Now showing items 41-60 of 6927

    • Recent advances in repurposing disulfiram and disulfiram derivatives as copper-dependent anticancer agents

      Kannappan, Vinodh; Ali, Misha; Small, Benjamin; Rajendran, Gowtham; Elzhenni, Salena; Taj, Hamza; Wang, Weiguang; Dou, Q. Ping; Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Frontiers Media, 2021-09-17)
      Copper (Cu) plays a pivotal role in cancer progression by acting as a co-factor that regulates the activity of many enzymes and structural proteins in cancer cells. Therefore, Cu-based complexes have been investigated as novel anticancer metallodrugs and are considered as a complementary strategy for currently used platinum agents with undesirable general toxicity. Due to the high failure rate and increased cost of new drugs, there is a global drive towards the repositioning of known drugs for cancer treatment in recent years. Disulfiram (DSF) is a first-line antialcoholism drug used in clinics for more than 65 yr. In combination with Cu, it has shown great potential as an anticancer drug by targeting a wide range of cancers. The reaction between DSF and Cu ions forms a copper diethyldithiocarbamate complex (Cu(DDC)2 also known as CuET) which is the active, potent anticancer ingredient through inhibition of NF-κB and ubiquitin-proteasome system as well as alteration of the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Importantly, DSF/Cu inhibits several molecular targets related to drug resistance, stemness, angiogenesis and metastasis and is thus considered as a novel strategy for overcoming tumour recurrence and relapse in patients. Despite its excellent anticancer efficacy, DSF has proven unsuccessful in several cancer clinical trials. This is likely due to the poor stability, rapid metabolism and/or short plasma half-life of the currently used oral version of DSF and the inability to form Cu(DDC)2 at relevant concentrations in tumour tissues. Here, we summarize the scientific rationale, molecular targets, and mechanisms of action of DSF/Cu in cancer cells and the outcomes of oral DSF ± Cu in cancer clinical trials. We will focus on the novel insights on harnessing the immune system and hypoxic microenvironment using DSF/Cu complex and discuss the emerging delivery strategies that can overcome the shortcomings of DSF-based anticancer therapies and provide opportunities for translation of DSF/Cu or its Cu(DDC)2 complex into cancer therapeutics.
    • Multiple and complex needs in the West Midlands: Research briefing paper

      Hopley, Rachel; Caulfield, Laura (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-01)
    • Opening the ‘black box’: Organisational adaptation and resistance to institutional isomorphism in a prime-led employment services programme

      Rees, James; Taylor, Rebecca; Damm, Chris (SAGE, 2022-08-17)
      The UK’s Work Programme (2012-18) was a major employment services programme, inspired by new public management principles. A relatively small number of directly commissioned ‘prime providers’ were paid by the central Government largely according to the number of job-outcomes their service users achieved but were given a ‘black box’ to design their own services and subcontracting arrangements. Drawing on an empirical study of subcontracted service providers, and focusing on those from the third sector, the paper shows that within this prime-led commissioning model, subcontractors came under sustained pressure to adjust their operational practices. We draw on institutional isomorphism to show that isomorphic pressures were experienced because of both the design and implementation of the Work Programme. Although there were strong pressures pushing towards convergence, however, the different starting positions of subcontractors meant that these changes were not entirely deterministic and some attempts at resistance were observed amongst third sector providers. Their diverse institutional contexts, including positioning and wider interest in the field, shaped how they navigated and responded to isomorphic pressures, ultimately mitigating homogenisation. The paper contributes a more sophisticated understanding of the ways in which provider organisations experience, interpret and respond to structural pressures within an evolving quasi-market. The findings have implications for public service reform programmes featuring quasi-markets that are intended to encourage innovation and a diversity of provision, particularly when promoting mission-led, third sector organisations (TSOs).
    • Phenotypic variation in Xenopus laevis tadpoles from contrasting climatic regimes is the result of adaptation and plasticity

