Publications produced by the HSE's Health and Well Being Division and those produced by individuals working in the Division

Recent Submissions

  • An Easy Guide to Rare Diseases in Ireland: A Resource for the Media and the General Public

    Task Force on Rare Diseases (The Task Force on Rare Diseases, 2020-02)
  • Improved Strength Recovery and Reduced Fatigue with Suppressed Plasma Myostatin Following Supplementation of a Hydrolysate, in a Healthy Male Population.

    Kerr, Alish; Hart, Luke; Davis, Heidi; Lacey, Seán; Franklyn-Miller, Andrew; Khaldi, Nora; Wall, Audrey; Keogh, Brian (2023-02-16)
    Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) due to intense physical exertion can negatively impact contractility and performance. Previously, NPN_1 (PeptiStrong™), a Vicia faba hydrolysate derived from a protein concentrate discovered through artificial intelligence (AI), was preclinically shown to help maintain muscle health, indicating the potential to mediate the effect of DOMS and alter molecular markers of muscle damage to improve recovery and performance. A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 30 healthy male (30-45 years old) volunteers (NCT05159375). Following initial strength testing on day 0, subjects were administered either placebo or NPN_1 (2.4 g/day). On day 14, DOMS was induced using resistance exercise. Strength recovery and fatigue were measured after 48 and 72 h. Biomarker analysis was performed on blood samples collected prior to DOMS induction and 0, 2, 48 and 72 h post-DOMS induction. NPN_1 supplementation significantly improved strength recovery compared to placebo over the 72 h period post-resistance exercise (p = 0.027), measured by peak torque per bodyweight, but not at individual timepoints. Muscle fatigue was significantly reduced over the same 72 h period (p = 0.041), as was myostatin expression (p = 0.006). A concomitant increase in other acute markers regulating muscle protein synthesis, regeneration and myoblast differentiation was also observed. NPN_1 significantly improves strength recovery and restoration, reduces fatigue and positively modulates alterations in markers related to muscle homeostasis.
  • Population Health & Wellbeing Key Performance Indicator Metadata 2022

    Health Service Executive (HSE) (Health Service Executive, 2022-04-11)
  • Population Health & Wellbeing Key Performance Indicator Metadata 2021

    Health Service Executive (HSE) (Health Service Executive, 2022-10-03)
  • Increases of Lipophilic Antioxidants and Anticancer Activity of Coix Seed Fermented by .

    Zeng, Haiying; Qin, Likang; Liu, Xiaoyan; Miao, Song (2021-03-09)
    Lipophilic tocols, γ-oryzanol, and coixenolide in coix seed before and after fermentation by Monascus purpureus were determined. Antioxidant and anticancer activities of raw and fermented coix seed were evaluated using free-radical-scavenging assays and polyunsaturated fatty acid oxidation model, and human laryngeal carcinoma cell HEp2, respectively. Compared to the raw seed, the tocols, γ-oryzanol, and coixenolide contents increased approximately 4, 25, and 2 times, respectively, in the fermented coix seed. Especially, γ-tocotrienol and γ-oryzanol reached 72.5 and 655.0 μg/g in the fermented coix seed. The lipophilic extract from fermented coix seed exhibited higher antioxidant activity in scavenging free radicals and inhibiting lipid oxidation. The inhibitory concentrations for 50% cell survival (IC50) of lipophilic extract from fermented coix seed in inhibiting HEp2 cells decreased by 42%. This study showed that coix seed fermented by M. purpureus increased free and readily bioavailable lipophilic antioxidants and anticancer activity. Therefore, fermentation could enhance the efficacy of the health promoting function of coix seeds.
  • Investigating the Use of Ultraviolet Light Emitting Diodes (UV-LEDs) for the Inactivation of Bacteria in Powdered Food Ingredients.

