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Zala Pražnikar and Jure Pražnikar

The effects of particulate matter air pollution on respiratory health and on the cardiovascular system

Particulate matter (PM) is a major component of urban air pollution and has a significant effect on human health. Natural PM sources are volcanic eruptions, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation and sea spray. Traffic, domestic heating, power plants and various industrial processes generate significant amounts of anthropogenic PM. PM consists of a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air. The chemical composition of particles is very complex and depends on emission sources, meteorological conditions and their aerodynamic diameter. Several epidemiological studies have demonstrated that exposure to PM of varying size fractions is associated with an increased risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Adverse health effects have been documented from studies of both acute and chronic exposure. The most severe effects in terms of overall health burden include a significant reduction in life expectancy by a several months for the average population, which is linked to long-term exposure to moderate concentrations of PM. Nevertheless, numerous deaths and serious cardiovascular and respiratory problems have also been attributed to short-term exposure to peak levels of PM. Although many studies attribute greater toxicity to smaller size fractions, which are able to penetrate deeper into the lung, the molecular mechanisms and the size fractions of the PM that are responsible for the observed diseases are not completely understood.

Open access

Tamara Vatovec, Mojca Bizjak and Zala Pražnikar

Nutrigenomika: Interakcije Med Genskimi Polimorfizmi in Sestavinami Hrane

Meja med zdravjem in boleznijo je pogojena s kompleksnim ravnotežjem dveh elementov, genetike na eni strani in načinom življenja na drugi. Nutrigenomika je pristop, s katerim lahko prehranjevanje prilagodimo posamezniku, oziroma posamezniku priporočimo posamezna živila glede na njegov genetski ustroj. Namen preglednega članka je predstaviti posamezne interakcije in povezave med genskimi polimorfizmi in sestavinami hrane ter povečanim tveganjem za razvoj tako bolezni srca in ožilja kot rakavih obolenj. Poznamo namreč kar nekaj bioaktivnih sestavin v hrani, ki lahko pozitivno ali negativno vplivajo tako na potek ateroskleroze, kot tudi na pojav rakavega obolenja.

Moramo pa se zavedati, da čas individualizirane prehrane še ni napočil, potrebne so številne ponovitve obetajočih rezultatov na različnih populacijah. Preiti moramo tudi iz osnovnega, enostavnega eksperimenta (ena sestavina hrane, enojni nukleotidni polimorfizem, dejavnik tveganja) na resnične razmere, ki vključujejo medsebojno vplivanje številnih genov, sestavin hrane in dejavnikov tveganja. Če povzamemo, potrebne so večje populacijske in dobro standardizirane študije.