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McGowan C.P.,University of Idaho | Grabowski A.M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | McDermott W.J.,Orthopedic Specialty Hospital | Herr H.M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Kram R.,University of Colorado at Boulder
Journal of the Royal Society Interface | Year: 2012

Running-specific prostheses (RSF) are designed to replicate the spring-like nature of biological legs (bioL) during running. However, it is not clear how these devices affect whole leg stiffness characteristics or running dynamics over a range of speeds. We used a simple spring-mass model to examine running mechanics across a range of speeds, in unilateral and bilateral transtibial amputees and performance-matched controls. We found significant differences between the affected leg (AL) of unilateral amputees and both ALs of bilateral amputees compared with the bioL of non-amputees for nearly every variable measured. Leg stiffness remained constant or increased with speed in bioL, but decreased with speed in legs with RSPs. The decrease in leg stiffness in legs with RSPs was mainly owing to a combination of lower peak ground reaction forces and increased leg compression with increasing speeds. Leg stiffness is an important parameter affecting contact time and the force exerted on the ground. It is likely that the fixed stiffness of the prosthesis coupled with differences in the limb posture required to run with the prosthesis limits the ability to modulate whole leg stiffness and the ability to apply high vertical ground reaction forces during sprinting. © 2012 The Royal Society. Source

Dixon B.M.,SALt Inc | Barker T.,Orthopedic Specialty Hospital | McKinnon T.,SALt Inc | Cuomo J.,SALt Inc | And 3 more authors.
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2012

Abstract. Background: Transcription of the cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) gene is induced by binding of the bioactive form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, to the vitamin D receptor. Significant levels of the protein hCAP18/LL-37 are found in the blood and may protect against infection and/or sepsis. We hypothesized that serum vitamin D levels may modulate the circulating levels of hCAP18. Only three studies have shown a positive correlation between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D and hCAP18 levels. Here we provide additional evidence for such a correlation in healthy, middle-aged adults. Findings. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and plasma levels of hCAP18 were determined in 19 healthy middle-aged (mean of 50.1 years) adult men and women. Plasma hCAP18 concentrations correlated with serum 25(OH)D concentrations in subjects with 25(OH)D levels ≤ 32 ng/ml (r = 0.81, p < 0.005) but not in subjects with concentrations > 32 ng/ml (r = 0.19, p = 0.63). Conclusions: We conclude that plasma hCAP18 levels correlate with serum 25(OH)D levels in subjects with concentrations of 25(OH)D ≤ 32 ng/ml as opposed to those with concentrations > 32 ng/ml and that vitamin D status may regulate systemic levels of hCAP18/LL-37. © 2012 Dixon et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

O'Halloran J.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Hamill J.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | McDermott W.J.,Orthopedic Specialty Hospital | Remelius J.G.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Van Emmerik R.E.A.,University of Massachusetts Amherst
European Journal of Applied Physiology | Year: 2012

Locomotor respiratory coupling patterns in humans have been assessed on the basis of the interaction between different physiological and motor subsystems; these interactions have implications for movement economy. A complex and dynamical systems framework may provide more insight than entrainment into the variability and adaptability of these rhythms and their coupling. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between steady state locomotor-respiratory coordination dynamics and oxygen consumption (V̇O 2) of the movement by varying walking stride frequency from preferred. Twelve male participants walked on a treadmill at a selfselected speed. Stride frequency was varied from -20 to +20% of preferred stride frequency (PSF) while respiratory airflow, gas exchange variables, and stride kinematics were recorded. Discrete relative phase and return map techniques were used to evaluate the strength, stability, and variability of both frequency and phase couplings. Analysis of V̇O 2 during steady-state walking showed a U-shaped response (P = 0.002) with a minimum at PSF and PSF - 10%. Locomotor-respiratory frequency coupling strength was not greater (P = 0.375) at PSF than any other stride frequency condition. The dominant coupling across all conditions was 2:1 with greater occurrences at the lower stride frequencies. Variability in coupling was the greatest during PSF, indicating an exploration of coupling strategies to search for the coupling frequency strategy with the least oxygen consumption. Contrary to the belief that increased strength of frequency coupling would decrease oxygen consumption; these results conclude that it is the increased variability of frequency coupling that results in lower oxygen consumption. © Springer-Verlag 2011. Source