    Nyhan, Laura; Przyjalgowski, Milosz; Lewis, Liam; Begley, Máire; Callanan, Michael (2021-04-08)
    The addition of contaminated powdered spices and seasonings to finished products which do not undergo further processing represents a significant concern for food manufacturers. To reduce the incidence of bacterial contamination, seasoning ingredients should be subjected to a decontamination process. Ultraviolet light emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) have been suggested as an alternative to UV lamps for reducing the microbial load of foods, due to their increasing efficiency, robustness and decreasing cost. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of UV-LED devices for the inactivation of four bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis and Salmonella Typhimurium) on a plastic surface and in four powdered seasoning ingredients (onion powder, garlic powder, cheese and onion powder and chilli powder). Surface inactivation experiments with UV mercury lamps, UVC-LEDs and UVA-LEDs emitting at wavelengths of 254 nm, 270 nm and 365 nm, respectively, revealed that treatment with UVC-LEDs were comparable to, or better than those observed using the mercury lamp. Bacterial reductions in the seasoning powders with UVC-LEDs were less than in the surface inactivation experiments, but significant reductions of 0.75-3 log10 colony forming units (CFU) were obtained following longer (40 s) UVC-LED exposure times. Inactivation kinetics were generally nonlinear, and a comparison of the predictive models highlighted that microbial inactivation was dependent on the combination of powder and microorganism. This study is the first to report on the efficacy of UV-LEDs for the inactivation of several different bacterial species in a variety of powdered ingredients, highlighting the potential of the technology as an alternative to the traditional UV lamps used in the food industry.
  • Antimicrobials from Seaweeds for Food Applications.

    Cabral, Eduarda M; Oliveira, Márcia; Mondala, Julie R M; Curtin, James; Tiwari, Brijesh K; Garcia-Vaquero, Marco (2021-04-11)
  • Phytochemicals in Food and Health.

    Rai, Dilip K (2021-04-20)
  • Food Safety and Food Handling Practices.

    Ehuwa, Olugbenga; Jaiswal, Amit K; Jaiswal, Swarna (2021-04-21)
    Salmonellosis is the second most reported gastrointestinal disorder in the EU resulting from the consumption of Salmonella-contaminated foods. Symptoms include gastroenteritis, abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhoea, fever, myalgia, headache, nausea and vomiting. In 2018, Salmonella accounted for more than half of the numbers of foodborne outbreak illnesses reported in the EU. Salmonella contamination is mostly associated with produce such as poultry, cattle and their feeds but other products such as dried foods, infant formula, fruit and vegetable products and pets have become important. Efforts aimed at controlling Salmonella are being made. For example, legislation and measures put in place reduced the number of hospitalizations between 2014 and 2015. However, the number of hospitalizations started to increase in 2016. This calls for more stringent controls at the level of government and the private sector. Food handlers of "meat processing" and "Ready to Eat" foods play a crucial role in the spread of Salmonella. This review presents an updated overview of the global epidemiology, the relevance of official control, the disease associated with food handlers and the importance of food safety concerning salmonellosis.
  • The Effects of Pre-Game Carbohydrate Intake on Running Performance and Substrate Utilisation during Simulated Gaelic Football Match Play.

    O'Brien, Luke; Collins, Kieran; Webb, Richard; Davies, Ian; Doran, Dominic; Amirabdollahian, Farzad (2021-04-21)
    Twelve Gaelic football players completed a Gaelic football simulation protocol (GFSP) on two occasions after consuming a high-CHO diet (7 g·kg-1) (HCHO) or an energy-matched lower-CHO diet (3.5 g·kg-1) (L-CHO) for 48 h. Movement demands and heart rate were measured using portable global positioning systems devices. Countermovement jump height (CMJ) and repeated-sprint ability (RSA) were measured throughout each trial. Expired respiratory gases were collected throughout the trial using a portable gas analyser. Blood samples were taken at rest, half-time, and post-simulation.
  • Plasma-Treated Water Affects Vitality and Biofilm Structure.

    Handorf, Oliver; Pauker, Viktoria Isabella; Weihe, Thomas; Schäfer, Jan; Freund, Eric; Schnabel, Uta; Bekeschus, Sander; Riedel, Katharina; Ehlbeck, Jörg (2021-04-28)
    Background: Plasma-generated compounds (PGCs) such as plasma-processed air (PPA) or plasma-treated water (PTW) offer an increasingly important alternative for the control of microorganisms in hard-to-reach areas found in several industrial applications including the food industry. To this end, we studied the antimicrobial capacity of PTW on the vitality and biofilm formation of Listeria monocytogenes, a common foodborne pathogen. Results: Using a microwave plasma (MidiPLexc), 10 ml of deionized water was treated for 100, 300, and 900 s (pre-treatment time), after which the bacterial biofilm was exposed to the PTW for 1, 3, and 5 min (post-treatment time) for each pre-treatment time, separately. Colony-forming units (CFU) were significantly reduced by 4.7 log10 ± 0.29 log10, as well as the metabolic activity decreased by 47.9 ± 9.47% and the cell vitality by 69.5 ± 2.1%, compared to the control biofilms. LIVE/DEAD staining and fluorescence microscopy showed a positive correlation between treatment and incubation times, as well as reduction in vitality. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) indicated changes in the structure quality of the bacterial biofilm. Conclusion: These results indicate a promising antimicrobial impact of plasma-treated water on Listeria monocytogenes, which may lead to more targeted applications of plasma decontamination in the food industry in the future.
  • Aerobic exercise intensity does not affect the anabolic signaling following resistance exercise in endurance athletes.