      Kruger, Natasha; Secondi, Jean; du Preez, Louis; Herrel, Anthony; Measey, John (Springer, 2022-08-22)
      Phenotypic variations between populations often correlate with climatic variables. Determining the presence of phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation of a species to different environments over a large spatial scale can provide insight on the persistence of a species across its range. Amphibians, and in particular their larvae, are good models for studies of phenotypic variation as they are especially sensitive to their immediate environment. Few studies have attempted to determine the mechanisms that drive phenotypic variation between populations of a single amphibian species over a large spatial scale especially across contrasting climatic regimes. The African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis, occurs in two regions with contrasting rainfall regimes in southern Africa. We hypothesised that the phenotypic variation of life-history traits of X. laevis tadpoles emerges from a combination of plastic and genetic responses. We predicted that plasticity would allow the development of tadpoles from both regions in each environment. We also predicted that local adaptation of larval traits would drive the differentiation of reaction norms between populations and lower survival in tadpoles reared away from their home environment. We measured growth, time to metamorphosis, and survival in a reciprocal transplant experiment using outdoor mesocosms. Supporting our prediction, we found that the measured variation of all traits was explained by both adaptation and plasticity. However, the reaction norms differed between populations suggesting adaptive and asymmetric plasticity. All tadpoles experienced lower survival when translocated, but only translocated tadpoles from the winter rainfall region matched survival of local tadpoles. This has implications for the dynamics of translocated X. laevis into novel environments, especially from the winter rainfall region. Our discovery of their asymmetric capacity to overcome novel environmental conditions by phenotypic plasticity alone provides insight into their invasion success.
    • “I don’t think education is the answer”: a corpus-assisted ecolinguistic analysis of plastics discourses in the UK

      Franklin, Emma; Gavins, Joanna; Mehl, Seth (De Gruyter Mouton, 2022-08-15)
      Ecosystems around the world are becoming engulfed in single-use plastics, the majority of which come from plastic packaging. Reusable plastic packaging systems have been proposed in response to this plastic waste crisis, but uptake of such systems in the UK is still very low. This article draws on a thematic corpus of 5.6 million words of UK English around plastics, packaging, reuse, and recycling to examine consumer attitudes towards plastic (re)use. Utilizing methods and insights from ecolinguistics, corpus linguistics, and cognitive linguistics, this article assesses to what degree consumer language differs from that of public-facing bodies such as supermarkets and government entities. A predefined ecosophy, prioritizing protection, rights, systems thinking, and fairness, is used to not only critically evaluate narratives in plastics discourse but also to recommend strategies for more effective and ecologically beneficial communications around plastics and reuse. This article recommends the adoption of ecosophy in multidisciplinary project teams, and argues that ecosophies are conducive to transparent and reproducible discourse analysis. The analysis also suggests that in order to make meaningful change in packaging reuse behaviors, it is highly likely that deeply ingrained cultural stories around power, rights, and responsibilities will need to be directly challenged.
    • Structural integrity evaluation of cyclic loading glass fibre reinforced polymer composite by acoustic emission and heat transfer

      Loganathan, Thozhuvur Govindaraman; Kalidas, Vinoth Kumar; Bari, Dr. Klaudio; Chadalavala, Hemadri; Venkatachalam, Gopalan (SAGE, 2022-08-19)
      GFRP composites experience structural changes like matrix cracking, debonding, delamination, and fibre failure on static and dynamic loading. In this work, composites with varying fibre orientation interaction angle and volume fractions are prepared and exposed to cyclic load. The cyclic load (R = 0) is a constant amplitude flexural load imposed on the cantilever beam specimen with varying frequencies (2.6, 4.6, 8.6 Hz) and cycles (up to 44 × 103). The structural integrity of the specimens on loading is examined in terms of Flexural, modulus, Acoustic Emission (AE) and heat transfer changes. The drop in flexural modulus is minimum in higher Vf = 32% laminate (A1 = 7.01%, B1 = 1.86%) than the lower Vf = 25% (A2 = 19.86%, B2 = 8.6%). The observed AE peak frequency for the induced damages is in the range of 50–100, 110–230, 245–380 kHz. The drop-in fibre volume fraction has a significant role in laminate with lower fibre interaction (Type A) to offer minimum variation (5.25%) in AE activity count which is the opposite in laminates with higher fibre interaction angle (31.75%). The step heat thermography exhibits minimum temperature difference (∆T) for moderate loading frequency and in a few cases, ∆T drops well below the virgin, insisting on in situ thermography to study the dynamic changes in composites. A fibre dominant behaviour can be observed with minimum variation in AE activity in a lower fibre interaction angle. Thus, the fibre orientation angle and fibre volume fraction have a significant role in the retention of the structural integrity of composites in dynamic loading.
    • An evaluation of Changing Lives’ Iris project - supporting women with experience of sex work, survival sex or sexual exploitation

