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To explore if better diet quality scores as a measure of adherence to the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG) and the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) are associated with a lower incidence of hypertension and non-fatal CVD.
Prospective analysis of the 1946–1951 cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH). The Australian Recommended Foods Score (ARFS) was calculated as an indicator of adherence to the ADG; the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) measured adherence to the MedDiet. Outcomes included hypertension and non-fatal CVD. Generalised estimating equations estimated OR and 95 % CI across quartiles of diet quality scores.
1946–1951 cohort of the ALSWH (n 5324), without CVD, hypertension and diabetes at baseline (2001), with complete FFQ data.
There were 1342 new cases of hypertension and 629 new cases of non-fatal CVD over 15 years of follow-up. Multivariate analysis indicated that women reporting better adherence to the ARFS (≥38/74) had 15 % (95 % CI 1, 28 %; P = 0·05) lower odds of hypertension and 46 % (95 % CI 6, 66 %; P = 0·1) lower odds of non-fatal CVD. Women reporting better adherence to the MDS (≥8/17) had 27 % (95 % CI 15, 47 %; P = 0·0006) lower odds of hypertension and 30 % (95 % CI 2, 50 %; P = 0·03) lower odds of non-fatal CVD.
Better adherence to diet quality scores is associated with lower risk of hypertension and non-fatal CVD. These results support the need for updated evidenced based on the ADG as well as public health nutrition policies in Australia.
The consumption of nitrate-rich vegetables can acutely lower blood pressure and improve mediators shown to optimise vascular health. However, we do not yet understand the impact of long-term habitual dietary nitrate intake and its association with CVD. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to examine the relationship between habitual dietary nitrate intakes and risk of CHD in women from the Nurses’ Health Study. We prospectively followed 62 535 women who were free from diabetes, CVD and cancer at baseline in 1986. Information on diet was updated every 4 years with validated FFQ. The main outcome was CHD defined by the occurrence of non-fatal myocardial infarction or fatal CHD. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to estimate the relative risks (RR) and 95 % CI. During 26 years of follow-up, 2257 cases of CHD were identified. When comparing the highest quintile of nitrate intake with the lowest quintile, in aged-adjusted analysis there was a protective association for CHD (RR=0·77, 95 % CI 0·68, 0·97; P=0·0002) which dissipated after further adjustment for smoking, physical activity, BMI and race (RR=0·91; 95 % CI 0·80, 1·04; P=0·27). This magnitude of association was further attenuated once we adjusted for the Alternative Healthy Eating Index excluding vegetable and fruit consumption (RR=1·04, 95 % CI 0·91, 1·20; P=0·34). Dietary nitrate intake was not related to the risk of CHD after adjustment for other lifestyle and non-vegetable dietary factors in a large group of US women.
Sheep are seasonally-polyoestrous short-day breeders. Although the domesticated breeds have longer breeding seasons than the feral breeds, their maximum ovulation rates are only achieved over a relatively short period. The effect of these seasonal shifts in ovarian response on the success of ovum recovery for genetic improvement or breed conservation is unknown. The aim of the present study was to assess the efficiency of ovum recovery procedures for genetic conservation outwith the normal breeding season.
In vitro embryo production strategies have been considered as possible means to protect wild and endangered animal species through assisted breeding programmes. They also offer the possibility to preserve genetic material from such stock or to facilitate breeding in captivity. The relevant technologies, however, have been developed to meet the needs of oocytes and embryos of domesticated animals and their suitability for wild species remains largely unknown. This study investigated the ability of in vitro maturation procedures, designed for oocytes of domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus), to support the development of oocytes from wild boar (Sus scrofa)gilts.
Porcine embryo production in vitrois providing the impetus for the development of cryopreservation strategies aimed at welfare-friendly domestic and international marketing and movement of stock in a manner that minimises risks of disease transmission. In the context of disease risks, defined media, which avoid the use of serum and other biohazardous products, are likely to become essential in the production of embryos for international markets. In preparing for this situation, the present comparative study investigated in vitronuclear maturation of porcine oocytes in the presence of either foetal calf serum (FCS) or polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). In addition, the effect of restricting the maturation time to 33 rather than 44 hours was examined.