    Jones, T W; Eddens, L; Kupusarevic, J; Simoes, D C M; Furber, M J W; van Someren, K A; Howatson, G (2021-05-24)
    This study examined whether intensity of endurance stimulus within a concurrent training paradigm influenced the phosphorylation of signaling proteins associated with the mTOR and AMPK networks. Eight male cyclists completed (1) resistance exercise (RES), 6 × 8 squats at 80% 1-RM; (2) resistance exercise and moderate intensity cycling of 40 min at 65% V̇O2peak, (RES + MIC); (3) resistance exercise and high intensity interval cycling of 40 min with 6 alternating 3 min intervals of 85 and 45% V̇O2peak (RES + HIIC), in a cross-over design. Muscle biopsies were collected at rest and 3 h post-RES. There was a main effect of condition for mTORS2448 (p = 0.043), with a greater response in the RES + MIC relative to RES condition (p = 0.033). There was a main effect of condition for AMPKα2T172 (p = 0.041), with a greater response in RES + MIC, relative to both RES + HIIC (p = 0.026) and RES (p = 0.046). There were no other condition effects for the remaining protein kinases assessed (p > 0.05). These data do not support a molecular interference effect in cyclists under controlled conditions. There was no intensity-dependent regulation of AMPK, nor differential activation of anabolism with the manipulation of endurance exercise intensity.
  • Who Smokes in Europe? Data From 12 European Countries in the TackSHS Survey (2017-2018).

    Gallus, Silvano; Lugo, Alessandra; Liu, Xiaoqiu; Behrakis, Panagiotis; Boffi, Roberto; Bosetti, Cristina; Carreras, Giulia; Chatenoud, Liliane; Clancy, Luke; Continente, Xavier; et al. (2020-04-04)
  • The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Food Consumers' Awareness of Antimicrobial Resistance, OneHealth, and Animal Welfare Information on Food Labels.

    Regan, Áine; Sweeney, Sharon; McKernan, Claire; Benson, Tony; Hyland, John; Dean, Moira (2021-06-29)
    Covid-19 is a OneHealth crisis with far-reaching and unexpected impacts on many aspects of society. Previous OneHealth issues, such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), have not received a similar level of attention or action from the public despite representing significant public health and economic threats to society. The current study aimed to explore whether the Covid-19 pandemic may act as a catalyst to increase public awareness related to OneHealth issues, in particular, AMR. This short paper presents overview findings from a survey carried out in September 2020 with a representative sample of food consumers on the island of Ireland (n = 972). The survey revealed Covid-19 had increased awareness of AMR amongst 47% of respondents; increased awareness of connected animal and human health amongst 43% of respondents; and increased awareness of animal welfare information on food labels amongst 34% of respondents. A cluster analysis revealed five distinct consumer segments impacted differently by Covid-19. These segments differed in their levels of objective and subjective knowledge of antibiotic use practises in farming, AMR risk perception, and attributions of responsibility for action on AMR. Findings are discussed with respect to future efforts by the agri-food sector to communicate with the public about AMR and responsible antibiotic use in farming, with particular emphasis on the implications for strategies that incorporate front-of-pack labelling.
  • Health Behaviors of Higher Education Students from 7 Countries: Poorer Sleep Quality during the COVID-19 Pandemic Predicts Higher Dietary Risk.