      Hopley, Rachel; Sojka, Bozena; Caulfield, Laura (Institute for Community Research and Development, University of Wolverhampton, 2021-05)
    • The USMLE® Step 2 clinical skills patient note corpus

      Yaneva, Victoria; Mee, Janet; Ha, Le An; Harik, Polina; Jodoin, Michael; Mechaber, Alex (Association for Computational Linguistics, 2022-07-31)
      This paper presents a corpus of 43,985 clinical patient notes (PNs) written by 35,156 examinees during the high-stakes USMLE® Step 2 Clinical Skills examination. In this exam, examinees interact with standardized patients - people trained to portray simulated scenarios called clinical cases. For each encounter, an examinee writes a PN, which is then scored by physician raters using a rubric of clinical concepts, expressions of which should be present in the PN. The corpus features PNs from 10 clinical cases, as well as the clinical concepts from the case rubrics. A subset of 2,840 PNs were annotated by 10 physician experts such that all 143 concepts from the case rubrics (e.g., shortness of breath) were mapped to 34,660 PN phrases (e.g., dyspnea, difficulty breathing). The corpus is available via a data sharing agreement with NBME and can be requested at https://www.nbme.org/services/data-sharing.
    • The relevance and impact of business schools: In search of a holistic view

      Redgrave, Samuel; Grinevich, Vadim; Chao, Dorrie (Wiley, 2022-08-19)
      The degree to which business schools are relevant and impactful for society has been disputed. Critics that engage in the so-called ‘relevance problem’ have argued that business schools are preoccupied with academic rigour at the expense of practical relevance, resulting in a lack of societal impact. This systematic literature review synthesizes the fragmented body of knowledge pertaining to the relevance and impact of business schools. Appreciating the contributions of both research and education, this review offers a holistic view that acknowledges the multidimensional nature of business schools. Based on an analysis of 266 journal articles, we present the four main literature streams in this domain. We find limited evidence of cross-fertilisation between discussions of research and education. However, by acknowledging the contribution of applying a multidimensional lens to the study of business schools, we develop a holistic thematic framework that provides theoretical directions for the future. Using this, we demonstrate four avenues for advancing the business school literature. First, we emphasise the potential of an institutional logics perspective to viewing business schools. Second, we offer a novel proposal for understanding the bridge between research and education. Third, we emphasise the application of a value co-creation theoretical lens when considering how business schools engage with stakeholders in research and education. Finally, we propose an all-encompassing stakeholder-centric definition of relevant and impactful knowledge and advocate for this inclusive definition to conceptually bridge the fragmented discussions of research and education.
    • Towards an interpretable model for automatic classification of endoscopy images

      García-Aguirre, Rogelio; Torres Treviño, Luis; Navarro-López, Eva María; González-González, José Alberto; Pichardo Lagunas, Obdulia; Martínez Seis, Bella; Martínez-Miranda, Juan (Springer, 2022-12-31)
      Deep learning strategies have become the mainstream for computer-assisted diagnosis tools development since they outperform other machine learning techniques. However, these systems can not reach their full potential since the lack of understanding of their operation and questionable generalizability provokes mistrust from the users, limiting their application. In this paper, we generate a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) using a genetic algorithm for hyperparameter optimization. Our CNN has state-of-the-art classification performance, delivering higher evaluation metrics than other recent papers that use AI models to classify images from the same dataset. We provide visual explanations of the classifications made by our model implementing Grad-CAM and analyze the behavior of our model on misclassifications using this technique.
    • Urban Europe, precarious futures? Introduction to the special issue

      Sissons, Paul; Jarvis, David; Ferreira, Jennifer (SAGE, 2022-12-31)
    • A2 milk enhances dynamic muscle function following repeated sprint exercise, a possible ergogenic aid for a1-protein intolerant athletes?

