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The objective of the study was to determine the effects of animal related factors on bruising in slaughter cattle, creatine kinase (CK) and beef quality. Cattle are prone to repeated rough handling in their lifetime which later on lead to aversive reactions such as stress and bruising immediately prior to transportation (EFSA, 2011). Several studies indicate that stress lowers post mortem ultimate pH (pHu) values due to depletion of glycogen in ruminants and produces tougher meat. The study was conducted in East London Abattoir which is located in Buffalo City Municipality.
Data was collected from 321 cattle over four seasons (winter, spring, summer and autumn) between the year 2011 and 2012. The blood samples were collected from the animals using labelled disposable vacutainer tubes.
The serum samples were used to determine the levels of CK at the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS), Port Elizabeth using Model DXC 600 machine (Beckman Coulter, Ireland). The Muscularis longisimus thoracis et Lumborum (LTL) were used for ultimate pH and colour (L*, a*, and b*) measurements.
Colour of the meat (L* = lightness, a* = redness and b* = yellowness) for the Bonsmara, Beefmaster and Brahman carcasses was determined from the Muscular longissimus thoracis et. The PROC GLM of Statistical Analysis System (SAS) Institute (2003) was used to analyse the effect of breed, age, gender and season on the activity of creatine kinase and bruising score. Significant differences between least square group means for CK and animal factors were compared using the Duncana€™s procedure. The effect of breed, age group and season on CK, pHu, L,* a*, and b*, were analysed using Proc GLM of SAS (2003).
The significant difference between least square group means for CK levels and beef quality parameters were compared using Duncan multiple range procedure. The lower the CK levels in Brahman and Beefmaster showed that these two breeds were not susceptible to stress during transportation as compared to Bonsmara breed.
Male animals had the highest CK values (p<001) compared to female animals as shown in Table 3. The higher pH values obtained from Beefmaster and Brahman could be due to stress prior to slaughter, rough handling, inclement temperatures or anything that causes the animal to draw on its glycogen reserves before slaughter.
Darker L* values were observed in 24 months old animals indicating meat becomes darker with increasing animal age.
Bonsmara had the highest percentage 10% medium-bruised dark red (24 h old) with Brahman having the lowest bruised dark red meat 5%. The highest number of slightly bright red bruises was observed in 16 month cattle while the 24 month old cattle had the lowest slightly bright bruised meat (Figure 2). Highest levels of slightly bruised meat and dark bruised meat were observed in female animals, while male animals had the lowest slightly bright bruised meat and medium dark bruised meat (Figure 3). Results from this study showed that animal factors such as sex, breed and animal age at slaughter contribute to the development of bruises, and have an effect on creatine kinase (CK) levels and meat quality.
The authors wish to acknowledge the support received from the Meat Industry Trust fund (MIT) and Project C263.
Acknowledgments: The authors thank the nurses and physicians of the emergency department and inpatient cardiovascular units, the technical staff of the laboratories, and Drs. Grahic Jump LocationFigure 3.Relative lymphocyte percentages and rapid creatine kinase-MB levels. Anyone can submit a comment any time after publication, but only those submitted within 4 weeks of an article’s publication will be considered for print publication.
This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.Elevation of serum levels of the MM isoenzyme of creatine kinase usually reflects the destruction of skeletal muscles.
Three hundred and twenty one cattle from three breeds (108 Bonsmara, 130 Beefmaster and 83 Brahman) were used in this study.
During transportation, beef cattle are grouped by their age, size and breed which are described as intrinsic factors. Grandin (2001) indicated that calf welfare is mostly affected when they are exposed to a multitude of novel and stressful events during handling and transportation.
The seasons were categorised into the months as follows: winter (June to August), spring (September to October), summer (November to February) and autumn (March to May).
Transportation time (departure, arrival time and distance travelled), lairage duration, number of animals per pen, slaughtered animals per day and daily temperature were all recorded.
The assessment was done using a method based on the Australian Carcass Bruise Score System (Anderson and Horder, 1979). The muscle was removed by cutting a sample between the 4th and 6th ribs of the loin region while the carcass was still hanging, prior to vacuum-packing and storing in a cooler box an hour after collection and further storing in the refrigerator at a?’4A°C. The measurement was carried out using a portable pH meter (CRISON pH 25, CRISON Instruments, SA Spain). Pair-wise comparison of LS means for creatine kinase concentration, sex, breed and animal age at slaughter were done using PDIFF.
Correlations were computed using PROC GLM of Statistical Analysis System (SAS) (2003) to determine the relationship between pre-slaughter condition on CK and meat quality attributes. This is because these are synthetic breeds which can adapt well to handling and adverse environmental conditions (Beatty et al., 2006). Seasonal factors mainly temperature and humidity also seem to play a role on the prevalence of bruises.


