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The micro-organisms which inhabit the human gut (i.e. the intestinal microbiota) influence numerous human biochemical pathways and physiological functions. The present review focuses on two questions, ‘Are intestinal microbiota effects measurable and meaningful?’ and ‘What research methods and variables are influenced by intestinal microbiota effects?’. These questions are considered with respect to doubly labelled water measurements of energy expenditure, heat balance calculations and models, measurements of RMR via indirect calorimetry, and diet-induced energy expenditure. Several lines of evidence suggest that the intestinal microbiota introduces measurement variability and measurement errors which have been overlooked in research studies involving nutrition, bioenergetics, physiology and temperature regulation. Therefore, we recommend that present conceptual models and research techniques be updated via future experiments, to account for the metabolic processes and regulatory influences of the intestinal microbiota.
Little is known about the impact of habitual fluid intake on physiology. Specifically, biomarkers of hydration status and body water regulation have not been adequately explored in adults who consume different fluid volumes in everyday conditions, without prolonged exercise or environmental exposure. The purpose of the present study was to compare adults with habitually different fluid intakes with respect to biomarkers implicated in the assessment of hydration status, the regulation of total body water and the risk of kidney pathologies. In the present cross-sectional study, seventy-one adults (thirty-two men, thirty-nine women, age 25–40 years) were classified according to daily fluid intake: thirty-nine low drinkers (LD; ≤ 1·2 litres/d) and thirty-two high drinkers (HD; 2–4 litres/d). During four consecutive days, urinary parameters (first morning urine (FMU) on day 1 and subsequent 24 h urine (24hU) collections), blood parameters, and food and beverage intake were assessed. ANOVA and non-parametric comparisons revealed significant differences between the LD and HD groups in 24hU volume (1·0 (se 0·1) v. 2·4 (se 0·1) litres), specific gravity (median 1·023 v. 1·010), osmolality (767 (se 27) v. 371 (se 33) mOsm/kg) and colour (3·1 (se 0·2) v. 1·8 (se 0·2)). Similarly, in the FMU, the LD group produced a smaller amount of more concentrated urine. Plasma cortisol, creatinine and arginine vasopressin concentrations were significantly higher among the LD. Plasma osmolality was similar between the groups, suggesting physiological adaptations to preserve plasma osmolality despite low fluid intake. The long-term impact of adaptations to preserve plasma osmolality must be examined, particularly in the context of renal health.
The present study assessed the effects of mild dehydration on cognitive performance and mood of young males. A total of twenty-six men (age 20·0 (sd 0·3) years) participated in three randomised, single-blind, repeated-measures trials: exercise-induced dehydration plus a diuretic (DD; 40 mg furosemide); exercise-induced dehydration plus placebo containing no diuretic (DN); exercise while maintaining euhydration plus placebo (EU; control condition). Each trial included three 40 min treadmill walks at 5·6 km/h, 5 % grade in a 27·7°C environment. A comprehensive computerised six-task cognitive test battery, the profile of mood states questionnaire and the symptom questionnaire (headache, concentration and task difficulty) were administered during each trial. Paired t tests compared the DD and DN trials resulting in >1 % body mass loss (mean 1·59 (sd 0·42) %) with the volunteer's EU trial (0·01 (sd 0·03) %). Dehydration degraded specific aspects of cognitive performance: errors increased on visual vigilance (P = 0·048) and visual working memory response latency slowed (P = 0·021). Fatigue and tension/anxiety increased due to dehydration at rest (P = 0·040 and 0·029) and fatigue during exercise (P = 0·026). Plasma osmolality increased due to dehydration (P < 0·001) but resting gastrointestinal temperature was not altered (P = 0·238). In conclusion, mild dehydration without hyperthermia in men induced adverse changes in vigilance and working memory, and increased tension/anxiety and fatigue.
Thin films of composition (Ba,Sr)yTiO2+y with 0.43 ≤ y ≤; 1.64, were deposited by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition on (100) MgO substrates at various growth conditions. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy studies showed that the films were composed of epitaxial Ba1–xSrxTiO3 (x ≈0.06) grains and an amorphous phase. The orientation of the tetragonal Ba1–xSrxTiO3 grains (pure a axis, pure c axis, or a mix of the two) was found to be strongly dependent upon film composition. This composition dependence is explained for the majority of the Ti-rich films by an analysis of average strains in the two-phase films, assuming a compressive strain of ≈1% in the amorphous phase.
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