      Kirk, Ben; Mitchell, Jade; Jackson, Matthew; Amirabdollahian, Farzad; Alizadehkhaiyat, Omid; Clifford, Tom; School of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD, UK. kirkb@hope.ac.uk. (MDPI, 2017-01-28)
      Hyperaminoacidemia following ingestion of cows-milk may stimulate muscle anabolism and attenuate exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). However, as dairy-intolerant athletes do not obtain the reported benefits from milk-based products, A2 milk may offer a suitable alternative as it lacks the A1-protein. This study aimed to determine the effect of A2 milk on recovery from a sports-specific muscle damage model. Twenty-one male team sport players were allocated to three independent groups: A2 milk (n = 7), regular milk (n = 7), and placebo (PLA) (n = 7). Immediately following muscle-damaging exercise, participants consumed either A2 milk, regular milk or PLA (500 mL each). Visual analogue scale (muscle soreness), maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), countermovement jump (CMJ) and 20-m sprint were measured prior to and 24, 48, and 72 h post EIMD. At 48 h post-EIMD, CMJ and 20-m sprint recovered quicker in A2 (33.4 ± 6.6 and 3.3 ± 0.1, respectively) and regular milk (33.1 ± 7.1 and 3.3 ± 0.3, respectively) vs. PLA (29.2 ± 3.6 and 3.6 ± 0.3, respectively) (p < 0.05). Relative to baseline, decrements in 48 h CMJ and 20-m sprint were minimised in A2 (by 7.2 and 5.1%, respectively) and regular milk (by 6.3 and 5.2%, respectively) vs. PLA. There was a trend for milk treatments to attenuate decrements in MVIC, however statistical significance was not reached (p = 0.069). Milk treatments had no apparent effect on muscle soreness (p = 0.152). Following muscle-damaging exercise, ingestion of 500 mL of A2 or regular milk can limit decrements in dynamic muscle function in male athletes, thus hastening recovery and improving subsequent performance. The findings propose A2 milk as an ergogenic aid following EIMD, and may offer an alternative to athletes intolerant to the A1 protein.
    • Anthropometric indicators of adiposity related to body weight and body shape as cardiometabolic risk predictors in British young adults: Superiority of waist-to-height ratio

      Amirabdollahian, Farzad; Haghighatdoost, Fahimeh; School of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool, UK. (Hindawi, 2018-11-01)
      Frequently reported poor dietary habits of young adults increase their risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Excess adiposity is the most established predictor of MetS, and numerous anthropometric measures have been proposed as proxy indicators of adiposity. We aimed to assess prevalence of MetS in young adult population and to make comparison between weight- and shape-oriented measures of adiposity to identify the best index in association with measured body fat and as a risk predictor for MetS. Healthy males and females aged 18-25 years from the Northwest of England were recruited using convenience sampling (<i>n</i>=550). As part of the assessment of the overall health of young adults, the biochemical variables and adiposity measures BMI, waist circumference (WC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), new BMI, Body Adiposity Index (BAI), Clinica Universidad de Navarra-Body Adiposity Estimator (CUN-BAE), and A Body Shape Index (ABSI) were assessed. Linear regression analysis was used to investigate the association between the proxy indices of adiposity and measured percentage body fat. The odds ratio with 95% confidence interval was used to investigate the relationship between cardiometabolic (CM) risk factors and proxy measures of adiposity. The discriminatory power of these measures for diagnosis of MetS was investigated using area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Body weight-related indicators of adiposity, particularly CUN-BAE, had stronger association with measured body fat compared with body shape-related indices. In relation with MetS, body shape-related indices, particularly elevated WC and WHtR, had stronger associations with CM risk compared with body weight-related measures. Amongst all indices, the best predictor for CM risk was WHtR, while ABSI had the weakest correlation with body fat, MetS, and CM risk. Indices directly associated with WC and specifically WHtR had greater diagnostic power in detection of CM risk in young adults.
    • Dietary intake and energy expenditure assessed during a pre-season period in elite Gaelic football players