Background: The evidence regarding whether co-morbid obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is associated with treatment outcomes in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is mixed, with some research indicating that OCPD is associated with poorer response, and some showing that it is associated with improved response. Aims: We sought to explore the role of OCPD diagnosis and the personality domain of conscientiousness on treatment outcomes for exposure and response prevention for OCD. Method: The impact of co-morbid OCPD and conscientiousness on treatment outcomes was examined in a clinical sample of 46 participants with OCD. Results: OCPD diagnosis and scores on conscientiousness were not associated with poorer post-treatment OCD severity, as indexed by Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) scores, although the relative sample size of OCPD was small and thus generalizability is limited. Conclusion: This study found no evidence that OCPD or conscientiousness were associated with treatment outcomes for OCD. Further research with larger clinical samples is required.
Background: Perfectionism is strongly associated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Cognitive behavioural therapy for perfectionism (CBT-P) has been found to result in reductions in a range of symptoms in individuals with anxiety disorders, depression and eating disorders. Aim: To pilot-test the efficacy of group CBT for perfectionism in participants with OCD and elevated perfectionism. Method: Participants were randomized to receive immediate 8-week group CBT-P (n = 4) or an 8-week waitlist followed by CBT-P (n = 7). Results: Reliable reductions and a large effect size indicated that CBT-P was associated with improvements in perfectionism and OCD severity at post-test. However, these changes were not clinically significant and drop-out was high, resulting in a small final sample. Conclusions: CBT-P may be effective in reducing perfectionism and disorder-specific OCD symptoms. However, the high drop-out rate and lack of clinically significant findings suggest that further research needs to be conducted to determine the efficacy of CBT for perfectionism in OCD.
We have developed a sheep model to facilitate studies of the fetal programming effects of mismatched perinatal and postnatal nutrition. During the last trimester of gestation, twenty-one twin-bearing ewes were fed a normal diet fulfilling norms for energy and protein (NORM) or 50 % of a normal diet (LOW). From day 3 postpartum to 6 months (around puberty) of age, one twin lamb was fed a conventional (CONV) diet and the other a high-carbohydrate–high-fat (HCHF) diet, resulting in four groups of offspring: NORM-CONV; NORM-HCHF; LOW-CONV; LOW-HCHF. At 6 months of age, half of the lambs (all males and three females) were slaughtered for further examination and the other half (females only) were transferred to a moderate sheep diet until slaughtered at 24 months of age (adulthood). Maternal undernutrition during late gestation reduced the birth weight of LOW offspring (P< 0·05), and its long-term effects were increased adrenal size in male lambs and adult females (P< 0·05), increased neonatal appetite for fat-(P= 0·004) rather than carbohydrate-rich feeds (P< 0·001) and reduced deposition of subcutaneous fat in both sexes (P< 0·05). Furthermore, LOW-HCHF female lambs had markedly higher visceral:subcutaneous fat ratios compared with the other groups (P< 0·001). Postnatal overfeeding (HCHF) resulted in obesity (>30 % fat in soft tissue) and widespread ectopic lipid deposition. In conclusion, our sheep model revealed strong pre- and postnatal impacts on growth, food preferences and fat deposition patterns. The present findings support a role for subcutaneous adipose tissue in the development of visceral adiposity, which in humans is known to precede the development of the metabolic syndrome in human adults.
Herpes virus infections can cause cognitive impairment during and after acute encephalitis. Although chronic, latent/persistent infection is considered to be relatively benign, some studies have documented cognitive impairment in exposed persons that is untraceable to encephalitis. These studies were conducted among schizophrenia (SZ) patients or older community dwellers, among whom it is difficult to control for the effects of co-morbid illness and medications. To determine whether the associations can be generalized to other groups, we examined a large sample of younger control individuals, SZ patients and their non-psychotic relatives (n=1852).
Using multivariate models, cognitive performance was evaluated in relation to exposures to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and cytomegalovirus (CMV), controlling for familial and diagnostic status and sociodemographic variables, including occupation and educational status. Composite cognitive measures were derived from nine cognitive domains using principal components of heritability (PCH). Exposure was indexed by antibodies to viral antigens.
PCH1, the most heritable component of cognitive performance, declines with exposure to CMV or HSV-1 regardless of case/relative/control group status (p = 1.09 × 10−5 and 0.01 respectively), with stronger association with exposure to multiple herpes viruses (β = −0.25, p = 7.28 × 10−10). There were no significant interactions between exposure and group status.
Latent/persistent herpes virus infections can be associated with cognitive impairments regardless of other health status.
