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Abstract

Introduction

Obesity is the most threatening non-infectious disease of our time, the basis of many chronic diseases, increasing the mortality rate. The Roma ethnic minority is particularly affected.

Materials and methods

Cross-sectional–questionnaire and physical–survey in rural settlements of Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, where Roma live with the non-Roma, Hungarian-speaking population (N = 1893).

Results

The average BMI of the Hungarian (P < 0.001) and Romanian (P = 0.018) samples was significantly higher than that of the Slovak sample. In the case of Roma and non-Roma subjects, we found a significant difference in Hungary (P = 0.006) based on body composition, as well as in the case of visceral fat (P < 0.001). The extremely obese (<40 BMI) are mostly low educated in Romania and Hungary (P < 0.001), while those in normal weight have a tertiary education in Slovakia (P = 0.027). Hungarian Roma and non-Roma participants show significant differences in the physical activity dimension of the SF-36 questionnaire (P < 0.001), as well as in Romania (P < 0.001) and Slovakia (P = 0.002).

Conclusions

In summary, it can be stated that rural Roma subjects in Hungary are in the worst situation in terms of obesity in the three countries studied. In our study, the results in Slovakia clearly suggest a healthier lifestyle.

Open access

Abstract  

The tensile loading-induced necking in notched specimens of an amorphous copolyester (aCOP) was studied by modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC). It was shown that necking occurred by cold drawing since the enthalpy of cold crystallization and that of the subsequent melting agreed fairly with each other. Increasing deformation in the necking zone and increasing deformation rate of the specimens shifted the onset of cold crystallization toward lower temperatures and yielded a slightly higher glass transition temperature (Tg). This was attributed to the molecular orientation caused by mechanical loading. The finding that the melting contained a non-reversing part was considered as appearance of possible microcrystallinity. The Tg range was strongly influenced by the deformation rate and reflects the thermomechanical history of the samples accordingly.

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Abstract  

The toughness of amorphous copolyester sheets was assessed by the essential work of fracture (EWF) concept. While the yielding-related work of fracture terms did not change significantly, the necking-related parameters strongly decreased with decreasing entanglement density of the copolyesters having different amounts of cyclohexylenedimethylene (CHDM) units in their backbones. Furthermore, copolyesters with high CHDM content and thus less entanglement density showed full recovery of the necked region beyond the glass transition temperature, i.e. the ‘plastic’ zone in the related specimens formed by cold drawing and not by true plastic deformation. By contrast, the copolyester with negligible amount of CHDM did not show this shape recovery. Modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) revealed that the necking in the latter system was accompanied by strain-induced crystallization. The superior work hardening in the necking stage of the respective poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) specimens can thus be ascribed to stretching of the entanglement network with superimposed crystallization.

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Abstract

Obesity and other unhealthy behaviors are behind cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, with the Roma population particularly at risk. The aim of our cross-sectional (questionnaire- and physical measurements-based) study was to compare the prevalence of obesity in Hungarian, Romanian, and Slovakian Hungarian-speaking Roma and non-Roma (N = 1893) in relation to lifestyle-related risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). In the total sample, the proportion of extreme obesity was higher in Roma (P < 0.001) than non-Roma. The mean waist circumference was the highest in Hungary (P < 0.001). Visceral fat was higher in the Hungarian Roma sample than in the Slovak (P = 0.006) or Romanian Roma samples (P = 0.005). Hungarian Roma total cholesterol levels were lower than in the Slovak (P < 0.001) or Romanian samples (P < 0.001). Hypertension and cholesterol levels were associated with a higher risk among non-Roma men (P < 0.001), and the presence of smoking increased CVD risk among both men (P = 0.024) and women (P < 0.001) in the Roma minority. The combined presence of several risk factors was found mainly in Roma. Overall, Roma scores were found to be worse, but ethnicity did not provide clear evidence for the questions examined, but rather the level of education, which is associated with socioeconomic status.

Open access
Acta Alimentaria
Authors:
A. Blázovics
,
E. Fehér
,
I. Kocsis
,
E. Rapavi
,
E. Székely
,
L. Váli
, and
K. Szentmihályi

In general, biologically active polyphenolic compounds have indirect lipid lowering effects, antioxidant properties and they can also eliminate the accumulated toxic metal elements in the liver in cases of hyperlipidemy. Because of all these, we studied the effect of Beiqishen tea on altered lipid metabolisms, redox parameters and on liver metal contents. Although it was expected, there was not any liver protecting activity of the Beiqishen tea extract in the hyperlipidemic rat model, which was proved by biochemical and morphological studies. The reason for our expectation was the significant polyphenol content of Beiqishen tea. Although, the detoxifying activity of tea polyphenols could be observed in hyperlipidemy, at the same time toxic metal element content (As, Mo, Ni, Pb and Cr) of the tea infusion accumulated in the liver in both normo- and hyperlipidemic rats.

