Dr Julie Hunt

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Sciences
+44 (0)1483 689400
30 PG 00


University roles and responsibilities

  • Programme Leader for BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

    Affiliations and memberships

    European College of Sport Science
    The Physiological Society


    Research interests

    Research collaborations




    Journal articles

    Hunt JEA, Galeo D, Tufft G, Bunce D & Ferguson RA (2013). Time course of regional vascular adaptations to low load resistance training with blood flow restriction. Journal of Applied Physiology, 115, 3, 403-411.Taylor CW, Ingham SA, Hunt JEA, Martin NR, Lewis MP, Pringle JS, Fudge BW & Ferguson RA (under review). Sprint interval and continuous cycling induce similar increases in AMPK phosphorylation, PGC-1α and VEGF mRNA expression in trained human skeletal muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology.

    Etxebarria N, Hunt JEA, Ingham SA & Ferguson RA (2013). Physiological assessment of isolated running does not directly replicate running capacity after triathlon-specific cycling. Journal of Sports Science, published ahead of print.

    Hunt JEA, Walton LA & Ferguson RA (2012). Brachial artery modifications to blood flow restricted handgrip training and detraining. Journal of Applied Physiology. 112, 956-961.

    Conference presentations

    Hunt JEA, Taylor CW, Martin N, Player D, Lewis MP & Ferguson RA (2013). The acute angiogenic transcriptional response to low load resistance exercise with blood flow restriction. European College of Sports Science, Barcelona.

    Taylor CW, Ingham SA, Hunt JEA, Martin NR, Lewis MP, Pringle JS, Fudge BW & Ferguson RA (2013). Acute interval and continuous sprint cycling increases angiogenic gene expression in trained skeletal muscle. European College of Sports Science, Barcelona

    Hunt JEA, Galeo D & Ferguson RA (2012). Popliteal artery modifications to low load plantar flexion training with blood flow restriction. The Physiological Society; The Biochemical Basis of Elite Performance, London.

    Hunt JEA, Walton LA & Ferguson RA (2011). Brachial artery modifications to blood flow restricted handgrip training and detraining. ACSM 58th Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado.

    Pringle J, Hunt JEA, Dekerle J, Brickley G (2009). Critical speed, anaerobic distance capacity and swimming performance after prior heavy and severe exercise. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington

    JEA Hunt, C Stodart, RA Ferguson (2016)The influence of participant characteristics on the relationship between cuff pressure and level of blood flow restriction, In: European Journal of Applied Physiology116(7)pp. 1421-1432

    Purpose Previous investigations to establish factors influencing the blood flow restriction (BFR) stimulus have determined cuff pressures required for complete arterial occlusion, which does not reflect the partial restriction prescribed for this training technique. This study aimed to establish characteristics that should be accounted for when prescribing cuff pressures required for partial BFR. Methods Fifty participants were subjected to incremental blood flow restriction of the upper and lower limbs by proximal pneumatic cuff inflation. Popliteal and brachial artery diameter, blood velocity and blood flow was assessed with Doppler ultrasound. Height, body mass, limb circumference, muscle–bone cross-sectional area, adipose thickness (AT) and arterial blood pressure were measured and used in different models of hierarchical linear regression to predict the pressure at which 60 % BFR (partial occlusion) occurred. Results Combined analysis revealed a difference in cuff pressures required to elicit 60 % BFR in the popliteal (111 ± 12 mmHg) and brachial arteries (101 ± 12 mmHg). MAP (r = 0.58) and AT (r = −0.45) were the largest independent determinants of lower and upper body partial occlusion pressures. However, greater variance was explained by upper and lower limb regression models composed of DBP and BMI (48 %), and arm AT and DBP (30 %), respectively. Conclusion Limb circumference has limited impact on the cuff pressure required for partial blood flow restriction which is in contrast to its recognised relationship with complete arterial occlusion. The majority of the variance in partial occlusion pressure remains unexplained by the predictor variables assessed in the present study.

