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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.
The Mediterranean diet offers a range of health benefits. However, previous studies indicate that the restricted consumption of red meat in the diet may affect long-term sustainability in non-Mediterranean countries. A 24-week randomised controlled parallel cross-over design compared a Mediterranean diet supplemented with 2–3 serves per week of fresh, lean pork (MedPork) with a low-fat control diet (LF). Thirty-three participants at risk of CVD followed each intervention for 8 weeks, with an 8-week washout period separating interventions. The primary outcome was home-measured systolic blood pressure. Secondary outcomes included diastolic blood pressure, fasting lipids, glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein (CRP), body composition and dietary adherence. During the MedPork intervention, participants achieved high adherence to dietary guidelines. Compared with the MedPork intervention, the LF intervention led to greater reductions in weight (Δ = 0·65; 95 % CI: 0·04, 1·25 kg, P = 0·04), BMI (Δ = 0·25; 95 % CI: 0·03, 0·47 kg/m2, P = 0·01) and waist circumference (Δ = 1·40; 95 % CI: 0·45, 2·34 cm, P < 0·01). No significant differences were observed for blood pressure, lipids, glucose, insulin or CRP. These findings indicate that Australians are capable of adhering to a Mediterranean diet with 2–3 weekly serves of fresh, lean pork, which may offer a healthy alternative to LF diets in Australians at risk of CVD. Larger intervention studies are now required to demonstrate clinical efficacy of the diet in populations with elevated blood pressure.
Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids can influence inflammation and markers of arterial stiffness that are increased in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, it is unknown whether specific patterns of dietary fatty acid intake are similarly associated. In a longitudinal study, eighty-six RA patients reported their dietary intake and had arterial stiffness measured using the augmentation index (AIx) at baseline and 8 months. Latent profile analysis (LPA) was performed to characterise patterns of fatty acid intake using sixteen major fatty acids. Models for two to six profiles were compared using the Akaike and Bayesian information criteria. Associations between AIx and the profiles were adjusted for age, sex, disease activity, fish oil supplementation, medications, physical activity and socio-economic status. LPA identified five distinct profiles. Profile 1 subjects (n 7) reported significantly higher intake of palmitoleic acid (16 : 1), arachidonic acid (20 : 4n-6), EPA (20 : 5n-3), DHA (22 : 6n-3) and docosapentaenoic acid (22 : 5n-3) (P<0·001 for each) than profiles 2 (n 14), 3 (n 19), 4 (n 23) and 5 (n 23) and significantly higher grilled and tinned fish consumption. The AIx varied significantly across the five profiles (P=0·023); subjects in profile 1 had a significantly lower AIx than those in profile 3 (β=–7·2 %; 95 % CI –11·5, –2·9; P=0·001) who had the lowest reported intake of n-3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplementation was also independently associated with lower AIx (β=–4·15 %; 95 % CI –6·73, –1·56; P=0·002). A diet characterised by a higher reported intake of n-3 fatty acids, palmitoleic acid (16 : 1) and arachidonic acid (20 : 4n-6) is associated with a lower AIx in RA patients.
The role of vegetable and fruit intake in reducing falls risk in elderly populations is uncertain. This study examined the associations of vegetable and fruit intake with falls-related hospitalisations in a prospective cohort study of elderly women (n 1429, ≥70 years), including effects on muscular function, which represented a potential causal pathway. Muscular function, measured using grip strength and timed-up-and-go (TUG), and vegetable and fruit intake, quantified using a validated FFQ, were assessed at baseline (1998). Incident falls-related hospitalisation over 14·5-year follow-up was captured by the Hospital Morbidity Data Collection, linked via the Western Australian Data Linkage System. Falls-related hospitalisation occurred in 568 (39·7 %) of women. In multivariable-adjusted models, falls-related hospitalisations were lower in participants consuming more vegetables (hazard ratio (HR) per 75 g serve: 0·90 (95 % CI 0·82, 0·99)), but not fruit intake (per 150 g serve: 1·03 (95 % CI 0·93, 1·14)). Only total cruciferous vegetable intake was inversely associated with falls-related hospitalisation (HR: per 20 g serve: 0·90 (95 % CI 0·83, 0·97)). Higher total vegetable intake was associated with lower odds for poor grip strength (OR: 0·87 (95 % CI 0·77, 0·97)) and slow TUG (OR: 0·88 (95 % CI 0·78, 0·99)). Including grip strength and TUG in the multivariable-adjusted model attenuated the association between total vegetable intake and falls-related hospitalisations. In conclusion, elderly women with higher total and cruciferous vegetable intake had lower injurious falls risk, which may be explained in a large part by better physical function. Falls reduction may be considered an additional benefit of higher vegetable intake in older women.
In patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) and a negative finding on CT angiography (CTA), further imaging with digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is commonly performed to identify the source of bleeding. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether negative findings on CTA can reliably exclude aneurysms in patients with acute SAH.
This retrospective study identified all DSAs performed between August 2010 and July 2014 within our institution. CT angiography was performed with a 64-section multidetector row CT scanner. Only DSAs from patients with confirmed SAH and a negative CTA result were included in the final analyses. A fellowship-trained neuroradiologist reviewed the imaging results.
Of the 857 DSAs, 50 (5.83%) were performed in 35 patients with CTA-negative SAH. Of the 35 patients, three (8.57%) had positive findings on the DSA. In one patient, suspicious dissection of the extra- and intra-cranial segment of the right vertebral artery could not be confirmed even in retrospect. In the second patient, the suspicious finding of tiny protuberance from the left paraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA) on DSA did not change on follow-up and did not change patient’s management. The third patient had a posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysm, which was not seen on the initial CTA owing to the incomplete coverage of the head on the CTA.
In patients with SAH, negative findings on a technically sound CTA are reliable in ruling out aneurysms in any pattern of SAH or no blood on CT. Our observations need to be confirmed with larger prospective studies.
The grazing ecology of hill and upland swards is discussed in terms of (a) the influence of sward characteristics (species composition; plant maturity and morphology; canopy structure) on the ingestive behaviour, diet selection and herbage intake of sheep and cattle, (b) the reciprocal influence of grazing activity upon the species balance of natural and sown plant communities and (c) the importance of plant responses in limiting the impact of variations in grazing managements upon the net rate of herbage production from sown swards. Emphasis is given to the importance of objective criteria of plant morphology and sward canopy structure both in understanding sward and animal responses to management manipulation and in applying the results of grazing studies in farming practice.
The newborn lamb lacks circulating antibodies and relies on an early and adequate intake of colostrum for passive protection against disease and for energy (Black, Francis and Nicholls, 1985; Mellor, 1990). However, lambs may receive less colostrum than they require because of sibling competition, maternal undernutrition or udder disease. Colostrum insufficiency accounts for about 25% of perinatal lamb deaths world wide (Khalaf, Doxey and Baxter, 1979).
Powdered colostrum substitutes may be used to supplement ‘at risk’ lambs but, because the products are manufactured outside the United Kingdom (UK), mainly from bovine sources, their relevance to UK sheep enterprises is uncertain. Further, their available energy content is low because the main constituent, protein, is not catabolized by newborn lambs (Mellor and Cockburn, 1986). The present work measured the ability of one substitute derived from bovine whey (based on ProLAM, Fisons Animal Health Ltd), with or without supplementary glucose; to prevent disease and promote growth to 3 months in lambs reared in typical UK farm conditions.
Arterial wall thickening, stimulated by low-grade systemic inflammation, underlies many cardiovascular events. As diet is a significant moderator of systemic inflammation, the dietary inflammatory index (DIITM) has recently been devised to assess the overall inflammatory potential of an individual’s diet. The primary objective of this study was to assess the association of the DII with common carotid artery–intima-media thickness (CCA–IMT) and carotid plaques. To substantiate the clinical importance of these findings we assessed the relationship of DII score with atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD)-related mortality, ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (CVA)-related mortality and ischaemic heart disease (IHD)-related mortality more. The study was conducted in Western Australian women aged over 70 years (n 1304). Dietary data derived from a validated FFQ (completed at baseline) were used to calculate a DII score for each individual. In multivariable-adjusted models, DII scores were associated with sub-clinical atherosclerosis: a 1 sd (2·13 units) higher DII score was associated with a 0·013-mm higher mean CCA–IMT (P=0·016) and a 0·016-mm higher maximum CCA–IMT (P=0·008), measured at 36 months. No relationship was seen between DII score and carotid plaque severity. There were 269 deaths during follow-up. High DII scores were positively associated with ASVD-related death (per sd, hazard ratio (HR): 1·36; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·60), CVA-related death (per sd, HR: 1·30; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·69) and IHD-related death (per sd, HR: 1·40; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·75). These results support the hypothesis that a pro-inflammatory diet increases systemic inflammation leading to development and progression of atherosclerosis and eventual ASVD-related death.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
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.
This special issue of the Journal of Institutional Economics on the future of institutional and evolutionary economics consists of this introduction, four full essays, and two sizeable comments. Ménard and Shirley (2014) and Ménard (2014) discuss the future of the new institutional economics, and their two essays are followed by a reflection by Hodgson. Winter (2014) and Witt (2014) discuss the future of evolutionary economics, and their essays are followed by a comment by Stoelhorst. Here, we introduce these essays and comments by putting them in a broader historical perspective. In particular, we trace the common origins of modern institutional and evolutionary economics, particularly in the work of Veblen, as well as important additional influences such as Schumpeter and Simon. We highlight how the two approaches became disconnected, and signal the possibility of, and need for, re-establishing closer connections between them. Possible elements of a future overlapping research programme are outlined.