      O'Brien, Luke; Collins, Kieran; Doran, Dominic; Khaiyat, Omid; Amirabdollahian, Farzad; School of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD, UK. obrienl@hope.ac.uk. (MDPI, 2019-03-13)
      There is currently a lack of research into the energy demands and associated nutritional intakes of elite Gaelic football players during the pre-season period, which is a crucial time of year for physical development. The aim of the current study was to investigate the dietary intake and energy expenditure (EE) of elite Gaelic football players during a typical pre-season week. Over a seven-day period, which included four training days and three rest days, dietary intake (validated self-reported estimated food diary) and EE (Sensewear Pro armband) were recorded in 18 male players from a single elite inter-county Gaelic football team. Average energy intake (EI) (3283 ± 483 kcal) was significantly (p = 0.002) less than average EE (3743 ± 335 kcal), with a mean daily energy deficit of -460 ± 503 kcal. Training days elicited the greatest deficits between intake and expenditure. The mean carbohydrate (CHO) intake was 3.6 ± 0.7 g/kg/day, protein intake was 2.1 ± 0.5 g/kg/day, and fat intake was 1.6 ± 0.2 g/kg/day. These findings indicate that the dietary practices of the sampled players were inadequate to meet EE and CHO recommendations. Training days are of particular concern, with the players not altering energy and CHO intake to encounter increased energy demands. Education on nutritional strategies for elite Gaelic footballers should be considered in relation to training demands to avoid detriments to performance and health.
    • Exercise and dietary-protein as a countermeasure to skeletal muscle weakness: Liverpool Hope University - Sarcopenia Aging Trial (LHU-SAT)

      Kirk, Ben; Mooney, Kate; Amirabdollahian, Farzad; Khaiyat, Omid; School of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Frontiers Media, 2019-04-25)
      Objective: To investigate the effects of a 16-week concurrent exercise regimen [resistance exercise (RE) + functional exercise (FE)] in combination with, or without, a leucine-enriched whey protein isolate supplement on muscle strength, physical functioning, aerobic capacity, and cardiometabolic health in older adults (≥60 years). Physical activity levels were also evaluated 6 months post-cessation of the intervention. Methods: Forty-six, community-dwelling, previously untrained males, and females [age: 68 ± 5 years (mean ± SD); BMI: 27.8 ± 6.2 kg/m2] who completed the trial were initially randomized to one of two independent arms [Exercise n = 24 (E); Exercise+Protein n = 22 (EP)]. Both arms completed 16 weeks of RE (performed to fatigue) (2 times/week) with FE (1 time/week) on non-consecutive days. Additionally, EP were administered a leucine-enriched whey protein supplement (3 times/day) for 16 weeks based on individual body-weight (1.5 g/kg/day). Results: As a result of dietary supplementation, protein intake increased in EP (∼1.2 ± 0.4 to 1.5 ± 0.7 g/kg/day) during the intervention. Maximal strength (1RM) values for leg press (E: +39 ± 7 kg, p = 0.006; EP: +63 ± 7 kg, p < 0.001), chest press (E: +22 ± 4 kg, p < 0.001; EP: +21 ± 6 kg, p < 0.001), and bicep curl (E: +7 ± 0 kg, p = 0.002; EP: +6 ± 1 kg, p = 0.008) significantly increased in E and EP respectively, with no differences between arms (p > 0.05). Physical functioning in the obstacle course (E: -5.1 ± 6.8 s, p < 0.001; EP: -2.8 ± 0.8 s, p < 0.001) and short-physical performance battery scores (E: +0.5 ± 0.5, p = <0.001; EP: +0.4 ± 0.5, p = 0.038), and aerobic capacity in the 6-min walk test (E: +37 ± 24 m, p = 0.014; EP: +36 ± 3 m, p = 0.005) improved in E and EP respectively, with no differences between arms (p > 0.05). No significant change was observed for markers of cardiometabolic health (glycaemic control or blood pressure) (p > 0.05). At follow-up, 86% of older adults reported to performing physical activity ≥1 per week. Of those, 61% were still participating in strength- and cardiovascular- based exercise. Conclusion: Concurrent exercise (RE + FE) offers a potent method to combat age-related muscle weakness, and our results suggest a high proportion of older adults may continue to exercise unsupervised. However, leucine-enriched whey protein isolate supplementation did not confer any additional benefit in those already consuming ample amounts of dietary protein at trial enrolment. Future trials should utilize a whole-foods approach and investigate the effects in frail and non-frail older adults habitually consuming the RDA of protein, to assess if a higher intake of protein is needed to delay the onset of muscle weakness.
    • Exploring sports nutrition knowledge in elite Gaelic footballers