    CW Taylor, SA Ingham, NRW Martin, JSM Pringle, RA Ferguson, Julie Elizabeth Anna Hunt (2016)Exercise duration-matched interval and continuous sprint cycling induce similar increases in AMPK phosphorylation, PGC-1α and VEGF mRNA expression in trained individuals, In: European Journal of Applied Physiology

    Purpose The effects of low-volume interval and continuous ‘all-out’ cycling, matched for total exercise duration, on mitochondrial and angiogenic cell signalling was investigated in trained individuals. Methods In a repeated measures design, 8 trained males (____(____dot{V}{____text{O}}_{{2{____text{peak}}}}____), 57 ± 7 ml kg−1 min−1) performed two cycling exercise protocols; interval (INT, 4 × 30 s maximal sprints interspersed by 4 min passive recovery) or continuous (CON, 2 min continuous maximal sprint). Muscle biopsies were obtained before, immediately after and 3 h post-exercise. Results Total work was 53 % greater (P = 0.01) in INT compared to CON (71.2 ± 7.3 vs. 46.3 ± 2.7 kJ, respectively). Phosphorylation of AMPKThr172 increased by a similar magnitude (P = 0.347) immediately post INT and CON (1.6 ± 0.2 and 1.3 ± 0.3 fold, respectively; P = 0.011), before returning to resting values at 3 h post-exercise. mRNA expression of PGC-1α (7.1 ± 2.1 vs. 5.5 ± 1.8 fold; P = 0.007), VEGF (3.5 ± 1.2 vs. 4.3 ± 1.8 fold; P = 0.02) and HIF-1α (2.0 ± 0.5 vs. 1.5 ± 0.3 fold; P = 0.04) increased at 3 h post-exercise in response to INT and CON, respectively; the magnitude of which were not different between protocols. Conclusions Despite differences in total work done, low-volume INT and CON ‘all-out’ cycling, matched for exercise duration, provides a similar stimulus for the induction of mitochondrial and angiogenic cell signalling pathways in trained skeletal muscle.

    Andrea Darling, Kathryn Hart, F Gossiel, F Robertson, Julie Hunt, TR Hill, Sigurd Johnsen, JL Berry, R Eastell, R Vieth, Susan Lanham-New (2017)Higher bone resorption excretion in South Asian women vs White Caucasians and increased bone loss with higher seasonal cycling of vitamin D:  results from the D-FINES cohort study, In: Bone98pp. 47-53 Elsevier

    Few data exist on bone turnover in South Asian women and it is not well elucidated as to whether Western dwelling South Asian women have different bone resorption levels to that of women from European ethnic backgrounds. This study assessed bone resorption levels in UK dwelling South Asian and Caucasian women as well as evaluating whether seasonal variation in 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] is associated with bone resorption in either ethnic group. Data for seasonal measures of urinary N-telopeptide of collagen (uNTX) and serum 25(OH)D were analysed from n=373 women (four groups; South Asian postmenopausal n=44, South Asian premenopausal n=50, Caucasian postmenopausal n=144, Caucasian premenopausal n =135) (mean (± SD) age 48 (14) years; age range 18-79 years) who participated in the longitudinal D-FINES (Diet, Food Intake, Nutrition and Exposure to the Sun in Southern England) cohort study (2006-2007). A mixed between-within subjects ANOVA (n=192) showed a between subjects effect of the four groups (P

    N Etxebarria, J Hunt, S Ingham, R Ferguson (2014)Physiological assessment of isolated running does not directly replicate running capacity after triathlon-specific cycling, In: JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES32(3)pp. 229-238 TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
    D Galea, G Tufft, D Bunce, RA Ferguson, Julie Elizabeth Anna Hunt (2013)Time course of regional vascular adaptations to low load resistance training with blood flow restriction, In: JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY115(3)pp. 403-411 AMER PHYSIOLOGICAL SOC
    Simon Lambden, Ben C. Creagh-Brown, Julie Hunt, Charlotte Summers, Lui G. Forni (2018)Definitions and pathophysiology of vasoplegic shock, In: Critical Care22(174)pp. 1-8 BioMed Central

