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The U.S. Rebalance and Southeast Asia: A Work in Progress

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This article assesses Southeast Asian views of the US “rebalance,” examining reactions to US military deployments, military assistance to partners, and support for Southeast Asian diplomacy on South China Sea conflicts. Although not ostensibly designed to contain China, the rebalance

This article assesses Southeast Asian views of the US “rebalance,” examining reactions to US military deployments, military assistance to partners, and support for Southeast Asian diplomacy on South China Sea conflicts. Although not ostensibly designed to contain China, the rebalance provides Southeast Asia with hedging options against more assertive PRC actions in the South China Sea.

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2015-05-01

Revival

Description

Although bipolar disorder affects millions of Americans, it is not widely discussed topic. Therefore many misconceptions remain about the disorder, which is partially due to its misrepresentation in the media. However with television producers and writers such as Julie Plec,

Although bipolar disorder affects millions of Americans, it is not widely discussed topic. Therefore many misconceptions remain about the disorder, which is partially due to its misrepresentation in the media. However with television producers and writers such as Julie Plec, co-creator of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and Legacies, creating a humanistic characters with bipolar disorder, this is slowly changing. Inspired by these writers, I also decided to create my own video about my experience with bipolar disorder.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Novel Organometallic Complex Mitigates Liver Injury caused by a 10-Week High Fat Diet in Adolescent Male Sprague-Dawley Rats

Description

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common form of chronic liver disease in the United States. Diets high in saturated fats are known to promote obesity and hepatic steatosis. The consumption of a high fat diet (HFD) can increase

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common form of chronic liver disease in the United States. Diets high in saturated fats are known to promote obesity and hepatic steatosis. The consumption of a high fat diet (HFD) can increase the risk factors associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to the onset of diabetes and obesity. A prior study of a soil-derived organometallic complex (OMC) showed that supplementation reduces glucose and body mass in diabetic mice. The goal of this study was to test the efficacy of a similar OMC compound on the mitigation of hepatic steatosis induced from a HFD. Six-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=42) were divided into the following diet groups: standard rodent chow or 60% kcal from fat high fat diet (mainly lard) for 10-weeks. Rats were further divided into OMC treatment groups with OMC added to their drinking water: 0 mg/ml, 0.6 mg/ml or 3.0mg/ml OMC. At 10 weeks, study animals were euthanized with sodium pentobarbital (200 mg/kg, i.p.) and cardiac plasma as well as liver samples were collected and stored at -80° C until further analyses. Plasma ALT and AST as well as liver triglyceride and free glycerol concentrations were measured using commercially available kits. To assess cellular injury, aspartate transaminase (AST; released mainly from injured cardiac and liver cells) and alanine transaminase (ALT; released mainly from injured liver cells) were examined. Rats fed HFD had elevated plasma ALT activity, which was prevented by treatment with the high dose of OMC (p<0.05). No changes in plasma AST activity were detected. Examination of liver triglyceride and free glycerol concentrations showed increased fat accumulation in the liver of rats consuming HFD (Two-Way ANOVA, p<0.001). OMC did not prevent this increase. These findings suggest that, although OMC does not prevent the accumulation of lipids in the liver of rats fed HFD, it does mitigate liver injury resulting from excess dietary intake of saturated fats.

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2019-05

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The Effects of Time Restricted Feeding on Mood

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Intermittent Fasting (IF) is defined as a cyclical eating pattern where an individual will fast for a specific increment of time, followed by caloric intake periods. Fasting is a crucial part of our ancestors’ adaptation to the stresses of famine

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is defined as a cyclical eating pattern where an individual will fast for a specific increment of time, followed by caloric intake periods. Fasting is a crucial part of our ancestors’ adaptation to the stresses of famine in order to maintain mental acuity and physical abilities during food deprivation. IF influences physiological changes such as: triggers protective metabolic pathways, increases metabolic flexibility and resilience, promotes DNA repair and autophagy, increases microbiome diversity and restores the natural cyclical fluctuations of the gut, increases BDNF expression in mood regulating neuronal circuits, and enhances synaptic plasticity of the brain. Research on the underlying causes of mood disorders has linked impairments in neuroplasticity and cellular resilience to this pathophysiology, which fasting could mitigate. Depression and anxiety are reported as the top impediments to academic performance. Thus, an easily implemented treatment such as intermittent fasting may be an option for combating impaired mental health in college students. This research study tested time restricted feeding (TRF) and its impact on mood states. It was hypothesized that: if college students follow a time restricted feeding pattern, then they will be less moody due to TRF’s effects on the metabolism, brain, and gut. The study consisted of 11 college students: 5 following a four-week adherence to TRF (8am-4pm eating window) and 6 in the control group. The POMS questionnaire was used to measure mood states. The participants height, weight, BMI, body fat %, and POMS scores were tested at the beginning and end of the 4 week intervention. The results were as follows: weight p=0.112 (statistical trend), BMI p=0.058 (nearly significant), body fat % p=0.114 (statistical trend), POMS p=0.014 (statistically significant). The data suggests that following a TRF eating pattern can decrease moodiness and improve mood states.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Validity of the Australian Recommended Food Score as a Diet Quality Index for Pre-Schoolers