We describe the first cluster of cases of necrotizing fasciitis (NF) in this century in the United Kingdom (UK). Between 1 January and 30 June 1994 there were six cases (five confirmed, one probable) of Streptococcus pyogenes NF in west Gloucestershire, population 320000. Two cases died. The first two patients probably acquired their infections during the course of elective surgery performed in the same operating theatre, possibly from a nasopharyngeal carrier amongst the theatre staff. The remaining infections were community-acquired. Of 5 S. pyogenes isolates there were 2 M1 strains, 1 M3, 1 M5 and 1 M non-typeable strain. S. pyogenes NF had not been recorded in west Gloucestershire in the preceding 10 years and the incidence of S. pyogenes bacteraemia in England and Wales had not risen in the past 5 years.
The two presumably theatre-acquired infections raised several issues. The need for detailed bacteriological investigation of all cases of post-surgical NF was confirmed. Clusters of S. pyogenes infection following surgery should be managed by closure of the operating theatre until all staff have been screened for carriage. Closure of an operating theatre and screening of staff following a sporadic case is probably not justified because of the infrequency of surgical cross-infection with S. pyogenes. Regular, routine screening of theatre staff is neither practical nor necessary.
The post-fertilisation developmental capacity of bovine oocytes recovered by ultrasound guided transvaginal follicular aspiration (ovum pick-up, OPU) is influenced by diet-induced changes in hormone and metabolite concentrations. The objectives of this experiment were first to determine whether post-prandial changes in hormone concentrations, induced by changing the frequency of feeding, influenced oocyte quality and second whether changes in plasma glucagon concentration were associated with oocyte quality. Using a 2 × 2 factorial design, Holstein heifers (six per treatment) were fed either fibre- or starch-based diets containing either 189 or 478 g starch/kg dry matter. The diets were offered in either two or four equal meals per day and supplied twice the maintenance energy requirement. Blood samples were obtained both at weekly intervals (three samples per heifer, collected before feeding) during the experiment and throughout an entire 24-h period (15 or 17 samples per heifer for twice or four times daily-fed heifers, respectively). Each heifer underwent six sessions of OPU (twice weekly) beginning 25 days after introduction of the diets. Oocyte quality was assessed by development to the blastocyst stage in synthetic oviductal fluid following in vitro fertilisation. Mean weekly plasma insulin concentrations did not differ between diets, but plasma glucagon concentrations were greatest when heifers were fed the starch-based diet twice daily compared with the other diets. When heifers were offered four meals per day, there were no meal-related changes in hormone concentrations. However, when heifers were offered two meals per day, plasma insulin concentration increased after feeding the starch-based, but not the fibre-based diet. Plasma glucagon concentration increased after meals when heifers were fed twice daily and the increase was substantially greater when the starch-based diet was fed. Treatments did not influence (overall mean with mean ± s.e.) ovarian follicle size distribution or oocyte recovery by OPU (6.2 ± 0.4 per heifer), the proportion of oocytes that cleaved following insemination (0.57 ± 0.030) or blastocyst yield (0.27 ± 0.027 of oocytes cleaved). In conclusion, by feeding diets differing in carbohydrate source at different frequencies of feeding, meal-related changes in plasma hormone profiles were altered significantly, but oocyte quality was not affected. Therefore effects of diet on oocyte quality appear not to be mediated by meal-related fluctuations in hormone concentrations.
Conventional in vitro embryo production and cryopreservation strategies applicable to livestock could benefit from further enhancement of biosecurity features. In particular, there is scope for a new generation of sequential culture media that avoid ill-defined constituents but closely match changing embryo needs. Likewise, complementary cryopreservation protocols using sealed containers would be beneficial, if they emulate or surpass existing embryo storage and subsequent survival standards. This study compared blastocyst yields from zygotes incubated in a conventional monoculture medium or in an alternative defined 2-stage sequential media system, with or without Trolox, a water-soluble antioxidant, and subsequently investigated blastocyst survival following vitrification in sealed CryoTips.
