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Daniela Ştefănescu, S.P. Pereira, M.M. Filip, A. Săftoiu and S. Cazacu

Background. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) associated with colorectal cancer risk in long-standing diseases. In order to assess the colonic mucosa and to discover dysplastic or neoplastic lesions, advanced endoscopic techniques are needed. Such techniques are detailed in this review: chromoendoscopy, autofluorescence imaging (AFI), narrow band imaging (NBI), i-SCAN, Fujinon Intelligent Color Enhancement (FICE) and confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE).

Aim. The aim of the review is to describe and establish the clinical impact of advanced endoscopic techniques, that could be used in IBD patients’examination in order to assess mucosal healing, microscopic inflammation, dysplasia or neoplasia.

Materials and Methods. A literature research about new endoscopic approaches of patients with IBD was made.

Results. A lot of studies have been performed to reveal which imaging technique might be used for IBD surveillance. Regarding dysplasia or neoplasia detection and mucosal healing or inflammation assessment, CE proved to be superior to white light endoscopy (WLE), while NBI and AFI did not show an encouraging result. I-SCAN did not improve the colonoscopy quality while FICE has been used in a few studies. CLE could be used to characterize a lesion, providing the same results as conventional histology.

Conclusion. At the moment, CE is the only technique which has been included in guidelines for IBD surveillance. CLE can be used to assess any lesion detected with WLE during surveillance, while the other imaging techniques require more studies to determine their efficacy or inefficacy.

Open access

Daniela Pereira, Paula M. R. Correia and Raquel P. F. Guiné

Abstract

Given the importance of the cookies of type Maria worldwide, and considering the absence of any scientific study setting out their main features, it becomes important to identify the differentiating characteristics of several commercialized brands, in particular related to the chemical, physical and sensory characteristics. In this way, the aim of this work was to study and compare eight different brands of cookies of type Maria. The elemental chemical analysis (moisture, ash, protein, fat, fibre and carbohydrates contents), determination of physical parameters (volume, density, texture and colour) and sensory evaluation of studied cookies were performed. Multivariate statistical methods (Pearson correlation, principal component analysis and cluster analysis) were applied to estimating relationships in analysed data. The results for the elemental analysis showed that the samples were very similar in terms of some components, like for example ashes, while quite different in terms of other components, such as moisture and fat contents. With respect to texture and colour the samples showed, in general, some important differences. In terms of sensory evaluation, the sample C was the one that in most sensory tests gathered the preference of the panellists. The cluster analysis showed that the sample A was much different from the other samples. The results of principal component analysis showed that the main component explains 32.6 % of the total variance, and is strongly related to variables associated to colour.

Open access

Fabián Rosas, Rodrigo Ramírez-Campillo, Cristian Martínez, Alexis Caniuqueo, Rodrigo Cañas-Jamet, Emma McCrudden, Cesar Meylan, Jason Moran, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Lucas A. Pereira, Irineu Loturco, Daniela Diaz and Mikel Izquierdo

Abstract

Plyometric training and beta-alanine supplementation are common among soccer players, although its combined use had never been tested. Therefore, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to compare the effects of a plyometric training program, with or without beta-alanine supplementation, on maximal-intensity and endurance performance in female soccer players during an in-season training period. Athletes (23.7 ± 2.4 years) were assigned to either a plyometric training group receiving a placebo (PLACEBO, n = 8), a plyometric training group receiving beta-alanine supplementation (BA, n = 8), or a control group receiving placebo without following a plyometric training program (CONTROL, n = 9). Athletes were evaluated for single and repeated jumps and sprints, endurance, and change-of-direction speed performance before and after the intervention. Both plyometric training groups improved in explosive jumping (ES = 0.27 to 1.0), sprinting (ES = 0.31 to 0.78), repeated sprinting (ES = 0.39 to 0.91), 60 s repeated jumping (ES = 0.32 to 0.45), endurance (ES = 0.35 to 0.37), and change-of-direction speed performance (ES = 0.36 to 0.58), whereas no significant changes were observed for the CONTROL group. Nevertheless, compared to the CONTROL group, only the BA group showed greater improvements in endurance, repeated sprinting and repeated jumping performances. It was concluded that beta-alanine supplementation during plyometric training may add further adaptive changes related to endurance, repeated sprinting and jumping ability.