196 research outputs found

    Ketogenic diet-induced weight loss is associated with an increase in vitamin d levels in obese adults

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    Vitamin D is an important micronutrient involved in several processes. Evidence has shown a strong association between hypovitaminosis D and cardio-metabolic diseases, including obesity. A ketogenic diet has proven to be very effective for weight loss, especially in reducing fat mass while preserving fat-free mass. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a ketogenic diet-induced weight loss on vitamin D status in a population of obese adults. We enrolled 56 obese outpatients, prescribed with either traditional standard hypocaloric Mediterranean diet (SHMD) or very low-calorie ketogenic diet (VLCKD). Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured by chemiluminescence. The mean value of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in the whole population at baseline was 17.8 +/- 5.6 ng/mL, without differences between groups. After 12 months of dietetic treatment, in VLCKD patients serum 25(OH)D concentrations increased from 18.4 +/- 5.9 to 29.3 +/- 6.8 ng/mL (p < 0.0001), vs 17.5 +/- 6.1 to 21.3 +/- 7.6 ng/mL (p = 0.067) in the SHMD group (for each kilogram of weight loss, 25(OH)D concentration increased 0.39 and 0.13 ng/mL in the VLCKD and in the SHMD groups, respectively). In the VLCKD group, the increase in serum 25(OH)D concentrations was strongly associated with body mass index, waist circumference, and fatty mass variation. In a multiple regression analysis, fatty mass was the strongest independent predictor of serum 25(OH)D concentration, explaining 15.6%, 3.3%, and 9.4% of its variation in the whole population, in SHMD, and VLCKD groups, respectively. We also observed a greater reduction of inflammation (evaluated by high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP) values) and a greater improvement in glucose homeostasis, confirmed by a reduction of HOMA values, in the VLCKD versus the SHMD group. Taken together, all these data suggest that a dietetic regimen, which implies a great reduction of fat mass, can improve vitamin D status in the obese

    Immunity, Inflammation and Heart Failure: Their Role on Cardiac Function and Iron Status

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    Aims: Heart failure is a clinical syndrome characterized by subclinical systemic inflammation and immune system activation associated with iron deficiency. No data exist on the various activations of immune-mediated mechanisms of inflammation in heart failure patients with reduced/preserved ejection fraction. We aimed to (1) investigate possible differences in inflammatory parameters and oxidative stress, and (2) detect a different iron status between groups. Materials and Methods: We enrolled 50 consecutive Caucasian outpatients with heart failure. All patients underwent echocardiographic measurements, laboratory determinations, evaluation of iron status and Toll-like receptors, and NF-κB expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines. All statistical calculations were made using SPSS for Mac version 21.0. Results: Patients with reduced ejection fraction showed significantly lower hemoglobin levels (12.3 ± 1.4 vs. 13.6 ± 1.4 g/dl), serum iron (61.4 ± 18.3 vs. 93.7 ± 33.7 mcg/dl), transferrin iron binding capacity (20.7 ± 8.4 vs. 31.1 ± 15.6 %), and e-GFR values (78.1 ± 36.1 vs. 118.1 ± 33.9 ml/min/1.73 m2) in comparison to patients with preserved ejection fraction, while unsaturated iron binding capacity (272.6 ± 74.9 vs. 221.7 ± 61.4 mcg/dl), hepcidin (4.61 ± 0.89 vs. 3.28 ± 0.69 ng/ml), and creatinine (1.34 ± 0.55 vs. 1.03 ± 0.25 mg/dl) were significantly higher in the same group. When considering inflammatory parameters, patients with reduced ejection fraction showed significantly higher expression of both Toll-like receptors-2 (1.90 ± 0.97 vs. 1.25 ± 0.76 MFI) and Toll-like receptors-4 (4.54 ± 1.32 vs. 3.38 ± 1.62 MFI), respectively, as well as a significantly higher activity of NF-κB (2.67 ± 0.60 vs. 1.07 ± 0.30). Furthermore, pro-inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-1, and interleukin-6, was significantly higher in patients with reduced ejection fraction, while the protective cytokine interleukin-10 was significantly lower in the same group. Correlational analyses demonstrated a significant and inverse relationship between left ventricular function and inflammatory parameters in patients with reduced ejection fraction, as well as a direct correlation between ferritin and inflammatory parameters. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate a different immune-mediated inflammatory burden in heart failure patients with reduced or preserved ejection fraction, as well as significant differences in iron status. These data contribute to further elucidate pathophysiologic mechanisms leading to cardiac dysfunction

    A Low Heat Inleak Cryogenic Station for Testing HTS Current Leads for the Large Hadron Collider

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    The LHC will be equipped with about 8000 superconducting magnets of all types. The total current to be transported into the cryogenic enclosure amounts to some 3360 kA. In order to reduce the heat load into the liquid helium, CERN intends to use High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) material for leads having current ratings up to 13 kA. The resistive part of the leads is cooled by forced flow of gaseous helium between 20 K and 300 K. The HTS part of the lead is immersed in a 4.5 K liquid helium bath, operates in self cooling conditions and is hydraulically separated from the resistive part. A cryogenic test station has been designed and built in order to assess the thermal and electrical performances of 13 kA prototype current leads. We report on the design, commissioning and operation of the cryogenic test station and illustrate its performance by typical test results of HTS current leads

    Operation, Testing and Long Term Behaviour of the LHC Test String Cryogenic System

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    Since the end of 1994 we have been operating a prototype half-cell of the machine lattice, accumulating more than 10,000 hours at superfluid helium temperatures and recovering from 150, mainly provoke d, magnet resistive transitions. The system has confirmed the validity of the basic design choices of the LHC cryogenic system. Furthermore, extensive testing on the response of the system to current ramp and discharge, and to magnet resistive transition, has provided sufficient information to enable a simplification of the cryogenic scheme that fulfils the LHC requirements. We report on the cryog enic operation, testing and long-term behaviour of the LHC Test String during the last 4 years of operation