      O'Brien, Luke; Collins, Kieran; Amirabdollahian, Farzad; School of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD, UK. (MDPI, 2021-03-26)
      Nutrition intake plays a crucial role in improving athletic performance, enhancing adaptations to training, and augmenting recovery from exercise. However, research has reported that Gaelic footballers consistently fail to meet energy and carbohydrate recommendations. Sports nutrition knowledge (SNK) can influence the dietary intake of athletes, and therefore has the potential to have a significant impact on athletic performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the current level of SNK in elite Gaelic footballers (n = 100). An online version of the Nutrition for Sport Knowledge Questionnaire (NSKQ) was used to assess sports SNK. The overall mean SNK scores for Gaelic footballers and practitioners were 47.6 ± 12.3% and 78.1 ± 8.3%, respectively. There were no differences in knowledge between age groups, education level or divisional status. The top three sources of nutrition information identified by participants were team dietitian/nutritionists (84.0%), athletic trainers/strength and conditioning coaches (73%), and social media (37%). The results show that there is a major gap in the SNK of Gaelic footballers, while practitioners demonstrated a promising SNK, that could support Gaelic footballers. There is a need for development of interventions and knowledge transfer partnerships, including more effective methods of educating Gaelic footballers and translating sports nutrition principles to players. Developing appropriate nutritional education strategies using online resources and mobile applications could help to improve nutritional knowledge and practice of Gaelic footballers.
    • Reliability, validity, and gender invariance of the exercise benefits/barriers scale: An emerging evidence for a more concise research tool

      Koehn, Stefan; Amirabdollahian, Farzad; School of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool L16 9JD, UK. (MDPI, 2021-03-29)
      The Exercise Benefits/Barriers Scale (EBBS) research instrument has been extensively used to investigate the perceived benefits and barriers of exercise in a range of settings. In order to examine theoretical contentions and translate the findings, it is imperative to implement measurement tools that operationalize the constructs in an accurate and reliable way. The original validation of the EBBS proposed a nine-factor structure for the research tool, examined the EBBS factor structure, and suggested that various factors are important for the testing of the perception of exercise benefits and barriers, whereas a few items and factors may not be vital. The current study conducted a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) using hierarchical testing in 565 participants from the northwest region of the United Kingdom, the results of which provided evidence for a four-factor structure of the benefits measure, with the Comparative Fit Index (CFI) = 0.943, Tucker-Lewis Index (TLI) = 0.933, and root means square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.051, namely life enhancement, physical performance, psychological outlook, and social interaction, as well as a two-factor structure of the barrier measures, with the CFI = 0.953, TLI = 0.931, and RMSEA = 0.063, including exercise milieu and time expenditure. Our findings showed that for a six-factor correlated model, the CFI = 0.930, TLI = 0.919, and RMSEA = 0.046. The multi-group CFA provided support for gender invariance. The results indicated that after three decades of the original validation of the EBBS, many of the core factors and items are still relevant for the assessment of higher-order factors; however, the 26-item concise tool proposed in the current study displays a better parsimony in comparison with the original 43-item questionnaire. Overall, the current study provides support for a reliable, cross-culturally valid EBBS within the UK adult population, however, it proposes a shorter and more concise version compared with the original tool, and gives direction for future research to focus on the content validity for assessing the perception of the barriers to physical activity.
    • The effects of pre-game carbohydrate intake on running performance and substrate utilisation during simulated Gaelic football match play