    Vasoplegia is the syndrome of pathological low systemic vascular resistance, the dominant clinical feature of which is reduced blood pressure in the presence of a normal or raised cardiac output. The vasoplegic syndrome is encountered in many clinical scenarios, including septic shock, post-cardiac bypass and after surgery, burns and trauma, but despite this, uniform clinical definitions are lacking, which renders translational research in this area challenging. We discuss the role of vasoplegia in these contexts and the criteria that are used to describe it are discussed. Intrinsic processes which may drive vasoplegia, such as nitric oxide, prostanoids, endothelin-1, hydrogen sulphide and reactive oxygen species production, are reviewed and potential for therapeutic intervention explored. Extrinsic drivers, including those mediated by glucocorticoid, catecholamine and vasopressin responsiveness of the blood vessels, are also discussed. The optimum balance between maintaining adequate systemic vascular resistance against the potentially deleterious effects of treatment with catecholamines is as yet unclear, but development of novel vasoactive agents may facilitate greater understanding of the role of the differing pathways in the development of vasoplegia. In turn, this may provide insights into the best way to care for patients with this common, multifactorial condition.

    EB Thompson, L Farrow, JEA Hunt, MP Lewis, RA Ferguson (2015)Brachial artery characteristics and micro-vascular filtration capacity in rock climbers, In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPORT SCIENCE15(4)pp. 296-304 TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
    JEA Hunt, LA Walton, RA Ferguson (2012)Brachial artery modifications to blood flow-restricted handgrip training and detraining, In: JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY112(6)pp. 956-961 AMER PHYSIOLOGICAL SOC
    Ismita Chhetri, Julie E. A. Hunt, Jeewaka R. Mendis, Stephen D. Patterson, Zudin A. Puthucheary, Hugh E. Montgomery, Benedict C. Creagh-Brown (2019)Repetitive vascular occlusion stimulus (RVOS) versus standard care to prevent muscle wasting in critically ill patients (ROSProx):a study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial, In: Trials20456pp. 1-14 BMC

    Background Forty per cent of critically ill patients are affected by intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICU-AW), to which skeletal muscle wasting makes a substantial contribution. This can impair outcomes in hospital, and can cause long-term physical disability after hospital discharge. No effective mitigating strategies have yet been identified. Application of a repetitive vascular occlusion stimulus (RVOS) a limb pressure cuff inducing brief repeated cycles of ischaemia and reperfusion, can limit disuse muscle atrophy in both healthy controls and bed-bound patients recovering from knee surgery. We wish to determine whether RVOS might be effective in mitigating against muscle wasting in the ICU. Given that RVOS can also improve vascular function in healthy controls, we also wish to assess such effects in the critically ill. We here describe a pilot study to assess whether RVOS application is safe, tolerable, feasible and acceptable for ICU patients. Methods This is a randomised interventional feasibility trial. Thirty-two ventilated adult ICU patients with multiorgan failure will be recruited within 48 h of admission and randomised to either the intervention arm or the control arm. Intervention participants will receive RVOS twice daily (except only once on day 1) for up to 10 days or until ICU discharge. Serious adverse events and tolerability (pain score) will be recorded; feasibility of trial procedures will be assessed against pre-specified criteria and acceptability by semi-structured interview. Together with vascular function, muscle mass and quality will be assessed using ultrasound and measures of physical function at baseline, on days 6 and 11 of study enrolment, and at ICU and hospital discharge. Blood and urine biomarkers of muscle metabolism, vascular function, inflammation and DNA damage/repair mechanism will also be analysed. The Health questionnaire will be completed 3 months after hospital discharge. Discussion If this study demonstrates feasibility, the derived data will be used to inform the design (and sample size) of an appropriately-powered prospective trial to clarify whether RVOS can help preserve muscle mass/improve vascular function in critically ill patients.

    Richard A. Ferguson, Julie Hunt, Mark P. Lewis, Neil R. W. Martin, Darren J. Player, Carolin Stangier, Conor W. Taylor, Mark C. Turner (2018)The acute angiogenic signalling response to low-load resistance exercise with blood flow restriction, In: European Journal of Sport Science18(3)pp. 397-406 Taylor & Francis