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Background: Diet quality tools provide researchers with brief methods to assess the nutrient adequacy of usual dietary intake. This study describes the development and validation of a pediatric diet quality index, the Australian Recommended Food Scores for Pre-schoolers (ARFS-P), for

Background: Diet quality tools provide researchers with brief methods to assess the nutrient adequacy of usual dietary intake. This study describes the development and validation of a pediatric diet quality index, the Australian Recommended Food Scores for Pre-schoolers (ARFS-P), for use with children aged two to five years.

Methods: The ARFS-P was derived from a 120-item food frequency questionnaire, with eight sub-scales, and was scored from zero to 73. Linear regressions were used to estimate the relationship between diet quality score and nutrient intakes, in 142 children (mean age 4 years) in rural localities in New South Wales, Australia.

Results: Total ARFS-P and component scores were highly related to dietary intake of the majority of macronutrients and micronutrients including protein, β-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin A. Total ARFS-P was also positively related to total consumption of nutrient dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and negatively related to total consumption of discretionary choices, such as sugar sweetened drinks and packaged snacks.

Conclusion: ARFS-P is a valid measure that can be used to characterize nutrient intakes for children aged two to five years. Further research could assess the utility of the ARFS-P for monitoring of usual dietary intake over time or as part of clinical management.

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2014-08-29

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Variable Autosomal and X Divergence Near and Far From Genes Affects Estimates of Male Mutation Bias in Great Apes

Description

Male mutation bias, when more mutations are passed on via the male germline than via the female germline, is observed across mammals. One common way to infer the magnitude of male mutation bias, α, is to compare levels of neutral

Male mutation bias, when more mutations are passed on via the male germline than via the female germline, is observed across mammals. One common way to infer the magnitude of male mutation bias, α, is to compare levels of neutral sequence divergence between genomic regions that spend different amounts of time in the male and female germline. For great apes, including human, we show that estimates of divergence are reduced in putatively unconstrained regions near genes relative to unconstrained regions far from genes. Divergence increases with increasing distance from genes on both the X chromosome and autosomes, but increases faster on the X chromosome than autosomes. As a result, ratios of X/A divergence increase with increasing distance from genes and corresponding estimates of male mutation bias are significantly higher in intergenic regions near genes versus far from genes. Future studies in other species will need to carefully consider the effect that genomic location will have on estimates of male mutation bias.

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Date Created
2016-11-09

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Vegetarian Diets Are Associated With Healthy Mood States: A Cross-Sectional Study in Seventh Day Adventist Adults

Description

Background: The physical health status of vegetarians has been extensively reported, but there is limited research regarding the mental health status of vegetarians, particularly with regard to mood. Vegetarian diets exclude fish, the major dietary source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and

Background: The physical health status of vegetarians has been extensively reported, but there is limited research regarding the mental health status of vegetarians, particularly with regard to mood. Vegetarian diets exclude fish, the major dietary source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), critical regulators of brain cell structure and function. Omnivorous diets low in EPA and DHA are linked to impaired mood states in observational and experimental studies.

Methods: We examined associations between mood state and polyunsaturated fatty acid intake as a result of adherence to a vegetarian or omnivorous diet in a cross-sectional study of 138 healthy Seventh Day Adventist men and women residing in the Southwest. Participants completed a quantitative food frequency questionnaire, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), and Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaires.

Results: Vegetarians (VEG:n = 60) reported significantly less negative emotion than omnivores (OMN:n = 78) as measured by both mean total DASS and POMS scores (8.32 ± 0.88 vs 17.51 ± 1.88, p = .000 and 0.10 ± 1.99 vs 15.33 ± 3.10, p = .007, respectively). VEG reported significantly lower mean intakes of EPA (p < .001), DHA (p < .001), as well as the omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid (AA; p < .001), and reported higher mean intakes of shorter-chain α-linolenic acid (p < .001) and linoleic acid (p < .001) than OMN. Mean total DASS and POMS scores were positively related to mean intakes of EPA (p < 0.05), DHA (p < 0.05), and AA (p < 0.05), and inversely related to intakes of ALA (p < 0.05), and LA (p < 0.05), indicating that participants with low intakes of EPA, DHA, and AA and high intakes of ALA and LA had better mood.

