factor completed this randomized, controlled, crossover study. In a random order, participants were given EMIQ® (2 mg aglycone equivalent)/kg body weight or placebo alongside a standard breakfast meal. Endothelial function, assessed by flow mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery was measured before and 1.5 hrs after intervention. Blood pressure (BP), arterial stiffness, cognitive function, BP during cognitive stress and measures of quercetin metabolites, oxidative stress and markers of nitric oxide (NO) production were assessed post-intervention. After adjustment for pre-treatment measurements and treatment order, EMIQ® treatment resulted in a significantly higher FMD response compared to the placebo [0.60%, 95% CI: 0.03, 1.17 (p=0.04)]. Plasma concentrations of quercetin metabolites were significantly higher (p<0.001) after EMIQ® treatment compared to the placebo. No changes in blood pressure, arterial stiffness, cognitive function, or biochemical parameters were observed. In this human intervention study, the acute administration of EMIQ® significantly increased circulating quercetin metabolites and improved endothelial function. Further clinical trials are required to assess whether health benefits are associated with long-term EMIQ® consumption.
Rumen protected fats are often included in dairy cow rations in order to increase the energy density of the ration without compromising rumen function. Various studies have examined the effects of protected fats, with some studies reporting an improvement in various fertility parameters (McNamara et al., 2003). This study examined the effect of feeding protected fat (Megalac™) on production parameters, and on the reproductive performance of high-yielding Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle.
Straw constitutes a vast, valuable, and under utilised agricultural by-product, which has a great potential for utilisation as an animal feedstuff. However, due to the way in which it is constructed, the digestible sugars, cellulose and hemicelluloses, are tightly chemically bound by heavily lignified cell walls which provide the wheat plant stem with its strength and structure, but in doing so greatly inhibit the digestibility and nutritive value of the material to ruminant animals. Therefore, the utilisation of this resource as an animal feed can only be realised effectively, if the nutritional and digestibility values of the material can be improved by the innovation and successful application of an effective treatment method, be that physical, chemical or biological. Previously devised methods of upgrading the digestibility and nutritive value of forages, with the possible exception of urea treatment, have proven either insufficient, environmentally unsound, or economically infeasible to those concerned, particularly those in developing world. Therefore, there is a distinct need to develop techniques which can avoid these pitfalls and still yield the desired results in the context of animal nutrition. Previous research has indicated that members of the genus Pleurotus white rot fungi, have great potential for application in the biological upgrading of wheat straw. Therefore, the objective of this work was to investigate biological techniques, using 3 strains of Pleurotus fungi which may have the potential to be utilised in the biological upgrading of wheat straw.
In the developed world, wheat straw is commonly regarded as a waste product. An obvious application is as an animal feed source, however, the digestible sugars (cellulose and hemicelluloses) are chemically bound within lignified cell walls. This severely inhibits its digestibility and thus its energy and nutritive value by ruminants. Various methods have been used to increase its digestibility and nutritive value by breaking, or weakening the linkages between the lignin and hemicelluloses prior to it being fed to ruminants. Where grass and silage are abundant and relatively cheap sources of animal feed, it is not cost effective to try and utilize this resource. However where alternative feed sources are not readily available, low cost upgrading of an abundant source of fodder would have many benefits. The objectives of this study were to use 8 strains of white rot fungi to pretreat wheat straw to improve its in-vitro digestibility, and to determine the impact of the fungi on the in-vitro digestibility method, i.e. to see if fungi have any adverse effects on the digestibility method.
Compassion and compassionate care are central to radiographers’ professional policy and practice and are congruent with the core values of the National Health Service Constitution. The term compassion however is over-used, ambiguous and vague. This work sought to explore and provide contextual understanding to the term compassion in healthcare.
Walker and Avant’s eight-step model was used as the framework for the concept analysis. Data collection utilised a number of resources including online databases: Medline, CINAHL complete, Scopus, PubMed, PsycINFO, ScienceDirect, Cochrane and DARE; dictionaries, social media, Internet sources, books and doctoral theses. In all, 296 resources were included in the review.
The concept analysis distinguishes the defining characteristics of compassion within a healthcare context, allowing for associated meanings and behaviours to be outlined aiding understanding of compassion. Compassion in healthcare requires five defining attributes to be present: recognition, connection, altruistic desire, humanistic response and action.
The findings identify the complexity of the term and subjective nature in which it is displayed and in turn perceived. The concept analysis forms the basis of further research aiming to develop a healthcare explicit definition of compassion within healthcare, specifically cancer care and radiography practices. Lucidity will enhance understanding, facilitating active engagement and implementation into practice.
