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White kidney bean extract (WKBE) is a nutraceutical often advocated as an anti-obesity agent. The main proposed mechanism for these effects is alpha-amylase inhibition, thereby slowing carbohydrate digestion and absorption. Thus, it is possible that WKBE could impact the gut microbiota and modulate gut health. We investigated the effects of supplementing 20 healthy adults with WKBE for 1 week in a randomised, placebo-controlled crossover trial on the composition of the gut microbiota, gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation (faecal calprotectin), GI symptoms, and stool habits. We conducted in vitro experiments and used a gut model system to explore potential inhibition of alpha-amylase. We gained qualitative insight into participant experiences of using WKBE via focus groups. WKBE supplementation decreased the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and increased that of Firmicutes, however, there were no significant differences in post-intervention gut microbiota measurements between the WKBE and control. There were no significant effects on GI inflammation or symptoms related to constipation, or stool consistency or frequency. Our in vitro and gut model system analyses showed no effects of WKBE on alpha-amylase activity. Our findings suggest that WKBE may modulate the gut microbiota in healthy adults, however, the underlying mechanism is unlikely due to active site inhibition of alpha-amylase.
Enhanced odor sensitivity, particularly toward threat-related cues, may be adaptive during periods of danger. Research also suggests that chronic psychological distress may lead to functional changes in the olfactory system that cause heightened sensitivity to odors. Yet, the association between self-reported odor sensitivity, objective odor detection, and affective psychopathology is currently unclear, and research suggests that persons with affective problems may only be sensitive to specific, threat-related odors.
The current study compared adults with self-reported odor sensitivity that was described as functionally impairing (OSI; n = 32) to those who reported odor sensitivity that was non-impairing (OS; n = 17) on affective variables as well as quantitative odor detection.
Increased anxiety sensitivity, trait anxiety, depression, and life stress, even while controlling for comorbid anxiety and depressive disorders, was found for OSI compared to OS. While OSI, compared to OS, demonstrated only a trend increase in objective odor detection of a smoke-like, but not rose-like, odor, further analysis revealed that increased detection of that smoke-like odor was positively correlated with anxiety sensitivity.
These findings suggest that persons with various forms of psychological distress may find themselves significantly impaired by an intolerance of odors, but that self-reported odor sensitivity does not necessarily relate to enhanced odor detection ability. However, increased sensitivity to a smoke-like odor appears to be associated with sensitivity to aversive anxiogenic stimuli. Implications for the pathophysiology of fear- and anxiety-related disorders are discussed.
The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of deficiency of folate and vitamin B12 and, simultaneously, the nutrient intake adequacy of folate, vitamin B12, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and calcium in 391 adolescent anaemic (Hb<120 g/l) schoolgirls living in the delta region of Myanmar (Burma). Dietary intakes were assessed using a 3 d estimated food record. The distribution of observed intakes calculated from the food records were adjusted for usual intakes, and the prevalence of inadequacy was estimated using the estimated average requirement cut-point method. Median (first, third quartile) serum folate and vitamin B12 concentrations were 6·5 (4·6, 8·5) nmol/l and 612·8 (443·2, 795·2) pmol/l, respectively. The prevalence of folate deficiency defined as <6·8 nmol/l was 54 %; however, vitamin B12 deficiency defined as <148 pmol/l was negligible (<1 %). The prevalence of inadequate intake of folate was high (100 %) as was the prevalence of inadequate intakes of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and calcium, ranging from 60 to 100 %. Red meat or poultry was rarely consumed, but fish was consumed on a daily basis. Green leafy vegetables were also consumed frequently but consumption of dairy products was uncommon. Folate deficiency was high, and the prevalence of inadequate intake of folate among other key micronutrients was relatively common in this sample of anaemic adolescent schoolgirls. Appropriate strategies such as food fortification and dietary diversification are needed to improve the micronutrient status of these young women to ensure optimal health and future reproductive success.
This article describes the testing of a model that proposes that people's beliefs regarding the effectiveness of hazard preparedness interact with social context factors (community participation, collective efficacy, empowerment and trust) to influence levels of hazard preparedness. Using data obtained from people living in coastal communities in Alaska and Oregon that are susceptible to experiencing tsunami, structural equation modelling analyses confirmed the ability of the model to help account for differences in levels of tsunami preparedness. Analysis revealed that community members and civic agencies influence preparedness in ways that are independent of the information provided per se. The model suggests that, to encourage people to prepare, outreach strategies must (a) encourage community members to discuss tsunami hazard issues and to identify the resources and information they need to deal with the consequences a tsunami would pose for them and (b) ensure that the community-agency relationship is complementary and empowering.
