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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.
We evaluated the performance of three serological tests – an immunoglobulin G indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA), a Rose Bengal test and a slow agglutination test (SAT) – for the diagnosis of bovine brucellosis in Bangladesh. Cattle sera (n = 1360) sourced from Mymensingh district (MD) and a Government owned dairy farm (GF) were tested in parallel. We used a Bayesian latent class model that adjusted for the conditional dependence among the three tests and assumed constant diagnostic accuracy of the three tests in both populations. The sensitivity and specificity of the three tests varied from 84.6% to 93.7%, respectively. The true prevalences of bovine brucellosis in MD and the GF were 0.6% and 20.4%, respectively. Parallel interpretation of iELISA and SAT yielded the highest negative predictive values: 99.9% in MD and 99.6% in the GF; whereas serial interpretation of both iELISA and SAT produced the highest positive predictive value (PPV): 99.9% in the GF and also high PPV (98.9%) in MD. We recommend the use of both iELISA and SAT together and serial interpretation for culling and parallel interpretation for import decisions. Removal of brucellosis positive cattle will contribute to the control of brucellosis as a public health risk in Bangladesh.
Inadequate nutrient intakes put children at risk for impaired growth and development. We described diet, usual intakes of energy and macro- and micronutrients and prevalence of nutrient intake adequacies among 4–8-year-old Zambian children. Children not yet in school and living in Mkushi District, Central Province, Zambia were enrolled into an efficacy trial of pro-vitamin A biofortified maize. Children in the non-intervened arm were included in this analysis (n 202). Dietary intake data were collected by tablet-based 24-h recall on a monthly basis over the 6-month trial. Observed nutrient intakes were derived from reported food quantities, standard recipes and food composition tables. Usual nutrient intake distributions were modelled based on observed intakes. Prevalence of inadequacy was estimated by comparing the usual nutrient intake distribution to the nutrient requirement distribution. Frequency and quantity of consumption of commonly reported foods were described and key sources of energy and nutrients were identified. Median usual energy intake was 6422 kJ/d (1535 kcal/d). Most childrens’ macronutrient intakes fell within recommended ranges (74–98 %). Estimated prevalences of inadequate intakes of Fe, folate, vitamin B12 and Ca were 25, 57, 76 and >99 %, respectively. Estimated prevalences of inadequacy for other micronutrients were low (0·1–2·2 %). Commonly consumed foods included maize, vegetable oil, tomatoes, rape leaves and small fish (>0·6 servings/d), whereas meat, eggs or dairy were rarely eaten (<0·2 servings/d). These findings suggest that the heavily plant-based diet of rural Zambian children provides inadequate Ca, folate, vitamin B12 and Fe to meet recommended nutrient intakes.
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.
In many regions of the world domestic dogs are free roaming and live in close relationship with humans. These free-roaming domestic dogs (FRDD) can cause public health problems such as dog bites and transmission of infectious diseases. To effectively control diseases transmitted by FRDD, knowledge on the dogs’ behaviour is required. To identify predictors of home range (HR) size, we collected global positioning system data from 135 FRDD living in eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Northern Australia. The core HR size ranged from 0·17 to 2·33 ha and the extended HR size from 0·86 to 40·46 ha. Using a linear mixed effect model with a Restricted Maximum Likelihood approach, the dog's sex and reproductive status were identified as predictors of roaming. Non-castrated males had the largest HRs, followed by neutered females. Also, FRDDs were found to roam further during the pre- than the post-wet season. These findings have implications for infectious disease spread. Identification of risk groups for disease spread within a population allows for more targeted disease response and surveillance. Further investigation of predictors of roaming in other FRDD populations worldwide would increase the external validity of such studies.
To characterize meal patterns across ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study.
Cross-sectional study utilizing dietary data collected through a standardized 24 h diet recall during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined intake occasions across a 24 h period were assessed during the interview. In the present descriptive report, meal patterns were analysed in terms of daily number of intake occasions, the proportion reporting each intake occasion and the energy contributions from each intake occasion.
Twenty-seven centres across ten European countries.
Women (64 %) and men (36 %) aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
Pronounced differences in meal patterns emerged both across centres within the same country and across different countries, with a trend for fewer intake occasions per day in Mediterranean countries compared with central and northern Europe. Differences were also found for daily energy intake provided by lunch, with 38–43 % for women and 41–45 % for men within Mediterranean countries compared with 16–27 % for women and 20–26 % for men in central and northern European countries. Likewise, a south–north gradient was found for daily energy intake from snacks, with 13–20 % (women) and 10–17 % (men) in Mediterranean countries compared with 24–34 % (women) and 23–35 % (men) in central/northern Europe.
We found distinct differences in meal patterns with marked diversity for intake frequency and lunch and snack consumption between Mediterranean and central/northern European countries. Monitoring of meal patterns across various cultures and populations could provide critical context to the research efforts to characterize relationships between dietary intake and health.
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.
We have mapped cold atomic gas in 21cm line H i self-absorption (HISA) at arcminute resolution over more than 90% of the Milky Way's disk. To probe the formation of H2 clouds, we have compared our HISA distribution with CO J = 1-0 line emission. Few HISA features in the outer Galaxy have CO at the same position and velocity, while most inner-Galaxy HISA has overlapping CO. But many apparent inner-Galaxy HISA-CO associations can be explained as chance superpositions, so most inner-Galaxy HISA may also be CO-free. Since standard equilibrium cloud models cannot explain the very cold H i in many HISA features without molecules being present, these clouds may instead have significant CO-dark H2.