An Fe–0.26C–1.96Si–2Mn with 0.31Mo (wt%) steel was subjected to a novel thermomechanical processing route to produce fine ferrite with different volume fractions, bainite, and retained austenite. Two types of fine ferrites were found to be: (i) formed along prior austenite grain boundaries, and (ii) formed intragranularly in the interior of austenite grains. An increase in the volume fraction of fine ferrite led to the preferential formation of blocky retained austenite with low stability, and to a decrease in the volume fraction of bainite with stable layers of retained austenite. The difference in the morphology of the bainitic ferrite and the retained austenite after different isothermal ferrite times was found to be responsible for the deterioration of the mechanical properties. The segregation of Mn, Mo, and C at distances of 2–2.5 nm from the ferrite and retained austenite/martensite interface on the retained austenite/martensite site was observed after 2700 s of isothermal hold. It was suggested that the segregation occurred during the austenite-to-ferrite transformation, and that this would decrease the interface mobility, which affects the austenite-to-ferrite transformation and ferrite grain size.
Higher fruit intake is associated with lower risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality. However, data on individual fruits are limited, and the generalisability of these findings to the elderly remains uncertain. The objective of this study was to examine the association of apple intake with all-cause and disease-specific mortality over 15 years in a cohort of women aged over 70 years. Secondary analyses explored relationships of other fruits with mortality outcomes. Usual fruit intake was assessed in 1456 women using a FFQ. Incidence of all-cause and disease-specific mortality over 15 years was determined through the Western Australian Hospital Morbidity Data system. Cox regression was used to determine the hazard ratios (HR) for mortality. During 15 years of follow-up, 607 (41·7 %) women died from any cause. In the multivariable-adjusted analysis, the HR for all-cause mortality was 0·89 (95 % CI 0·81, 0·97) per sd (53 g/d) increase in apple intake, HR 0·80 (95 % CI 0·65, 0·98) for consumption of 5–100 g/d and HR 0·65 (95 % CI 0·48, 0·89) for consumption of >100 g/d (an apple a day), compared with apple intake of <5 g/d (Pfor trend=0·03). Our analysis also found that higher apple intake was associated with lower risk for cancer mortality, and that higher total fruit and banana intakes were associated lower risk of CVD mortality (P<0·05). Our results support the view that regular apple consumption may contribute to lower risk of mortality.
High blood pressure (BP) variability, which may be an important determinant of hypertensive end-organ damage, is emerging as an important predictor of cardiovascular health. Dietary antioxidants can influence BP, but their effects on variability are yet to be investigated. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of vitamin E, vitamin C and polyphenols on the rate of daytime and night-time ambulatory BP variation. To assess these effects, two randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials were performed. In the first trial (vitamin E), fifty-eight individuals with type 2 diabetes were given 500 mg/d of RRR-α-tocopherol, 500 mg/d of mixed tocopherols or placebo for 6 weeks. In the second trial (vitamin C–polyphenols), sixty-nine treated hypertensive individuals were given 500 mg/d of vitamin C, 1000 mg/d of grape-seed polyphenols, both vitamin C and polyphenols, or neither (placebo) for 6 weeks. At baseline and at the end of the 6-week intervention, 24 h ambulatory BP and rate of measurement-to-measurement BP variation were assessed. Compared with placebo, treatment with α-tocopherol, mixed tocopherols, vitamin C and polyphenols did not significantly alter the rate of daytime or night-time systolic BP, diastolic BP or pulse pressure variation (P>0·05). Treatment with the vitamin C and polyphenol combination resulted in higher BP variation: the rate of night-time systolic BP variation (P= 0·022) and pulse pressure variation (P= 0·0036) were higher and the rate of daytime systolic BP variation was higher (P= 0·056). Vitamin E, vitamin C or grape-seed polyphenols did not significantly alter the rate of BP variation. However, the increase in the rate of BP variation suggests that the combination of high doses of vitamin C and polyphenols could be detrimental to treated hypertensive individuals.
Statistical models of epidemiology in wildlife populations usually consider diseased individuals as a single class, despite knowledge that infections progress through states of severity. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a serious zoonotic disease threatening the UK livestock industry, but we have limited understanding of key epidemiological processes in its wildlife reservoirs. We estimated differential survival, force of infection and progression in disease states in a population of Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), naturally infected with bTB. Our state-dependent models overturn prevailing categorizations of badger disease states, and find novel evidence for early onset of disease-induced mortality in male but not female badgers. Males also have higher risk of infection and more rapid disease progression which, coupled with state-dependent increases in mortality, could promote sex biases in the risk of transmission to cattle. Our results reveal hidden complexities in wildlife disease epidemiology, with implications for the management of TB and other zoonotic diseases.