Like most books, this one owes several profound debts of gratitude. The argument presented here – and my interest in analogical reasoning in foreign policy analysis generally, the subject of this book – owes a great deal to the work of Yuen Foong Khong. Reading Khong's Analogies at War, which is a study of how the Vietnam decision-makers reasoned analogically about whether to escalate America's involvement in that disasterous war, got me thinking about other areas of American foreign policy to which Khong's theoretical insights might be applied, and the book proved a constant source of guidance and inspiration. A similarly formative influence was Richard Neustadt and Ernest May's Thinking in Time, whose title, I learned later on joining the faculty of the Department of Government at Essex, was provided by Anthony King. This work also obviously owes an intellectual debt to a great many people whose prior research in this and related areas has inspired my own efforts. Apart from those already mentioned, Alexander George, Robert Jervis, Ole Holsti and Yaacov Vertzberger in particular have all contributed powerful insights to the study of foreign policy decision-making and/or the investigation of the role that analogizing plays in the policy-making process, and without their sterling work in these fields this book would almost certainly never have been written.
Why did a handful of Iranian students seize the American embassy in Tehran in November 1979? Why did most members of the US government initially believe that the incident would be over quickly? Why did the Carter administration then decide to launch a rescue mission, and why did it fail so spectacularly? US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis examines these puzzles and others, using an analogical reasoning approach to decision-making, a theoretical perspective which highlights the role played by historical analogies in the genesis of foreign policy decisions. Using interviews with key decision-makers on both sides, Houghton provides an analysis of one of the United States' greatest foreign policy disasters, the events of which continue to poison relations between the two states. The book will be of interest to students and scholars of foreign policy analysis and international relations.
When an American president has been defeated at the November election held to determine who will sit in the Oval Office for the next four years, he usually spends the last days and hours of his presidency preparing for the handover of power which takes place the following January. He contemplates, usually with much regret, the change which has come over his life, undoubtedly mulling over the unpleasant and sometimes icy task of escorting the winning candidate to his inauguration. He begins to plan what will come next, perhaps thinking about the arrangements for the presidential library which will carry his name.
The end of Jimmy Carter's presidency was different. His last two days were spent cloistered in the Oval Office with his closest advisers, enmeshed until the very last minutes in an issue which had come to obsess him personally and which helped destroy any prospect he might have had of achieving re-election in 1980: the release of the American hostages who had been held in Tehran for almost 444 days. That issue was about to become another man's problem. But Jimmy Carter was not a man to leave loose ends. There was unfinished business to do.
The president and his closest advisers worked around the clock, eating their meals in the Oval Office, their only sleep an occasional cat nap on one of the sofas which now adorn the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta.
The American and Iranian decision-makers, as we have seen, overwhelmingly drew upon the experiences and analogies known to them personally, reflecting the greater cognitive availability of these events. The Entebbe analogy – a then very recent political and policy success – played an enhanced (if only partially visible) role in the policy discussions of the Carter administration, and probably influenced Carter's eventual decision to mount a rescue operation, while other analogies exerted an impact at various stages of the crisis. Jimmy Carter and those surrounding him clearly considered various analogous situations and searched through them for cause and effect patterns. The president and his advisers seem to have made an early effort – albeit perhaps an informal one – to gather together potential precedents, and to search these for usable lessons which could then be applied to the current case. According to Brzezinski's recollection, ‘at some point early on, we simply collected previous cases in order to see what happened and how they were handled, so either my staff or I gave it to him ... I doubt whether he would have known of all these cases himself’. As Carter himself put it at a press conference on 21 April 1980, ‘I have studied all the previous occurences in my lifetime where American hostages have been taken ... to learn how they reacted and what the degree of success was’.
Jimmy Carter clearly deferred to his secretary of state's pro-negotiation strategy initially. As Gary Sick notes, with only a couple of exceptions, ‘Secretary Vance and the Department of State thoroughly dominated the US decision-making process during the first two months of the crisis’. Vance argued with success that the administration needed to be patient, and that waiting it out would eventually pay dividends. Moreover, Vance and Carter utilized the same strategy of graduated threats which Lyndon Johnson had used earlier in the Pueblo case, described by Thomas Schelling as ‘graduated compellence’ in his classic work Arms and Influence. Under this strategy, if one step fails to achieve its intended objective, another (more severe) step is taken, in a slow but escalating series of stages until the desired goal is reached. At an NSC meeting on 23 November, Carter outlined his strategy as involving ‘a series of escalating steps, which he summarized with the words “condemn, threaten, break relations, mine three harbors, bomb Abadan, total blockade”’. As Richard Cottam has pointed out, ‘this tactical bargaining approach is a natural one, and there is no reason to believe the Carter administration was explicitly following Schelling's model’. Nevertheless, there is another explanation for this which Cottam does not mention; namely, that the decision-makers may simply have been following the lessons suggested by the Pueblo analogy.
We had no feeling for the view of the vast majority of the Iranian people at the time. Because they believed as an article of faith that if the Shah came to the United States, it would usher in a series of events similar to those that had happened in 1953, when the CIA ... assisted the pro-Shah demonstrators in overthrowing Mohammed Mossadegh and putting the Shah back on the Peacock throne. They believed that as an article of faith. Whether it was true or not is irrelevant.
