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  • Author: Lily Stojanovska x
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Introduction: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and walking were investigated independently and in combination, to determine which treatment provided most effect on bone turnover in postmenopausal women.

Methods: Using a randomised double-blind pilot study, 10 subjects received HRT (transdermal estradiol, 50 μg/day and oral MPA 5 mg/day) and 12 received placebo for 20 weeks. Following a baseline period of treatment, both groups undertook a graduated walking regimen, which increased in intensity, duration and frequency parameters from weeks 8–20. Measurements of aerobic capacity, female sex hormones, bone formation markers [osteocalcin (OC) and bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP)] and bone resorption markers [deoxypyridinoline (DPD) and pyridinoline (PYR)] were measured at baseline (T1), week 8 (T2) and week 20 (T3).

Results: Age, time of postmenopause, weight or body mass index were no different between each groups. The HRT group had significantly higher estradiol levels compared with the placebo group at T2 and T3. FSH and LH levels were significantly reduced following HRT. DPD and PYR were significantly reduced from baseline levels at T2 and T3 with HRT. No significant changes occurred in OC or BAP levels with either HRT or walking. Walking did not change bone turnover markers in either the HRT or placebo group.

Conclusion: HRT reduces bone resorption, however, walking alone at the intensity and duration prescribed, or the combination of HRT and walking, provided no additional benefit after menopause. Therefore, HRT, but not walking is an effective treatment in reducing bone turnover in postmenopause women.


Introduction: Independently, hormone therapy and exercise have well-established protective effects on bone parameters. The combined effects of hormone therapy and exercise, however, are less clear. We, therefore, examined the effects of hormone therapy on bone turnover markers in postmenopausal women undergoing regular high intensity exercise.

Methods: In a randomised, double blind study, postmenopausal athletes competing at Masters level, received either hormone therapy (50 μg transdermal oestradiol, 5 mg MPA, n = 8) or placebo (n = 7) for 20 weeks. Women were tested before and after treatment for plasma concentrations of oestradiol, FSH, LH, and serum bone formation marker -osteocalcin (OC); and urine bone resorption markers-pyridinoline (PYD) and deoxypyridinoline (DPD).

Results: As a result of treatment with hormone therapy there were significant reductions in levels of FSH (73.3 ± 13.7 to 48.6 ± 10.5 mmol/L, p = 0.01) and bone resorption markers (PYD, 81.9 ± 7.7 to 57.8 ± 3.7 nmol/mmol Cr, p = 0.001, and DPD, 18.5 ± 3.1 to 11.8 ± 2.1 nmol/mmol Cr, p = 0.01). Oestradiol and bone formation markers were not significantly altered as a result of hormone therapy. There were no changes to any variables with placebo treatment.

Conclusion: Hormone therapy reduced bone resorption, but not bone formation, in postmenopausal athletes. These favorable reductions in bone turnover; therefore, provide an effective treatment in combination with high intensity exercise to further reduce the subsequent risk of osteoporosis and associated fractures.


Objective: To explore the perspectives of nutritional therapy and dietician practitioners, undergraduate students and academics working with people with type 2 diabetes and who are from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Methods: A qualitative study design of in-depth semi-structured one-on-one interviews with a total of 24 participants (8 practitioners, 8 students and 8 academics) in the fields of nutritional therapy and dietetics. Open-ended questions focused on the perspectives and experiences (learning, practice and teaching) of working with people of CALD backgrounds who have type 2 diabetes. All interviews were recorded for thematic and textual analysis. Results: Inter-related themes which were confirmed with investigator triangulation were the understanding of (i) the concepts of culture and diversity, (ii) the concepts and influences of health, diabetes and food across cultures, (iii) influences within and across cultures and (iv) systems and resourcing. Overarching perspectives across these themes suggested frustration in having sufficient capacity to assess comprehensively, to deliver effective, comprehensive and high quality management plans, and to achieve required health behavioural changes with people from different CALD backgrounds. Conclusions: There’s a need for improvements in the undergraduate education and training and in professional development programs; training and resourcing of interpreters in delivery of health-related information and working with health professionals; for focus on culturally appropriate management plans that involve consultation with key decision makers in families and communities; and, reviews of the systems for supporting and resourcing nutritional therapists and dieticians in professional development from undergraduate to practice levels.


Introduction: Homocystein (Hcy) is an amino acid and elevated plasma cause endothelial damage, followed with inflammation in the blood vessels and its progression in atherosclerosis. We aimed to evaluate the correlation between cardiovascular disease and serum homocysteine levels..