Palaeoclimate changes, such as the Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age, are well-defined in the Northern Hemisphere during the past 2000 years. In contrast, these anomalies appear to be either absent, or less well-defined, in high-latitude regions of the Southern Hemisphere. Here, we inferred environmental changes during the past two millennia from proxies in a sediment core from Mago Ike, an East Antarctic lake in Skarvsnes (Lützow Holm Bay). Variations in lake primary production were inferred from fossil pigments, sedimentological and geochemical proxies and combined with absolute diatom counts to infer past diatom productivity and community changes. Three distinct stratigraphic zones were recognized, resulting from a shift from marine to lacustrine conditions with a clear transition zone in between. The presence of open-water marine diatoms indicates a coastal zone seasonally free of sea ice between c. 2120–1500 cal yr bp. Subsequently, the lake became isolated from the ocean due to isostatic uplift. Freshwater conditions were established from c. 1120 cal yr bp onwards after which the proxies are considered highly sensitive to temperature changes. There is no evidence for a Medieval Climate Anomaly, Little Ice Age or twentieth century warming in our lake sediment record suggesting that studies that have imposed Northern Hemisphere climate anomalies onto Southern Hemisphere palaeoclimate records should be treated with caution.
In a constant effort to capture effectively more of the spectral range from the sun, multi-junction cells are being investigated. In this context, the marriage of thin film and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSC) PV technologies may be able to offer greater efficiency whilst maintaining the benefits of each individual technology. DSC devices offer advantages in the nature of both the metal oxide photo-electrode and dye absorption bands, which can be tuned to vary the optical performance of this part of a tandem device, while CdTe cells absorb the majority of light above their band-gap in only a few microns of thickness. The key challenge is to assess the optical losses with the goal of reaching a net gain in photocurrent and consequently increased conversion efficiency. This study reports on the influence of optical losses from various parts of the stacked tandem structure using UV-VIS spectrometry and EQE measurements. A net gain in photocurrent was achieved from a model developed for the DSC/CdTe mechanically stacked tandem structure.
We are investigating if the orbital geometry of exoplanets affects the activity of their host star by studying a sample of planetary systems known to contain massive planets on short period, highly elliptical orbits. While recent studies in the optical, UV, and X-Ray have shown enhanced chromospheric activity for stars hosting exoplanets with orbital semi-major axes less than 0.1 AU (Krejcova 2012, Shkolnik 2013, Kashyap 2008, Poppenhaeger 2010), it is not yet clear whether this activity is driven by magnetic or tidal interactions. We are probing the dependence of star-planet interactions (SPI) on the orbital geometry of the planetary systems by analyzing chromospheric lines (such as Ca II H & K) for variability phased with the exoplanet's orbit. We have obtained high resolution spectra of several systems with the McDonald 2.1-m Sandiford echelle spectrograph, ARCES on the APO 3.5-m, and for HIRES on Keck I from the Keck Observatory Archive. We describe our methodology and review how our results will use orbital geometry to deduce how planets may affect the activity of their host stars.
There is growing awareness that small-scale fisheries may have large impacts on threatened marine fauna. Bycatch of small cetaceans by the Peruvian small-scale driftnet fleet results in the deaths of thousands of animals annually. We sought to assess the effectiveness of acoustic alarms (pingers) for reducing the incidental capture of dolphins and porpoises by this fleet. Forty-three experimental trips (156 fishing sets) and 47 control trips (195 fishing sets) out of Salaverry Port, northern Peru, were observed from April 2009 to August 2011. Twenty-two percent of control sets captured small cetaceans (67 individuals) and 16% of experimental sets had captures of small cetaceans (33 individuals). The bycatch rate of experimental sets was 0.50 individuals km−2h−1, whereas for control sets the rate was 0.80 individuals km−2h−1. This 37% reduction in bycatch rate suggests that pingers may be effective in reducing the bycatch of small cetaceans in this fishery. Catch rates of the fishery's target shark and ray species were unchanged. Given the vast size of this fishery and its current levels of bycatch of small cetaceans (> 10,000 individuals annually), even the modest declines in bycatch we observed could result in reductions in mortality of hundreds or thousands of small cetaceans per annum. Challenges, including increased costs, to large-scale utilization of pingers have yet to be overcome. The harpooning of dolphins for use as bait will also need to be addressed for further reductions in dolphin and porpoise bycatch and mortality to be achievable.