    This study investigated protein kinase activation and gene expression of angiogenic factors in response to low-load resistance exercise with or without blood flow restriction (BFR). In a repeated measures cross-over design, six males performed four sets of bilateral knee extension exercise at 20% 1RM (reps per set = 30:15:15:continued to fatigue) with BFR (110 mmHg) and without (CON). Muscle biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis before, 2 and 4 h post-exercise. mRNA expression was determined using real-time RT–PCR. Protein phosphorylation/expression was determined using Western blot. p38MAPK phosphorylation was greater (p = 0.05) at 2 h following BFR (1.3 ± 0.8) compared to CON (0.4 ± 0.3). AMPK phosphorylation remained unchanged. PGC-1α mRNA expression increased at 2 h (5.9 ± 1.3 vs. 2.1 ± 0.8; p = 0.03) and 4 h (3.2 ± 0.8 vs. 1.5 ± 0.4; p = 0.03) following BFR exercise with no change in CON. PGC-1α protein expression did not change following either exercise. BFR exercise enhanced mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) at 2 h (5.2 ± 2.8 vs 1.7 ± 1.1; p = .02) and 4 h (6.8 ± 4.9 vs. 2.5 ± 2.7; p = .01) compared to CON. mRNA expression of VEGF-R2 and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α increased following BFR exercise but only eNOS were enhanced relative to CON. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 mRNA expression was not altered in response to either exercise. Acute low-load resistance exercise with BFR provides a targeted angiogenic response potentially mediated through enhanced ischaemic and shear stress stimuli.

    Saskia Wilson-Barnes, Julie Hunt, Jeewaka Mendis, Emma L Williams, David George King, HARRY ROBERTS, Susan Alexandra Lanham-New, Ralph J. F. Manders (2021)The relationship between vitamin D status, intake and exercise performance in UK University-level athletes and healthy inactive controls, In: PloS one16(4)e0249671 Public Library Science

    The potential ergogenic effects of vitamin D (vitD) in high performing athletes has received considerable attention in the literature and media. However, little is known about non-supplemented university athletes and students residing at a higher latitude. This study aimed to investigate the effects of vitD (biochemical status and dietary intake) on exercise performance in UK university athletes and sedentary students. A total of 34 athletes and 16 sedentary controls were studied during the spring and summer months. Serum vitD status and sunlight exposure were assessed using LC-MS/MS and dosimetry, respectively. Muscular strength of the upper and lower body was assessed using handgrip and knee extensor dynamometry (KE). Countermovement jump (CMJ) and aerobic fitness were measured using an Optojump and VO2max test, respectively. Statistical analysis was performed using paired/ independent t-tests, ANCOVA and Pearson/ Spearman correlations, depending on normality. VitD status increased significantly over the seasons, with athletes measuring higher status both in spring (51.7 +/- 20.5 vs. 37.2 +/- 18.9 nmol/L, p = 0.03) and summer (66.7 +/- 15.8 vs 55.6 +/- 18.8 nmol/L, p = 0.04) when compared to controls, respectively. Notably, 22% of the subjects recruited were vitD deficient during the spring term only (

    Saskia Wilson-Barnes, Julie Hunt, Susan A. Lanham-New, R. J. F. Manders (2020)Effects of vitamin D on health outcomes and sporting performance: Implications for elite and recreational athletes, In: Nutrition bulletin45(1)pp. 11-24 Wiley

    The primary source of vitamin D is through synthesis in the skin, following exposure to sunlight containing ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Supply through skin exposure can be supplemented by the diet, but there are relatively few dietary sources, especially those which provide a large amount of vitamin D per serving. Research into the effects of vitamin D status in different population groups has become an increasingly popular topic. The current interest surrounding vitamin D research in sport remains focused on the potential ergogenic effects of vitamin D on physical performance. However, the relationship between vitamin D (dietary intake and status) and musculoskeletal health in university athlete cohorts residing at higher latitudes (>40 degrees N) remains underinvestigated. Within this review, the possible physiological roles that vitamin D may play within sport performance for recreational and professional athletes, as well as military recruits, will be discussed. The focus will be on muscular strength, cardiovascular health and the incidence of illness, including upper respiratory tract infections. Specifically, the effect that vitamin D deficiency {defined as a plasma/serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration of 40 degrees N) where wintertime vitamin D deficiency is prevalent. It is hoped that this review will help to raise the awareness of the importance of existing advice in the UK for the avoidance of vitamin D deficiency and international vitamin D guidelines (such as in the US) on the achievement of vitamin D sufficiency [serum 25(OH)D >50 nmol/l] for optimum health and performance in athletes, both professional and recreational.