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Abstract  

The thermal behaviour of ordered kaolinites from Hungary and Australia intercalated with potassium acetate, cesium acetate and urea has been investigated by simultaneous TG-DTG-DTA, TG-MS, Raman microscopy and XRD. Remarkable changes in the thermal decomposition pattern of the intercalates were obtained as a function of the nature of the intercalating re-agents. Replacing the potassium cation to cesium leads to a change in the OH environments resulting in a more complicated dehydroxylation pattern. The urea intercalates can be decomposed completely without dehydroxylating the mineral, although further treatments are necessary to restore the original d-spacing.

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Certain classes of bioactive compounds can be separated using planar chromatography. Some biological effects (e.g. antibacterial) of these compounds can be investigated directly by examining the growth of a test organism on a specially treated sorbent of thin layer chromatography (TLC). A special method of detection, direct bioautography, is suitable for studying the antimicrobial activity of plant extracts of natural origin by using TLC. Zones of inhibition are visualised by use of a dehydrogenase-activity-detecting, tetrazol-type reagent. Zones of inhibition appeared as pale spots separating well from the dark background. The antibacterial effect of the main essential oil components of some Thymus taxa, as well as that of two antibiotics (streptomycin sulphate and gentamycin) known and applied in practice was investigated against plant pathogenic bacteria. Results showed that thyme essential oil and its components inhibited the growth of test bacteria, but not so considerably as the antibiotics applied. Compositions of the essential oils were analysed by gas chromatography (GC). It could be verified that among the essential oil components, thymol and carvacrol had the strongest inhibitory effect.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors:
É. Sárdi
,
É. Stefanovits-Bányai
,
I. Kocsis
,
M. Takács-Hájos
,
H. Fébel
, and
A. Blázovics

Of the twenty table beet ( Beta vulgaris L. ssp. esculenta convar. crassa provar. conditiva ALEF.) cultivars investigated for several nutritionally important components (betaine, betanin, phenol, glucose, fructose, sucrose) formerly (Hájos et al., 2004), cultivar Ditroit having average quality parameters was chosen for in vitro animal experiments. The hyperlipidemic rat model is suitable to study the physiological effect of table beet on the metabolic alterations and the redox homeostasis in the liver. In fatty liver, as a consequence of hyperlipidemy, the redox homeostasis is strongly injured. General biologically active compounds of table beet have indirect lipid lowering effect and antioxidant properties. Therefore, the effect of lyophilised table beet powder was studied on altered lipid metabolism and redox parameters in hyperlipidemic rats. Hyperlipidemy was induced by a fat-rich diet, and both in the control group and in the hyperlipidemic group, animals were treated with the lyophilised table beet powder (2 g bwkg −1 ) added into rat chow for 10 days parallel with the feeding. Significant antioxidant activity of table beet was recorded in the hyperlipidemic liver. This phenomenon was expected because of the significant amount of betanin and the high total polyphenol content of the beet. Significant beneficial changes were also observed in the serum cholesterol level, alkaline phosphatase and alanine-aminotransferase activities, although a non-expected elevation was observed in the serum bilirubin level in hyperlipidemy. Non-specific H-donor activity was not changed, but protein related free SH-group concentration was decreased in the plasma. Serum triglyceride level was better after table beet treatment in normolipidemy, only. Change of redox-homeostasis was more favourable in the liver during the treatment. Diene conjugate content and the level of induced free radicals decreased during the table beet treatment in case of fatty liver. These changes were due to the bioactive components of the commercially available table beet. Consequently, table beet due to its specific qualities beneficially influences several metabolic pathways, therefore it can be considered as a functional food.

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In in vitro studies it was detected that the juice from the choleretic black radish root had hydrogen donating and d-field element-chelating abilities. The juice exhibited strong reducing power property and radical scavenging effect in H2O2/∙OH luminol system.

With the help of short term animal experiment we examined the in vivo effect of Raphanus sativus root juice on hyperlipidemia in rats.

A chemiluminescent study was applied to determine the total scavenger activity (TSC) of erythrocytes and plasma of untreated and treated animals. We also determined the different liver enzyme activities: alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and metabolite concentrations (cholesterol, triacylglycerols, total bilirubin, glucose) by spectrophotometry in the sera.

In our study, using experimental hyperlipidemic condition, it has been detected that black radish root juice could moderate the injurious effect of lipid rich diet in rats in vivo.

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