This study aims to describe in detail the temporal dynamics of E. coli O157 shedding and risk factors for shedding in a grass-fed beef herd. During a 9-month period, 23 beef cows were sampled twice a week (58 sampling points) and E. coli O157 was enumerated from faecal samples. Isolates were screened by PCR for presence of rfbE, stx1 and stx2. The prevalence per sampling day ranged from 0% to 57%. This study demonstrates that many members of the herd were concurrently shedding E. coli O157. Occurrence of rainfall (P < 0·01), feeding silage (P < 0·01) and lactating (P < 0·01) were found to be predictors of shedding. Moving cattle to a new paddock had a negative effect on shedding. This approach, based on short-interval sampling, confirms the known variability of shedding within a herd and highlights that high shedding events are rare.
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.
Formal grammars such as L-systems have long been used to describe plant growth dynamics. In this article, they are used for a new purpose. The aim is to build a symbolic method that enables the computation of the stochastic distribution associated with the number of complex structures in plants whose organogenesis is driven by a multitype branching process. For that purpose, a new combinatorial framework is set in which plant structure is coded by a Dyck word. Moreover, organogenesis is represented by stochastic F0L-systems. In doing so, the problem is equivalent to determining the distribution of patterns in random words generated by a stochastic F0L-system. This method finds interesting applications in the parameter identification of stochastic models of plant development.
Altered levels of selenium and copper have been linked with altered cardiovascular disease risk factors including changes in blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels. However, it is unclear whether this can be observed prenatally. This cross-sectional study includes 274 singleton births from 2004 to 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland. We measured umbilical cord serum selenium and copper using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We evaluated exposure levels vis-à-vis umbilical cord serum triglyceride and total cholesterol concentrations in multivariable regression models adjusted for gestational age, birth weight, maternal age, race, parity, smoking, prepregnancy body mass index, n-3 fatty acids and methyl mercury. The percent difference in triglycerides comparing those in the highest v. lowest quartile of selenium was 22.3% (95% confidence interval (CI): 7.1, 39.7). For copper this was 43.8% (95% CI: 25.9, 64.3). In multivariable models including both copper and selenium as covariates, copper, but not selenium, maintained a statistically significant association with increased triglycerides (percent difference: 40.7%, 95% CI: 22.1, 62.1). There was limited evidence of a relationship of increasing selenium with increasing total cholesterol. Our findings provide evidence that higher serum copper levels are associated with higher serum triglycerides in newborns, but should be confirmed in larger studies.
ZnO nanowire (NW) arrays were examined with Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) in cross-section after preparation by Focused Ion Beam (FIB) milling. This technique revealed that ZnO nanowires grown using a Au catalyzed vapor technique typically have Au particles at the NW tips, and also randomly dispersed across the base crystal growth that joins adjacent NWs. It is shown the adjacent NWs and the combined base growth is one crystal structure which can be used as a back electrical contact making fabrication of vertical array devices possible. However, the base growth displays detrimental features such as embedded Au particles and lattice defects which can affect the electrical output through depletion regions and scattering centers. In an effort to overcome these problems we investigate a growth method that is nucleated through a minor alteration of the a-plane sapphire surface roughness via a weak chemical etch. Observations of various stages of the growth show the growth nucleates as separate nanoislands that grow in c-plane alignment with Sapphire (1-210), and as growth continues these islands meet and form a polycrystalline film. Further growth initiates nanowire growth and the formation of a single crystal base layer and NW structure that can cover several square millimeter’s. This allows high quality arrays that are relatively free from defects to be formed without any metals contamination and ready for further device processing.
We report on mid-infrared (600 – 4000 cm-1), refection-type optical-Hall effect measurements on epitaxial graphene grown on C-face silicon carbide and present Landau-level transition features detected at 1.5 K as a function of magnetic field up to 8 Tesla. The Landau-level transitions are detected in reflection configuration at oblique incidence for wavenumbers below, across and above the silicon carbide reststrahlen range. Small Landau-level transition features are enhanced across the silicon carbide reststrahlen range due to surface-guided wave coupling with the electronic Landau-level transitions in the graphene layer. We analyze the spectral and magnetic-field dependencies of the coupled resonances, and compare our findings with previously reported Landau-level transitions measured in transmission configuration [4,5,6]. Additional features resemble transitions previously assigned to bilayer inclusion , as well as graphite . We discuss a model description to account for the electromagnetic polarizability of the graphene layers, and which is sufficient for quantitative model calculation of the optical-Hall effect data.
We present preliminary results from two parallel programs to search for new substellar companions to nearby, young M-stars and to characterize the atmospheres of known planetary mass and temperature substellar companions. For the M-star survey, we are analyzing high angular resolution archival data on systems within 15pc, complementing a subset with well-determined young ages based on measurements of several age indicators. The results include stellar and substellar companion candidates, which we are currently pursuing with follow-up second epoch images. The characterization component of the project involves using LBT LMIRCam and MMT ARIES direct imaging and spectroscopy data to investigate the atmospheres of known young substellar companions with masses overlapping the planetary regime. These atmospheric studies will represent an analogous comparison to the atmospheres of young imaged planets, and provide a means to fundamentally test evolutionary models, enhancing our understanding of the overall substellar population.