    Kyle S. Gapper, Sally Stevens, Rona Antoni, Julie Hunt, Sarah J. Allison (2021)Acute Response of Sclerostin to Whole-body Vibration with Blood Flow Restriction, In: International journal of sports medicine42(13)pp. 1174-1181

    Blood flow restriction may augment the skeletal response to whole-body vibration. This study used a randomised, crossover design to investigate the acute response of serum sclerostin and bone turnover biomarkers to whole-body vibration with blood flow restriction. Ten healthy males (mean±standard deviation; age: 27±8 years) completed two experimental conditions separated by 7 days: (i) whole-body vibration (10 1-minute bouts of whole-body vibration with 30 s recovery) or (ii) whole-body vibration with lower-body blood flow restriction (10 cycles of 110 mmHg inflation with 30 s deflation during recovery). Fasting blood samples were obtained immediately before and immediately after exercise, then 1 hour, and 24 hours after exercise. Serum samples were analysed for sclerostin, cross-linked C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen, and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase. There was a significant time × condition interaction for bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (p=0.003); bone-specific alkaline phosphatase values at 24 hours post-exercise were significantly higher following whole-body vibration compared to combined whole-body vibration and blood flow restriction (p=0.028). No significant time × condition interaction occurred for any other outcome measure (p>0.05). These findings suggest that a single session of whole-body vibration combined with blood flow restriction does not significantly affect serum sclerostin or bone turnover biomarkers.

    Sophie K Allen, Vanessa Brown, Daniel White, David King, Julie Hunt, Joe Wainwright, Annabelle Emery, Emily Hodge, Aga Kehinde, Pradeep Prabhu, Timothy A Rockall, Shaun R Preston, Javed Sultan (2022)Multimodal Prehabilitation During Neoadjuvant Therapy Prior to Esophagogastric Cancer Resection: Effect on Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test Performance, Muscle Mass and Quality of Life-A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial, In: Annals of surgical oncology29(3)pp. 1839-1850

    Neoadjuvant therapy reduces fitness, muscle mass, and quality of life (QOL). For patients undergoing chemotherapy and surgery for esophagogastric cancer, maintenance of fitness is paramount. This study investigated the effect of exercise and psychological prehabilitation on anaerobic threshold (AT) at cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET). Secondary endpoints included peak oxygen uptake (peak VO ), skeletal muscle mass, QOL, and neoadjuvant therapy completion. This parallel-arm randomized controlled trial assigned patients with locally advanced esophagogastric cancer to receive prehabilitation or usual care. The 15-week program comprised twice-weekly supervised exercises, thrice-weekly home exercises, and psychological coaching. CPET was performed at baseline, 2 weeks after neoadjuvant therapy, and 1 week preoperatively. Skeletal muscle cross-sectional area at L3 was analyzed on staging and restaging computed tomography. QOL questionnaires were completed at baseline, mid-neoadjuvant therapy, at restaging laparoscopy, and postoperatively at 2 weeks, 6 weeks and 6 months. Fifty-four participants were randomized (prehabilitation group, n = 26; control group, n = 28). No difference in AT between groups was observed post-neoadjuvant therapy. Prehabilitation resulted in an attenuated peak VO decline {-0.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) -0.8 to 0.1] vs. -2.5 [95% CI -2.8 to -2.2] mL/kg/min; p = 0.022}, less muscle loss [-11.6 (95% CI -14.2 to -9.0) vs. -15.6 (95% CI -18.7 to -15.4) cm /m ; p = 0.049], and improved QOL. More prehabilitation patients completed neoadjuvant therapy at full dose [prehabilitation group, 18 (75%) vs. control group, 13 (46%); p = 0.036]. No adverse events were reported. This study has demonstrated some retention of cardiopulmonary fitness (peak VO ), muscle, and QOL in prehabilitation subjects. Further large-scale trials will help determine whether these promising findings translate into improved clinical and oncological outcomes. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02950324.