Pile-up or sink-in is always a concern in a nanoindentation test because it gives rise to errors in the estimation of the projected contact area when it is theoretically analyzed with the classic Oliver–Pharr method. In this study, a three-dimensional finite element model is developed to simulate nanoindentation with a perfect Berkovich tip. The variation of the contact profile with respect to the work-hardening rate n and the ratio of yield stress to elastic modulus σy/E has been studied for a wide range of elastoplastic materials. The numerical results show that a low σy/E not only facilitates the pile-up for materials with little or no work-hardening but also enhances the sink-in for materials with a high work-hardening rate. It is attributed to the lateral-flow dominated plastic deformation in low work-hardening materials and the normal-flow dominated plastic deformation in high work-hardening materials, respectively. Because of the large sink-in, for the materials with high n and low σy/E, significant errors in the calculation of the projected contact area can be generated by using the classic Oliver–Pharr method.
Purpose: Sexual dysfunction is a well-documented side effect of radical radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer and the provision of information to patients is often a radiotherapist and assistant role. The study sought to measure the attitudes and beliefs of individuals before and after an educational intervention and establish current practice in providing sexual information.
Method: A quantitative approach with a minor qualitative element was used. A simple pre–post test questionnaire design using an adapted version of the Reynold and Magnan (2005) Sexual Attitudes and Beliefs’ Questionnaire was utilised. The educational intervention was a Reflective Learning Package (RLP).
Results: Fifty-six participants took part, a response rate of 87.5%. The data was analysed using SPSS, version 15. The RLP had a highly significant effect on improving the attitudes and beliefs of the participants (Wilcoxon test 0.000 p < 0.001). Qualitative data key themes showed lack of knowledge, confidence and embarrassment were the main barriers to giving sexuality information during the ‘first day chat’.
Conclusion: There may be a need to address the current methods of education and support of staff being prepared to perform this important role and to recognise that personal limitations may influence the individuals’ effectiveness in communicating sexuality information.
The effect of operating clothing on the dispersal of bacterial particles from the wearers was studied in a dispersal chamber. A comparison was made of six gowns as well as four types of trousers. The gowns were of three basic types, namely a conventional cotton type, disposable types made of non-woven fabric and those of the total-body exhaust system (Charnley type). The dispersal chamber could simulate conditions as expected both in down-flow unidirectional ultra-clean systems and in a conventional turbulent plenum-ventilated system. It was found that the disposable gowns would reduce the dispersal rate by about 30% in the simulated conventionally ventilated system and about 65% in the laminar flow system. The total-body exhaust system (Charnley) would reduce the count by 10-fold in the conventional ventilated system and by 66-fold in the laminar-flow system.
The poor performance of the gowns in conventionally ventilated systems was caused by the dispersal of bacterial particles from underneath the gown (about 80%). This was not reduced by the disposable gown and only partially by the Charnley type. This small drop would be further decreased in a conventionally ventilated operating-room as only scrubbed staff would wear the gown. In order to overcome this poor performance in conventionally ventilated operating-rooms impervious trousers would be required. Four types were studied and it was demonstrated that those made either from Ventile or non-woven fabric would reduce the bacterial dispersion fourfold.
As these tests had been carried out in an artificial environment checks were carried out in the unidirectional-flow operating-room during total-hip arthroplasty. This was done by comparing conventional cotton gowns with non-woven gowns and total-body exhaust gowns. The results showed good correlation between the operating room and the chamber with the non-woven fabric gown but the total-body exhaust system did not perform as well in the operating room (12-fold compared to 66-fold) the difference being possibly due to the contribution from the patient. However, as this comparison was that which would be most open to influence from other variables confidence could be placed on the chamber test results.
Values were also obtained for the total number of bacterial particles dispersed by persons during a standard exercise wearing different clothing. This count was dependent on the clothing worn but a median count of between 1000 and 1500 peatorial particlos/min. would be expected when conventional clothing was worn, with a range of between 300 and 19,000. This count could be reduced to about 100/min. if a total-body exhaust suit was worn (range 30–400).
Major changes have been occurring over the last 20 years in the UK dairy industry, with improvements in cow genetics and nutritional management resulting in a doubling of average milk yields to 6,750 litres/cow/year by 2004 (DEFRA, 2005). The same period has resulted in a decline of dairy cow fertility parameters with recent studies having identified a 1% fall in conception rates per annum (Royal et al., 2000). The role of organic forms of trace minerals has been examined in ruminant diets with particular regard to their role in immune function (Spears, 2000). The aim of the study was to examine the effect of feeding an organic source of zinc (Bioplex Zinc™, Alltech Inc. USA) and selenium yeast (Sel-Plex™, Alltech Inc. USA) to high yielding Holstein dairy cows on production and reproductive performance.