Conclusions: The vegetarian diet profile does not appear to adversely affect mood despite low intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

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Date Created
2010-06-01

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Variations in the Influence of Parental Socialization of Anxiety Among Clinic Referred Children

Description

This study examined the relations between parental socialization of child anxious behaviors (i.e., reinforcement, punishment, modeling, transmission of information) and child anxiety and related problems at varying child sensitivity levels. Data corresponding to 70 clinic-referred children (M age = 9.86

This study examined the relations between parental socialization of child anxious behaviors (i.e., reinforcement, punishment, modeling, transmission of information) and child anxiety and related problems at varying child sensitivity levels. Data corresponding to 70 clinic-referred children (M age = 9.86 years; 50% girls; 49% Hispanic/Latino, 51% Caucasian) showed that for children with low (but not high) anxiety sensitivity, anxiety-related parental socialization behaviors were associated with more child anxiety and depression symptoms. Findings also indicated that parental socialization of anxious behaviors and anxiety sensitivity functioned similarly in the prediction of anxiety and depression across Caucasian and Hispanic/Latino children. There were no significant mean level variations across child sociodemographic characteristics in general, but anxiety-promoting parenting behaviors were twice as high in Hispanic/Latino compared to Caucasian families.

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Date Created
2015-06-01

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Examination of an Organometallic Complex on Insulin Resistance in Periadolescent Male Rats Following a 10-week High Fat Diet

Description

With the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes, novel treatments to help mitigate or prevent symptoms of these conditions are warranted. Prior studies have shown that fossilized plant materials found in soil lowers blood sugar in a mouse model of

With the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes, novel treatments to help mitigate or prevent symptoms of these conditions are warranted. Prior studies have shown that fossilized plant materials found in soil lowers blood sugar in a mouse model of diabetes. The goal of this study is to determine whether a similar organometallic complex (OMC) could prevent insulin resistance in the skeletal muscle brought on by chronic high fat intake by examining the protein expression of key enzymes in the insulin signaling pathway and examining glucoregulatory measures. Six-week-old periadolescent male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=42) were randomly chosen to be fed either a high fat diet (HFD) (20% protein, 20% carbohydrates [6.8% sucrose], 60% fat) or a standard chow diet (18.9% protein, 57.33% carbohydrates, 5% fat) for 10 weeks. Rats from each diet group were then randomly assigned to one of three doses of OMC (0, 0.6, 3.0 mg/mL), which was added to their drinking water and fasting blood glucose was measured at baseline and again at 10 weeks. After 10 weeks, rats were euthanized, and soleus muscle samples were isolated, snap-frozen, and stored at -80°C until analyses. Fasting plasma glucose was measured using a commercially available glucose oxidase kit. Following 6 and 10 weeks, HFD rats developed significant hyperglycemia (p<0.001 and p=0.025) compared to chow controls which was prevented by high dose OMC (p=0.021). After 10 weeks, there were significant differences in fasting serum insulin between diets (p=0.009) where levels were higher in HFD rats. No significant difference was seen in p-PI3K expression between groups. These results suggest that OMC could prevent insulin resistance by reducing hyperglycemia. Further studies are needed to characterize the effects of diet and OMC on the insulin signaling pathway in skeletal muscle, the main site of postprandial glucose disposal. This study was supported by a grant from Isagenix International LLC as well as funds from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, Tempe Campus.

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Date Created
2018-12

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Assessing Practices and Perceptions of Supplements Among College Students

Description

With the new independence of adulthood, college students are a group susceptible to adopting unsupported, if not harmful, health practices. A survey of Arizona State University undergraduate students (N=200) was conducted to evaluate supplement use, trust in information sources, and

With the new independence of adulthood, college students are a group susceptible to adopting unsupported, if not harmful, health practices. A survey of Arizona State University undergraduate students (N=200) was conducted to evaluate supplement use, trust in information sources, and beliefs about supplement regulation. Of those who reported using supplements, college students most frequently received information from friends and family. STEM majors in fields unrelated to health who were taking a supplement were found to be less likely to receive information about the supplement from a medical practitioner than those in health fields or those in non-STEM majors (-26.9%, p=0.018). STEM majors in health-related fields were 15.0% more likely to treat colds and/or cold symptoms with research-supported methods identified from reliable sources, while non-health STEM and non-STEM majors were more likely to take unsupported cold treatments (p=0.010). Surveyed students, regardless of major, also stated they would trust a medical practitioner for supplement advice above other sources (88.0%), and the majority expressed a belief that dietary supplements are approved/regulated by the government (59.8%).

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Date Created
2018-05