    David G. King, Eleanor Stride, JEEWAKA MENDIS, William Gurton, Heather Macrae, Louise Jones, Julie Hunt (2023)A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study examining an Oxygen Nanobubble Beverage for 16.1-km Time Trial and Repeated Sprint Cycling Performance, In: Journal of dietary supplements Routledge

    There is growing interest of ergogenic aids that deliver supplemental oxygen during exercise and recovery, however, breathing supplemental oxygen via specialist facemasks is often not feasible. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of an oxygen-nanobubble beverage during submaximal and repeated sprint cycling. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 10 male cyclists (peak aerobic capacity, 56.9 +/- 6.1 mL center dot kg(-1)center dot min(-1); maximal aerobic power, 385 +/- 25 W) completed submaximal or maximal exercise after consuming an oxygen-nanobubble (O-2) or placebo (PLA) beverage. Submaximal trials comprised 30-min of steady-state cycling at 60% peak aerobic capacity and 16.1-km time-trial (TT). Maximal trials involved 4 x 30 s Wingate tests interspersed by 4-min recovery. Time-to-completion during the 16.1-km TT was 2.4% faster after O-2 compared with PLA (95% CI = 0.7-4.0%, p = 0.010, d = 0.41). Average power for the 16.1-km TT was 4.1% higher for O-2 vs. PLA (95% CI = 2.1-7.3%, p = 0.006, d = 0.28). Average peak power during the repeated Wingate tests increased by 7.1% for O-2 compared with PLA (p = 0.002, d = 0.58). An oxygen-nanobubble beverage improves performance during submaximal and repeated sprint cycling, therefore may provide a practical and effective ergogenic aid for competitive cyclists.

    Saskia Wilson-Barnes, Julie Hunt, Emma L Williams, Sarah J. Allison, James J. Wild, Joe Wainwright, Susan A. Lanham-New, Ralph J. F. Manders (2020)Seasonal variation in vitamin D status, bone health and athletic performance in competitive university student athletes: a longitudinal study, In: Journal of nutritional science (Cambridge)9e8 Cambridge Univ Press

    Vitamin D deficiency has been commonly reported in elite athletes, but the vitamin D status of UK university athletes in different training environments remains unknown. The present study aimed to determine any seasonal changes in vitamin D status among indoor and outdoor athletes, and whether there was any relationship between vitamin D status and indices of physical performance and bone health. A group of forty-seven university athletes (indoor n 22, outdoor n 25) were tested during autumn and spring for serum vitamin D status, bone health and physical performance parameters. Blood samples were analysed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (s-25(OH)D) status. Peak isometric knee extensor torque using an isokinetic dynamometer and jump height was assessed using an Optojump. Aerobic capacity was estimated using the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test. Peripheral quantitative computed tomography scans measured radial bone mineral density. Statistical analyses were performed using appropriate parametric/non-parametric testing depending on the normality of the data. s-25(OH)D significantly fell between autumn (52 center dot 8 (sd 22 center dot 0) nmol/l) and spring (31 center dot 0 (sd 16 center dot 5) nmol/l; P < 0 center dot 001). In spring, 34 % of participants were considered to be vitamin D deficient (

    Julie E. A. Hunt, Mariana O. C. Coelho, Sean Buxton, Rachel Butcher, Daniel Foran, Daniel Rowland, William Gurton, Heather Macrae, Jones Louise, Kyle S. Gapper, Ralph J. F. Manders, David G. King (2021)Consumption of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract Improves Recovery from Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage in Non-Resistance Trained Men and Women: A Double-Blind Randomised Trial, In: Nutrients13(8)2875 MDPI

    Background: Blackcurrant is rich in anthocyanins that may protect against exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and facilitate a faster recovery of muscle function. We examined the effects of New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract on indices of muscle damage and recovery following a bout of strenuous isokinetic resistance exercise. Methods: Using a double-blind, randomised, placebo controlled, parallel design, twenty-seven healthy participants received either a 3 g·day−1 NZBC extract (n = 14) or the placebo (PLA) (n = 13) for 8 days prior to and 4 days following 60 strenuous concentric and eccentric contractions of the biceps brachii muscle on an isokinetic dynamometer. Muscle soreness (using a visual analogue scale), maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), range of motion (ROM) and blood creatine kinase (CK) were assessed before (0 h) and after (24, 48, 72 and 96 h) exercise. Results: Consumption of NZBC extract resulted in faster recovery of baseline MVC (p = 0.04), attenuated muscle soreness at 24 h (NZBC: 21 ± 10 mm vs. PLA: 40 ± 23 mm, p = 0.02) and 48 h (NZBC: 22 ± 17 vs. PLA: 44 ± 26 mm, p = 0.03) and serum CK concentration at 96 h (NZBC: 635 ± 921 UL vs. PLA: 4021 ± 4319 UL, p = 0.04) following EIMD. Conclusions: Consumption of NZBC extract prior to and following a bout of eccentric exercise attenuates muscle damage and improves functional recovery. These findings are of practical importance in recreationally active and potentially athletic populations, who may benefit from accelerated recovery following EIMD.