    Du, Chen; Zan, Megan Chong Hueh; Cho, Min Jung; Fenton, Jenifer I; Hsiao, Pao Ying; Hsiao, Richard; Keaver, Laura; Lai, Chang-Chi; Lee, HeeSoon; Ludy, Mary-Jon; et al. (2021-01-15)
    Health behaviors of higher education students can be negatively influenced by stressful events. The global COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique opportunity to characterize and compare health behaviors across multiple countries and to examine how these behaviors are shaped by the pandemic experience. Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in universities in China, Ireland, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, the Netherlands and the United States (USA) were recruited into this cross-sectional study. Eligible students filled out an online survey comprised of validated tools for assessing sleep quality and duration, dietary risk, alcohol misuse and physical activity between late April and the end of May 2020. Health behaviors were fairly consistent across countries, and all countries reported poor sleep quality. However, during the survey period, the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the health behaviors of students in European countries and the USA more negatively than Asian countries, which could be attributed to the differences in pandemic time course and caseloads. Students who experienced a decline in sleep quality during the COVID-19 pandemic had higher dietary risk scores than students who did not experience a change in sleep quality (p = 0.001). Improved sleep quality was associated with less sitting time (p = 0.010). Addressing sleep issues among higher education students is a pressing concern, especially during stressful events. These results support the importance of making education and behavior-based sleep programming available for higher education students in order to benefit students' overall health.
  • Training Load Monitoring Considerations for Female Gaelic Team Sports: From Theory to Practice.

    Duggan, John D; Moody, Jeremy A; Byrne, Paul J; Cooper, Stephen-Mark; Ryan, Lisa (2021-06-05)
  • Guidance on Fitness for Work of Healthcare Workers in the Higher Risk Categories, including Pregnant Healthcare Workers [v10.04]

    Workplace Health & Wellbeing Unit; Clinical Advisory Group on COVID-19; Health Service Executive (Health Service Executive, 2021-07-12)
  • Comparative Genomics Analysis of from Different Niches.

    Jia, Yan; Yang, Bo; Ross, Paul; Stanton, Catherine; Zhang, Hao; Zhao, Jianxin; Chen, Wei (2020-01-14)
    The potential probiotic benefits of Lactobacillus mucosae have received increasing attention. To investigate the genetic diversity of L. mucosae, comparative genomic analyses of 93 strains isolated from different niches (human and animal gut, human vagina, etc.) and eight strains of published genomes were conducted. The results showed that the core genome of L. mucosae mainly encoded translation and transcription, amino acid biosynthesis, sugar metabolism, and defense function while the pan-genomic curve tended to be close. The genetic diversity of L. mucosae mainly reflected in carbohydrate metabolism and immune/competitive-related factors, such as exopolysaccharide (EPS), enterolysin A, and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas. It was worth noting that this research firstly predicted the complete EPS operon shared among L. mucosae. Additionally, the type IIIA CRISPR-Cas system was discovered in L. mucosae for the first time. This work provided new ideas for the study of this species.
  • Extraction of Protein from Four Different Seaweeds Using Three Different Physical Pre-Treatment Strategies.

    O' Connor, Jack; Meaney, Steve; Williams, Gwilym A; Hayes, Maria (2020-04-24)
    Seaweeds are a rich source of protein and can contain up to 47% on the dry weight basis. It is challenging to extract proteins from the raw biomass of seaweed due to resilient cell-wall complexes. Four species of macroalgae were used in this study-two brown, Fucus vesiculosus and Alaria esculenta, and two red, Palmaria palmata and Chondrus crispus. Three treatments were applied individually to the macroalgal species: (I) high-pressure processing (HPP); (II) laboratory autoclave processing and (III) a classical sonication and salting out method. The protein, ash and lipid contents of the resulting extracts were estimated. Yields of protein recovered ranged from 3.2% for Fucus vesiculosus pre-treated with high pressure processing to 28.9% protein recovered for Chondrus crispus treated with the classical method. The yields of protein recovered using the classical, HPP and autoclave pre-treatments applied to Fucus vesiculosus were 35.1, 23.7% and 24.3%, respectively; yields from Alaria esculenta were 18.2%, 15.0% and 17.1% respectively; yields from Palmaria palmata were 12.5%, 14.9% and 21.5% respectively, and finally, yields from Chondrus crispus were 35.2%, 16.1% and 21.9%, respectively. These results demonstrate that while macroalgal proteins may be extracted using either physical or enzymatic methods, the specific extraction procedure should be tailored to individual species.

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