Methods: We performed a case control analysis of 212 patients, either for cardiovascular risk stratification or for invasive diagnostics and treatment of cardiovascular ischemic disease (CAD). Patients were divided into 4 groups: Group 1. Patients with low risk for CAD, with no symptoms of CAD and total of 10 years risk <10%. Group 2. High-risk patients with no symptoms of CAD, but 10 years total CAD risk of >20%. Group 3. Patients with symptomatic CAD, where angiography was performed and >50% occlusion of at least one coronary vessel was found. Group 4. Patients with carotid artery disease and documented CAD.

Results: Group 1 consists of 56 subjects, of whom 33 (60%) males and 22 (40%) females. Their mean age was 52.18±8.07 years and their average CAD risk was 5.

Group 2 included 60 patients, with average CAD risk of 23.73. There was a statistically significant difference between plasma homocysteine levels between the control and high CAD risk group, as well as between those with CAD and both CAD and CARD (p=0.001). In the high-risk subjects group, the level of homocysteine correlates albeit weak with the total CAD risk (p=0.04). Homocysteine levels correlate with the WBC count (p=0.02). In the subgroup of smokers with high CAD risk, homocysteine correlates with age, total CAD risk, total cholesterol, BUN (define BUN) and creatinine.

Group 3 consisted of 49 subjects with manifested and angiographically proven CAD, out of whom 80% were males and 20% females, mean age 56.06±9.7 years, with average 2 coronary vessels affected. There were significantly higher homocysteine plasma levels between the control group and the group with manifested CAD (p=0.008).There is no significant difference of homocysteine plasma levels between the high risk group and the group with manifested coronary artery disease (15.03□mol/l vs. 16.38□mol/l). In this group, plasma levels of homocysteine correlate only with the highest level of vessel stenosis (>95%) with (p=0.04).

The study population in group 4 showed a mean of IMT 0.9 +..09 mm and mean Hcy plasma levels of 21 + 11 µmol/L. From the evaluated patients with CAD, 82.9% of patients had elevated level of Hcy. From those, one showed elevated Hcy, 79.4 % had hypertension, 58.9 % had hyperlipidemia, 28.2% had diabetes mellitus as additional risk factors for atherosclerosis. 76.9 % of the patients had increased intima-media thickness; in 58.9 % plaques were detected, while 23 % of the patients had significant stenosis: 10.2 % with intermediate–grade stenosis (50-69%) and 12.8 % with high-grade stenosis (70-99 %). 17.1 % of the patients had normal level of Hcy, and in those ones 62.5 % only had increased IMT. We found linear correlation between IMT and HCy levels (r 0.7, p 0.05).

Case control analysis showed significant higher level of Hcy in the group with CAD and carotid artery disease vs. CAD group (p 0.001).

Conclusion:High plasma homocysteine concentrations are associated with high risk for vascular disease and consequently CAD itself and carotid artery disease, as well, proving its likely role in the development of atherosclerosis on inflammatory and metabolic levels.


Bananas have enormous health benefits as a food for both animals and humans. They have been used as a complimentary medicine to treat pathological conditions since ancient times. Recently, there has been increased interest in the scientific validity of the beneficial effects of bananas in alleviating and treating disease conditions including, ulcers, infections, diabetes, diarrhea, colitis and blood pressure. Herein, we write on the potential therapeutic and functional benefits of certain species of bananas when consumed green as well as considering the properties of extracts from the non-fruit parts of the plant. We conclude that green bananas appear to deliver an array of health and therapeutic benefits


Immunotherapy using mucin 1 (MUC1) linked to oxidised mannan (MFP) was investigated in an aggressive MUC1+ metastatic tumour, DA3-MUC1 because, unlike many MUC1+ tumour models, DA3-MUC1 is not spontaneously rejected in mice making it an alternative model for immunotherapy studies. Further, DA3-MUC1 cells are resistant to lysis by anti-MUC1 cytotoxic T cells (CTLs). The inability of DA3-MUC1 tumours to be rejected in naïve mice as well as vaccination to MUC1 was attributed to a deficiency of expression of MHC class I molecules on the tumour cell surface. In vitro and in vivo analysis of subcutaneous tumours and lung metastases demonstrated that DA3-MUC1 tumour cells have a low expression (< 6%) of MHC class I which can be upregulated (> 90%) following culturing with IFN-γ. Results from flow cytometry analysis and immunoperoxidase staining indicated that the in vitro up-regulation of MHC class I could be maintained for up to seven days in vivo, without affecting the expression levels of MUC1 antigen. Interestingly, MUC1-specific CTL that lyse DA3-MUC1 targets in vitro were induced in MFP immunised mice but failed to protect mice from a DA3-MUC1 tumour challenge. These results highlight the importance of MHC class I molecules in the induction of anti-tumour immunity and the MFP immune response.