    Ben C. Creagh-Brown, Aikaterini Papadopoulou, Matthew Dickinson, Theophilus L. Samuels, Christian Heiss, Julie Hunt, Lui Forni (2022)Remote Ischaemic Preconditioning in Intra-Abdominal Cancer Surgery (RIPCa): A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial, In: Journal of Clinical Medicine11(7)1770 MDPI

    There is limited evidence on the effect of remote ischaemic preconditioning (RIPC) following non-cardiac surgery. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of RIPC on morbidity following intra-abdominal cancer surgery. We conducted a double blinded pilot randomised controlled trial that included 47 patients undergoing surgery for gynaecological, pancreatic and colorectal malignancies. The patients were randomized into an intervention (RIPC) or control group. RIPC was provided by intermittent inflations of an upper limb tourniquet. The primary outcome was feasibility of the study, and the main secondary outcome was postoperative morbidity including perioperative troponin change and the urinary biomarkers tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7 (TIMP-2*IGFBP-7). The recruitment target was reached, and the protocol procedures were followed. The intervention group developed fewer surgical complications at 30 days (4.5% vs. 33%), 90 days (9.5% vs. 35%) and 6 months (11% vs. 41%) (adjusted p 0.033, 0.044 and 0.044, respectively). RIPC was a significant independent variable for lower overall postoperative morbidity survey (POMS) score, OR 0.79 (95% CI 0.63 to 0.99) and fewer complications at 6 months including pulmonary OR 0.2 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.92), surgical OR 0.12 (95% CI 0.007 to 0.89) and overall complications, OR 0.18 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.74). There was no difference in perioperative troponin change or TIMP2*IGFBP-7. Our pilot study suggests that RIPC may improve outcomes following intra-abdominal cancer surgery and that a larger trial would be feasible.

    ISMITA CHHETRI, JULIE ELIZABETH, ANNA HUNT, A S Jeewaka R Mendis, Lui G. Forni , Justin Kirk-Bayley , Ian White, JONATHAN COOPER, Karthik Somasundaram , Nikunj Shah, Stephen D. Patterson, Zudin A. Puthucheary, Hugh E. Montgomery, B Creagh-Brown (2022)Safety and Feasibility Assessment of Repetitive Vascular Occlusion Stimulus (RVOS) Application to Multi-Organ Failure Critically Ill Patients: A Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial, In: Journal of clinical medicine11(14)3938 MDPI
    Mariam Bapir, Gavrielle R. Untracht, Julie E. A. Hunt, John H. McVey, Jenny Harris, Simon S. Skene, Paola Campagnolo, Nikolaos Dikaios, Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, David D Sampson, Danuta M. Sampson, Christian Heiss (2022)Age-Dependent Decline in Common Femoral Artery Flow-Mediated Dilation and Wall Shear Stress in Healthy Subjects, In: Life12(12)2023 MDPI

    Femoral artery (FA) endothelial function is a promising biomarker of lower extremity vascular health for peripheral artery disease (PAD) prevention and treatment; however, the impact of age on FA endothelial function has not been reported in healthy adults. Therefore, we evaluated the reproducibility and acceptability of flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in the FA and brachial artery (BA) (n = 20) and performed cross-sectional FA- and BA-FMD measurements in healthy non-smokers aged 22–76 years (n = 50). FMD protocols demonstrated similar good reproducibility. Leg occlusion was deemed more uncomfortable than arm occlusion; thigh occlusion was less tolerated than forearm and calf occlusion. FA-FMD with calf occlusion was lower than BA-FMD (6.0 ± 1.1% vs 6.4 ± 1.3%, p = 0.030). Multivariate linear regression analysis indicated that age (−0.4%/decade) was a significant independent predictor of FA-FMD (R2 = 0.35, p = 0.002). The age-dependent decline in FMD did not significantly differ between FA and BA (pinteraction agexlocation = 0.388). In older participants, 40% of baseline FA wall shear stress (WSS) values were