Levy M.A.,SALt Inc | McKinnon T.,SALt Inc | Barker T.,Orthopedic Specialty Hospital | Dern A.,SALt Inc | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2015

Background/Objective: Although dietary supplement use has increased significantly among the general population, the interplay between vitamin D supplementation and other factors that influence vitamin D status remains unclear. The objective of this study was to identify predictor variables of vitamin D status in free-living subjects to determine the extent to which vitamin D supplements and other factors influence vitamin D status. Subjects/Methods: This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study involving 743 volunteers. Serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D (25(OH)D) level and the variables diet, supplement usage, latitude of residence, ethnicity, age and body mass index (BMI) were used to predict vitamin D status in a summer and winter cohort. Results: Supplemental vitamin D3 consumption was the most significant positive predictor, whereas BMI was the most significant negative predictor, of vitamin D status in each cohort. Other positive predictors were fortified beverage and dairy consumption in the summer and winter cohort, respectively. Negative predictors were: African American, Asian and Hispanic race in the summer; latitude of residence >36°N, Asian and Hispanic ethnicity in the winter. Mean(±s.d.) 25(OH)D levels were 101.1 (±42.1) and 92.6 (±39.0) nmol/l in summer and winter, respectively. Comparing non-supplement vs supplement users, approximately 38 vs 2.5% in the winter and 18 vs 1.4% in the summer had vitamin D levels <50 nmol/l. Conclusions: Vitamin D supplementation was the most significant positive predictor of vitamin D status. Collectively, these data point to the practicality of utilizing vitamin D supplements to reduce hypovitaminosis D in adults throughout the United States. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

Barker T.,Orthopedic Specialty Hospital | Schneider E.D.,SALt Inc | Dixon B.M.,SALt Inc | Henriksen V.T.,Orthopedic Specialty Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Nutrition and Metabolism | Year: 2013

Abstract. Background: Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations associate with skeletal muscle weakness (i.e., deficit in skeletal muscle strength) after muscular injury or damage. Although supplemental vitamin D increases serum 25(OH)D concentrations, it is unknown if supplemental vitamin D enhances strength recovery after a damaging event. Methods. Reportedly healthy and modestly active (30 minute of continuous physical activity at least 3 time/week) adult males were randomly assigned to a placebo (n = 13, age, 31(5) y; BMI, 26.9(4.2) kg/m§ssup§2§esup§; serum 25(OH)D, 31.0(8.2) ng/mL) or vitamin D (cholecalciferol, 4000 IU; n = 15; age, 30(6) y; BMI, 27.6(6.0) kg/m§ssup§2§esup§; serum 25(OH)D, 30.5(9.4) ng/mL) supplement. Supplements were taken daily for 35-d. After 28-d of supplementation, one randomly selected leg performed an exercise protocol (10 sets of 10 repetitive eccentric-concentric jumps on a custom horizontal plyo-press at 75% of body mass with a 20 second rest between sets) intended to induce muscle damage. During the exercise protocol, subjects were allowed to perform presses if they were unable to complete two successive jumps. Circulating chemistries (25(OH)D and alanine (ALT) and aspartate (AST) aminotransferases), single-leg peak isometric force, and muscle soreness were measured before supplementation. Circulating chemistries, single-leg peak isometric force, and muscle soreness were also measured before (immediately) and after (immediately, 1-h [blood draw only], 24-h, 48-h, 72-h, and 168-h) the damaging event. Results: Supplemental vitamin D increased serum 25(OH)D concentrations (P < 0.05; ≈70%) and enhanced the recovery in peak isometric force after the damaging event (P < 0.05; ≈8% at 24-h). Supplemental vitamin D attenuated (P < 0.05) the immediate and delayed (48-h, 72-h, or 168-h) increase in circulating biomarkers representative of muscle damage (ALT or AST) without ameliorating muscle soreness (P > 0.05). Conclusions: We conclude that supplemental vitamin D may serve as an attractive complementary approach to enhance the recovery of skeletal muscle strength following intense exercise in reportedly active adults with a sufficient vitamin D status prior to supplementation. © 2013 Barker et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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