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Covilhã, Portugal

Pereira A.,Royal University | Pereira A.,Research Center in Sports | Costa A.M.,Research Center in Sports | Costa A.M.,University of Beira Interior | And 10 more authors.
BMC Geriatrics

Background: We studied the influence of the ACE I/D and ACTN3 R577X polymorphisms (single or combined) on lower-extremity function in older women in response to high-speed power training. Methods. One hundred and thirty-nine healthy older Caucasian women participated in this study (age: 65.5 ± 8.2 years, body mass: 67.0 ± 10.0 kg and height: 1.57 ± 0.06 m). Walking speed (S10) performance and functional capacity assessed by the "get-up and go" (GUG) mobility test were measured at baseline (T1) and after a consecutive 12-week period of high-speed power training (40-75% of one repetition maximum in arm and leg extensor exercises; 3 sets 4-12 reps, and two power exercises for upper and lower extremity). Genomic DNA was extracted from blood samples, and genotyping analyses were performed by PCR methods. Genotype distributions between groups were compared by Chi-Square test and the gains in physical performance were analyzed by two-way, repeated-measures ANOVA. Results: There were no significant differences between genotype groups in men or women for adjusted baseline phenotypes (P > 0.05). ACE I/D and ACTN3 polymorphisms showed a significant interaction genotype-training only in S10 (P = 0.012 and P = 0.044, respectively) and not in the GUG test (P = 0.311 and P = 0.477, respectively). Analyses of the combined effects between genotypes showed no other significant differences in all phenotypes (P < 0.05) at baseline. However, in response to high-speed power training, a significant interaction on walking speed (P = 0.048) was observed between the "power" (ACTN3 RR + RX & ACE DD) versus "non-power" muscularity-oriented genotypes (ACTN3 XX & ACE II + ID)]. Conclusions: Thus, ACE I/D and ACTN3 R577X polymorphisms are likely candidates in the modulation of exercise-related gait speed phenotype in older women but not a significant influence in mobility traits. © 2013 Pereira et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Faustino H.,University of Beira Interior | Gil N.,University of Beira Interior | Baptista C.,University of Beira Interior | Baptista C.,Polytechnic Institute of Tomar | And 2 more authors.

The antioxidant activity of the phenolic compounds present in industrial black liquors obtained from the two cooking processes (kraft and sulphite) used in Portugal to produce Eucalyptus globulus pulp was evaluated. The black liquors treated at several pH values were extracted with ethyl acetate. Phenolic fractions were further separated by liquid chromatography of the crude extracts of kraft liquor at pH = 6 and sulphite liquor at the original pH. Total phenolic content was determined in terms of gallic acid equivalents (Folin-Ciocalteu colorimetric method), and the antioxidant activity in the crude extracts at several pH values and in the separated fractions was measured using the DPPH test for radical scavenging capacity. The total phenolic content of crude extracts and separated fractions ranged from 92.7 to 181.6 and from 91.6 to 1,099.6 mg GAE/g, respectively, while the antioxidant activity index (AAI) ranged from 2.20 to 3.41 and from 2.21 to 11.47 respectively, showing very strong antioxidant activity in all studied cases. The fractions separated by column chromatography were submitted to mass spectrometry analysis and the results were compared to others in the literature of natural products, mainly from Eucalyptus, and the characteristic bands of functional groups were identified by 1H-NMR and FTIR. These methods allowed the identification of 17 phenolic compounds. © 2010 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Bahrami-Taghanaki H.,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences | Liu Y.,Beijing University of Chinese Medicine | Aziz H.,MUMS | Khorsand A.,MUMS | And 3 more authors.
Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine

Background • Chronic low-back pain (cLBP) is a common condition throughout the world, and acupuncture is widely sought for treatment. As clinical evidence for the benefits of acupuncture grows, acupuncture for cLBP is receiving increased recognition and acceptance by both patients and professionals. Time method acupuncture has been previously researched with respect to chronic gastritis. Objective • For individuals with cLBP in the current study, the research team examined the efficacy of adding confluent acupoints, related to the daytime period in time method acupuncture, to regular acupuncture and also evaluated the persistence of the benefits of such acupuncture in comparison with regular acupuncture. Design • The study was a randomized, controlled trial (RCT). Setting • The setting was an outpatient clinic of the Dongzhimen Hospital in Beijing, China. Participants • Participants were Chinese men and women with cLBP. Intervention • Sixty participants were randomly divided into 2 groups to receive acupuncture. The control group received a treatment that followed a routine acupuncture (RA) protocol, while the intervention group received a treatment that followed an RA protocol plus acupuncture in confluent points related to time (TA). Outcome Measures • The research team measured the change in participants’ scores using the visual analogue scale (VAS), the number of therapy sessions needed, the number of days that participants were absent from work during the treatment period and at 12 wk posttreatment, and the number of pain relapses between the end of treatment and the 4- and 12-wk follow-ups. Results • VAS scores decreased from 69.6 ± 7.9 to 11.8 ± 4.9 in the intervention group compared with a decrease from 69.2 ± 8.0 to 15.7 ± 10.0 in the control group (P =.001). The intervention group received fewer therapy sessions (8.1 ± 2.0) than did the control group (10.1 ± 2.0, P <.001). Compared with the controls, the intervention group showed fewer days absent from work (0.5 vs 1.4; P =.03) and fewer pain relapses (4.0 vs 7.0; P =.04) at the 12-wk follow-up. In the 2 groups combined, VAS decreased from 69.4 ± 7.9 before the first session of acupuncture to 13.8 ± 8.0 after the last session (P <.001), and the number of therapy sessions needed for pain relief was 9.1 ± 2.2. Conclusion Accompanying routine acupuncture with time method acupuncture can enhance the efficacy of treatment and the persistence of its benefits in individuals with cLBP. © 2014, InnoVision Communications. All rights reserved. Source

Costa A.M.,University of Beira Interior | Costa A.M.,Research Center in Sports | Costa A.M.,Health science Research Center | Marques M.C.,University of Beira Interior | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Sport Science

The aim of this study was to analyse the relative age effect (RAE) in competitive swimming. The best 50 Portuguese swimmers (12- to 18-year-olds) for the main individual swimming pool events of both genders were considered. Analysis was conducted on 7813 swimming event participants, taking account of respective swimmer birth dates and the Fédération Internationale de Natation points gained. Differences in the distribution of birth dates by quarter year were determined using the Chi-square. A one-way analysis of variance ANOVA was used to test for differences measured in points between individuals by quarterly birth year intervals. A two-way analysis of variance ANOVA was also conducted to test the interaction between gender and seasonal birth date with regard to performance. The results show an inequitable distribution (p<0.01) of birth dates by quarter for almost all age groups and both genders. However, the distribution of birth dates by quarter for each considered swim event shows that RAE seems to exist only for 12-year-old females and 12- to 15-year-old males. Analysing mean swimming performance, post-hoc results (p<0.01) show no consistency in RAE. Higher performance occurs among older swimmers only in 100 m butterfly (female 1998, 1st≠2nd quarter, p=0.003). The results also show no interaction between gender and seasonal birth date (p<0.01). Findings of this study show that a higher number of swimmers, particular males, are born in the first two quarters of the year, although there is mostly no effect of seasonal birth date on performance differences within the top 50 swimmers. © 2013 Copyright European College of Sport Science. Source

Morgado M.P.,University of Beira Interior | Morgado S.R.,HCCB | Mendes L.C.,Health science Research Center | Pereira L.J.,UBI | Castelo-Branco M.,Health science Research Center
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy

Purpose. Pharmacist interventions to enhance blood pressure (BP) control and adherence to antihypertensive therapy in adults with essential hypertension were reviewed. Methods. A literature search was conducted to identify relevant articles describing pharmacist interventions intended to improve adherence to antihypertensive medications. Studies were included if they described a pharmacist intervention to improve medication adherence and analyzed adherence to therapy and BP control as outcomes. A fixed-effects model was used to combine data from randomized controlled trials. Results. A total of 15 studies were identified, testing 16 different interventions and containing data on 3280 enrolled patients. Although 87.5% of the interventions resulted in significant improvements in treatment outcomes, only 43.8% of the interventions were associated with significant increases in medication adherence. All interventions that increased antihypertensive medication adherence also significantly reduced BP. Almost all the interventions that were effective in increasing adherence to medication were complex, including combinations of different strategies. Meta-analysis of 2619 patients in 8 studies found that pharmacist interventions significantly reduced systolic blood pressure (SBP) (p < 0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (p = 0.002) and that the meta-analytic differences in SBP and DBP changes from baseline to endpoint in intervention and control groups were -4.9 ± 0.9 mm Hg (p < 0.001) and -2.6 ± 0.9 mm Hg (p < 0.001), respectively. Conclusion. A literature review and meta-analysis showed that pharmacist interventions can significantly improve medication adherence, SBP, DBP, and BP control in patients with essential hypertension. Interventions were complex and multifaceted and included medication management in all analyzed studies. Copyright © 2011, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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