    Ageing Assessment of XLPE LV Cables for Nuclear Applications through Physico-Chemical and Electrical Measurements

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    This paper investigates the changes in electrical and physico-chemical properties of low-voltage power cables for nuclear application when subjected to the combined effects of gamma radiation and temperature. Electrical response is evaluated by means of the dielectric spectroscopy, while the physico-chemical changes are analyzed at different structural scales through five complementary techniques (OIT measurements, FTIR spectroscopy, swelling measurements, DSC analysis and micro-indentation). The dielectric spectroscopy and the first two chemical techniques are shown to be appropriate for evaluating the development of radio-thermal ageing in low-voltage cables. Hence, the results reported in this article suggest the effectiveness of dielectric spectroscopy as a non-destructive technique for on-site cable diagnosis

    Breakdown at Medium Frequencies of Thermally-Aged Polyester Films

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    This article investigates the evolution of electrical properties of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with thermal aging. Electrical tests are performed within a wide range of frequencies in order to simulate the application conditions of insulating materials in inverter-fed machines. In particular, for the aging conditions considered, the real part of permittivity showed to be correlated with the concentration of the degradation species, investigated through FTIR. On the contrary, the dielectric breakdown at high frequencies showed to be independent from the corresponding values of the dissipation factor (tanδ). This behavior would imply that thermal runaway is not the principal phenomenon leading to the dielectric failure

    Endothelial dysfunction and C-reactive protein predict the incidence of heart failure in hypertensive patients

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    Aims: Endothelial dysfunction and heart failure are associated, but no prospective studies demonstrated that impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation predicts incident heart failure. We designed this study to test whether endothelial dysfunction is associated with incident heart failure in a group of hypertensives. Methods and results: We enrolled 735 White never-treated hypertensive outpatients free from heart failure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and previous cardiovascular events. Endothelium-dependent vasodilation was investigated by intra-arterial infusion of acetylcholine, and laboratory determinations were obtained by standard procedures. During the follow-up [median 114 months (range 26–206)], there were 208 new cases of heart failure (3.1 events/100 patient-years). Dividing the study population in progressors and non-progressors, we observed that progressors were older, showed a higher prevalence of being female, and had a higher baseline heart rate, glucose, insulin, Homeostatic Model Assessment (HOMA), creatinine, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) mean values, while estimated glomerular filtration rate and maximal acetylcholine-stimulated forearm blood flow were lower. In the multiple Cox regression analysis, female gender [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.454, 95% CI = 1.067–1.981], fasting glucose (HR = 1.186, 95% CI = 1.038–1.357), hs-CRP (HR = 1.162, 95% CI = 1.072–1.259), HOMA (HR = 1.124, 95% CI = 1.037–1.219), acetylcholine-stimulated forearm blood flow (HR = 0.779, 95% CI = 0.695–0.874), and estimated glomerular filtration rate (HR = 0.767, 95% CI = 0.693–0.849) maintained an independent association with the outcome. Successively, testing the interaction between forearm blood flow and hs-CRP, we observed that patients who have hs-CRP values above the median and forearm blood flow under the median show a higher risk of developing heart failure (HR = 7.699, 95% CI = 4.407–13.451). Conclusions: The present data demonstrate that an impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and hs-CRP predict development of incident heart failure in hypertensives

    Influence of Thermal Cycling on Cryogenic Thermometers

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    The stringent requirements on temperature control of the superconducting magnets for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), impose that the cryogenic temperature sensors meet compelling demands such as long-term stability, radiation hardness, readout accuracy better than 5 mK at 1.8 K and compatibility with industrial control equipment. This paper presents the results concerning long-term stability of resistance temperature sensors submitted to cryogenic thermal cycles. For this task a simple test facility has been designed, constructed and put into operation for cycling simultaneously 115 cryogenic thermometers between 300 K and 4.2 K. A thermal cycle is set to last 71/4 hours: 3 hours for either cooling down or warming up the sensors and 1 respectively 1/4 hour at steady temperature conditions at each end of the temperature cycle. A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) drives automatically this operation by reading 2 thermometers and actuating on 3 valves and 1 heater. The first thermal cycle was accomplished in a temperature calibration facility and all the thermometers were recalibrated again after 10, 25 and 50 cycles. Care is taken in order not to expose the sensing elements to moisture that can reputedly affect the performance of some of the sensors under investigation. The temperature sensors included Allen-Bradley and TVO carbon resistors, Cernox, thin-film germanium, thin-film and wire-wound Rh-Fe sensors

    Humans, but not their dogs, displace pumas from their kills: An experimental approach

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    Domestic dogs are the most abundant large carnivore on the planet, and their ubiquity has led to concern regarding the impacts of dogs as predators of and competitors with native wildlife. If native large carnivores perceive dogs as threatening, impacts could extend to the community level by altering interactions between large carnivores and their prey. Dog impacts may be further exacerbated if these human-associated predators are also perceived as indicators of risk from humans. However, observational approaches used to date have led to ambiguity regarding the effects of dog presence on wildlife. We experimentally quantified dog impacts on the behavior of a native large carnivore, presenting playbacks of dog vocalizations to pumas in central California. We show that the perceived presence of dogs has minimal impacts on puma behavior at their kill sites, and is no more likely to affect total feeding time at kills than non-threatening controls. We previously demonstrated that pumas exhibit strong responses to human cues, and here show that perceived risk from human presence far exceeds that from dogs. Our results suggest that protected areas management policies that restrict dogs but permit human access may in some cases be of limited value for large carnivores
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