Former American hostage Charles Scott
Iran is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world
President Jimmy Carter, speaking on 31 December 1977
Implicit in chapter 2 is the assumption that the psychological approach to foreign policy analysis popularized by scholars like Robert Jervis, Ole Holsti and Alexander George explains the behaviour of human beings in a decision-making context, not merely that of decision-makers in the United States. Yet most case study analyses which employ a foreign policy decision-making approach have examined their case materials as they were viewed from the American perspective and as the issues were confronted by American decision-makers. The Cuban missile crisis has been exhaustively analysed from the perspective of John Kennedy and the ExComm, for example. The decisions of Third World states, on the other hand, are rarely viewed through cognitive psychological lenses, and there is even a paucity of theoretically driven studies of British foreign policy.
A relatively minor but troubling hostage crisis in which a US consul, Angus Ward, was taken captive along with his staff by pro-government forces in Mukden, China. Ward and his family remained in captivity for a year, from November 1948 to November 1949. A rescue mission was ruled out due to the strategic and political problems it would entail, and the Truman administration negotiated Ward's release instead. The analogy was used by Cyrus Vance and Jimmy Carter during the Iran hostage crisis.
In August 1953 the CIA and British intelligence led a coup in which the Iranian prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, was overthrown and replaced by the pro-American candidate General Zahedi. At first the coup seemed destined to fail, and the shah of Iran - who had been persuaded by the CIA to go along with the plan - fled to Baghdad and then Rome, returning only when Zahedi was safely in place. The analogy was in widespread use in Iran throughout 1979, and was drawn upon by the students who seized the American embassy in November 1979.
Bay of Pigs invasion
In April 1961 Cuban exiles trained in secret by the CIA attempted and failed to invade Cuba (and depose Fidel Castro) at the Bay of Pigs. The hand of the United States in the disasterous afffair was quickly exposed, and new President Kennedy was forced to admit this.
Political argumentation, and presumably the art of persuasion also, plays a crucial role in the making of foreign policy. As Robert Axelrod has put it, ‘argumentation is a vital part of the policy process when power is shared and when problems are so complex that the participants are not sure that their own initial positions are necessarily the best ones’. What, then, does the Iran case tell us about the capacity of analogies to persuade others? This question really contains two matters of interest rolled into one: how persuasive are analogies in general, and what determines the persuasiveness of a particular analogy? Generally speaking, since analogies play such a powerful role in comprehension, the persuasiveness of arguments might be thought to be heavily influenced – and perhaps even fundamentally rooted – in analogy and metaphor. Since these devices govern the manner in which we learn and the way we understand the world around us, if we can get others to accept our analogies then we have gone a long way towards convincing them that the world is in fact as we see it. So analogizing seems vital both to the persuasion of the self, as well as to persuade others.
We can readily observe the persuasive power of analogical and metaphorical reasoning within political science itself.
When the embassy was overrun on 4 November, the first reaction among the American decision-makers in Washington DC was stunned surprise. Officials from both the embassy and the moderate Iranian government had warned the administration that admitting the shah might produce such a reaction – indeed, Carter himself had anticipated it, overriding his own reservations on humanitarian grounds – but such dire warnings had seemed misplaced after 22 October. The reaction in Tehran had appeared muted on its face, since nothing of consequence happened for nearly two weeks. This, however, proved to be merely the calm before the storm.
Secretary of State Vance was roused from his bed at 3 o'clock that Sunday morning, and over the course of the next few hours a number of advisers and experts assembled at the State Department and the White House. Meetings within the US government began almost immediately, with the goal of defining the nature of the situation and developing a response to it. The SCC (or Special Coordinating Committee) first met the day after the crisis began, on Monday 5 November. At this stage, very little was known about why the embassy had been overrun, or even about the identity of the captors. Nevertheless, it is now clear that few of the participants on the American side expected the whole affair to last very long.
Having addressed the question of how historical analogies are used by decision-makers, we now need to direct our attention to other, more concrete kinds of criticism which might be raised against the argument presented in the previous few chapters. One obvious potential problem with the analysis presented in chapters 3–5 is that we may have misrepresented events in the case study analysed here, and in so doing may have missed key variables accounting for the decisions taken. Other explanations are certainly possible as accounts of the decisions arrived at. Indeed, the hostage crisis has already been examined from a wide variety of theoretical angles in the existing literature, the vast majority of which offer ‘non-analogical’ accounts of the hostage crisis decision-making. Although much of this more narrowly seeks to explain the decision to mount the rescue mission, it seems sensible now to compare the ability of these explanations to account for as many aspects of the Iran decision-making as the account we have offered here. Doing so, we shall argue, helps to place the analogical argument in relation to other explanations which have been offered in the literature, and suggests that the former is not necessarily at all incompatible with some of the latter. Not all of the theoretical accounts examined here, we shall argue, should properly be considered rival explanations per se. The meaning of this statement should become clear as we move through the various theoretical accounts, and we shall return to the point having done so.