Two different cannulation procedures (simple ileal ‘T’ cannula v. The post valve ‘T’ caecal cannula (PVTC)) and two indigestible markers (TiO2 v. Cr2O3) were studied with six male littermate pigs fitted with PVTC or simple ileal ‘T’ cannulae. Six diets were used, of which two were based on wheat and wheat bran and the other four were based on two barleys of different bushel weight without and with exogenous enzymes (ß-glucanase/xylanase). Proportional TiO2 and Cr2O3 recoveries in faeces were less than 1·00, the mean values for the six diets being 0·858 for TiO2 and 0·811 for Cr2O3. With both markers, recovery in faeces was lowest for the most digestible wheat-based diet (A). The ileal apparent digestibility (IAD) coefficients of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), energy and amino acids measured with Cr2O3 were significantly (P < 0·001) lower than those measured with TiO2. There was no difference in overall apparent digestibility of DM, CP and energy measured with simple ileal ‘T’ cannula and PVTC techniques. However, IAD of DM, energy and CP measured with the PVTC method were significantly higher than those measured with the simple ileal ‘T’ cannula method. The data also showed that the standard errors with the simple ileal ‘T’ cannula method were greater than when using the PVTC method. Diet significantly affected ileal and overall digestibility of nutrients (P < 0·001) with values being highest for diet A and least for the wheat bran-based diet (B). Overall digestibility (OD) of DM and energy were higher for the higher bushel weight barley-based diet (C) than for the normal bushel weight barley-based diet (E). Enzyme inclusion improved OD for both barley diets and ileal digestibility of energy (0·060) and CP (0·057) for the normal bushel weight barley.
The effect of a dietary supplement of calcium soaps of fatty acids on luteal steroidogenic activity was studied in sheep. Mature 3- to 5-year-old North Country Cheviot ewes were given either a pelleted control diet (C; grass, beet pulp, barley; no. = 15) providing daily, 29⋅8 g nitrogen and 13⋅7 MJ of metabolizable energy (ME) or the same diet with 5% (w/w) of the ingredients replaced with protected lipid (C + CaFA; calcium soaps of fatty acids, Megalac, Volac Etd; no. = 15) for 21 days. The latter diet provided daily 30⋅2 g nitrogen and 15⋅9 MJ ME. At the end of the feeding period the ewes were slaughtered and blood samples and ovaries were collected from individual animals. The numbers of large- (≤ 4 mm diameter) and small- to medium-sized (1 to 3 mm diameter) follicles were recorded and follicular fluids from both size groups were stored for later analyses following centrifugation. Each mature corpus luteum (CL) was isolated from its ovary and sliced to provide a pair of ca. 0⋅3 mm diameter sections. These sections (mean = 163 (s.e.12) mg) were cultured separately (4 h; 39°C; 5% CO2) in 3 ml Medium 199 in the absence or presence of 100 μIU LH. Dietary supplementation of calcium soaps of fatty acids increased progesterone concentrations in the plasma (P < 0⋅05) and follicular fluid (P < 0⋅01 and P < 0⋅05 for large and small to medium follicles, respectively); trigylcerides in plasma (P < 0⋅05); total cholesterol in plasma (P < 0⋅001) and follicular fluid (P < 0⋅001); HDL-cholesterol in plasma (P < 0⋅001) and follicular fluid (P < 0⋅01) and LDL-cholesterol in plasma (P < 0⋅01). Progesterone released by luteal tissue into the culture medium in vitro from ewes given protected lipid was higher than that from tissue of control ewes (P < 0⋅05) and supplementary LH in vitro stimulated progesterone secretion by luteal tissues from both groups (P < 0⋅05). In conclusion, a dietary supplement of calcium soaps of fatty acids altered the intra-follicular environment surrounding the oocyte and follicular cells and enhanced luteal function in sheep.
The emphasis in nutritional studies on foetal growth has now moved from the last trimester of pregnancy, when most of the increase in foetal size takes place, to earlier stages of pregnancy that coincide with foetal organogenesis and tissue hyperplasia. At these stages absolute nutrient requirements for foetal growth are small but foetal metabolic activity and specific growth rate are high. It is thus a time when nutrient supply interacts with maternal factors such as size, body condition and degree of maturity to influence placental growth and set the subsequent pattern of nutrient partitioning between the gravid uterus and maternal body.
Throughout pregnancy the maternal diet controls foetal growth both directly, by supplying essential nutrients and indirectly, by altering the expression of the maternal and foetal endocrine mechanisms that regulate the uptake and utilization of these nutrients by the conceptus. Nutritional effects on the endocrine environment of the embryo during the early stages of cell division can alter the subsequent foetal growth trajectory and size at birth; so too can current in vitro systems for oocyte maturation and embryo culture up to the blastocyst stage. There is increasing evidence that subtle alterations in nutrient supply during critical periods of embryonic and foetal life can impart a legacy of growth and developmental changes that affect neonatal survival and adult performance. Identifying the specific nutrients that programme these effects and understanding their mode of action should provide new management strategies for ensuring that nutritional regimens from oocyte to newborn are such that they maximize neonatal viability and enable animals to express their true genetic potential for production.