      O'Brien, Luke; Collins, Kieran; Webb, Richard; Davies, Ian; Doran, Dominic; Amirabdollahian, Farzad; School of Health Sciences, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool L16 9JD, UK. (MDPI, 2021-04-21)
      Previous research has reported that elite Gaelic football players' carbohydrate (CHO) intakes are sub-optimal, especially, in the lead up to competitive matches. Despite clear decrements in running performance across elite Gaelic football matches, there are no studies that have investigated nutrition interventions on match-related Gaelic football performance. The aim of this study was to determine whether a higher-CHO diet in line with sports nutrition guidelines can improve Gaelic football-related performance compared to lower CHO intakes previously observed in Gaelic footballers. Twelve Gaelic football players completed a Gaelic football simulation protocol (GFSP) on two occasions after consuming a high-CHO diet (7 g·kg-1) (HCHO) or an energy-matched lower-CHO diet (3.5 g·kg-1) (L-CHO) for 48 h. Movement demands and heart rate were measured using portable global positioning systems devices. Countermovement jump height (CMJ) and repeated-sprint ability (RSA) were measured throughout each trial. Expired respiratory gases were collected throughout the trial using a portable gas analyser. Blood samples were taken at rest, half-time, and post-simulation. There was no significant difference in total distance (p = 0.811; η2 = 0.005) or high-speed running distance (HSRD) covered between both trials. However, in the second half of the HCHO trial, HSRD was significantly greater compared to the second half of the LCHO trial (p = 0.015). Sprint distance covered during GFSP was significantly greater in HCHO (8.1 ± 3.5 m·min-1) compared with LCHO (6.4 ± 3.2 m·min-1) (p = 0.011; η2 = 0.445). RSA performance (p < 0.0001; η2 = 0.735) and lower body power (CMJ) (p < 0.0001; η2 = 0.683) were significantly greater during the HCHO trial compared to LCHO. Overall CHO oxidation rates were significantly greater under HCHO conditions compared to LCHO (3.3 ± 0.5 vs. 2.7 ± 0.6 g·min-1) (p < 0.001; η2 = 0.798). Blood lactate concentrations were significantly higher during HCHO trial versus LCHO (p = 0.026; η2 = 0.375). There were no significant differences in plasma glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs), and glycerol concentration between trials. In both trials, all blood metabolites were significantly elevated at half-time and post-trial compared to pre-trial. These findings indicate that a higher-CHO diet can reduce declines in physical performance during simulated Gaelic football match play.
    • Dietetic students' drivers and barriers to healthy eating while studying to be a healthcare professional (a pilot study)

      Trahearn, Marie; Merryweather, Dave; Amirabdollahian, Farzad (MDPI, 2021-05-13)
      For Dietetics students, starting university means developing the knowledge and skills required to be a healthcare practitioner. This pilot study aimed to explore the perceptions and views of the students on their drivers and barriers of healthy eating while studying Dietetics at university. A qualitative study was undertaken with a purposive sample of six final year Dietetic students at a UK university. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to elicit students' experiences and perceptions of barriers to healthy eating. Interview data were analysed thematically. Five themes emerged from the interview data including studying Dietetics, placement, influence of significant others, food security, and social and cultural aspects of the university life, with several sub-themes, and perspectives about the future beyond the university life. The findings suggest a potential need for Dietetics course providers to consider the range of barriers to healthy eating that students may encounter whilst studying and how these may undermine their ability to develop healthy eating practices and effective professional skills. Further research is required that explores the extent of barriers to healthy eating and examine whether these impinge upon effective practice.