These two breeds are known to have aggressive behaviour and are more prone to injuries resulting in carcass damage and poorer meat.
The Bonsmara breed had the highest percentage of non-bruised meat (88%) and the Brahman had the lowest none bruised meat (49%). The highest medium dark red bruises was observed in 16 month and lowest medium dark red bruise was observed in the 24 month old cattle. The highest percentage of slightly bruised meat was observed in Bonsmara breed, while Beefmaster and Brahman had intermediate bruising scores. This study would not be successful without the assistance from the East London abattoir and National Health Laboratory Services. Incremental Value of the Leukocyte Differential and the Rapid Creatine Kinase-MB Isoenzyme for the Early Diagnosis of Myocardial Infarction.
Gibbons, MD, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905. One month after publication, editors review all posted comments and select some for publication in the Letters section of the print version of Annals. Elevated Serum Creatine Kinase Level in Diabetic Patients with Nephrotic Syndrome: A Role of Fluid Retention. However, creatine kinase levels can increase without muscle destruction, and in diabetes mellitus, the elevation of this enzyme level has been noted in patients with ketoacidosis (1, 2). The animals were grouped as follows: Group 1 (16 months old), Group 2 (18 months old) and Group 3 (24 months old). This is also witnessed by the increased incidence of mortality once they arrive at the slaughterhouse (Fike and Spire, 2006). However, there is little or no information on the relationship between creatine kinase (CK) and meat quality attributes (ultimate pH and colour). The area has vegetation that ranges from grassland and thicket to forests and bush veld with Themeda trianda and Digitaria eriantha being the most dominant grass species.
All cattle were slaughtered at the East London commercial abattoir in the Eastern Cape Province. On arrival at the abattoir, 27 offloading activities were monitored and cattle were given water ad-libitum prior to slaughter.
Bruise scores were calculated for each load by multiplying the number of bruises in each size class by a weighting factor: slight 1, medium 3, and heavy 5, and adding these values (Anderson and Horder, 1979). Three readings were taken by rotating the Colour Guide 900 machine between each measurement, in order to obtain a representative average value of the colour. The pHu levels of Bonsmara were within the optimal range and similar to those reported by Muchenje et al. Bonsmara also had highest percentage 20% of slightly bright red bruised meat (0 to 10 h old) while Brahman had lowest percentage of bright red bruised meat 4%. The level of bruising might increase with the length of journey travelled by the animals (Weeks et al., 2002). Young animals are more prone to bruising than old animals and this might have been due to increased poor handling (Strappini et al., 2009).
Stress response of extensively reared young bulls being transported to growing-finishing farm under Spanish summer commercial conditions. Physiological responses of Bos Taurus and Bos indicus cattle to prolonged, continuous heat and humidity. Hormonal and physiological effects of a 15- hour road journey in sheep: comparison with the responses to loading, handling and penning in the absence of transport.
The effects of pre-slaughter stress and season on the activity of plasma creatine kinase and mutton quality from different sheep breeds slaughtered at a smallholder abattoir.
Research on pre-slaughter stress and meat quality: A review of challenges faced under practical conditions. Effect of the season of the year, truck type, and location on truck on skin bruises and meat quality in pigs. Pre-slaughter stress arising from on farm handling and its interactions with electrical stimulation on tenderness of lambs. Effect of road transport for up to 24 hours followed by twenty-four hour recovery on live weight and physiological responses of bulls. We treated a patient with diabetes and the nephrotic syndrome in whom the serum level of the MM isoenzyme of creatine kinase was extremely high despite no evidence of coexisting muscle disease. At exsanguinations, blood samples for CK determination were collected using disposable vacutainer tubes.
CK is found in the skeletal muscles of animals and it is responsible for maintaining energy homeostasis at the sites of high adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) (Diene and Storey, 2009; Chulayo and Muchenje, 2013). Moreover, old animals experience similar welfare challenges which later reduce carcass quality and meat quality resulting in low economic value (Grandin, 2001). The area receives approximately 850 mm of rainfall per year of which most falls during the summer months (November, December and January).
The bruise scores were then divided by the number of cattle per load to give a mean bruise score per animal for each load.
The measurements were then performed with a sharpened metal sheath to prevent probe breakage and meat contamination. Furthermore, other animals also are susceptible to transport stress leading to highest levels of CK in the blood (Yu et al., 2009).


This is because male animals are more excitable, aggressive and stress sensitive than females. This is because pHu values were fairly normal and colour is not greatly affected by pre-slaughter conditions such as transportation. Brahman and Beefmaster breeds had the lowest percentage of severe deep bleeding bruising or injuries (24 to 38 h old). Muscularis longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL) was collected 24 h after slaughter to determine the colour (L*, a*, and b*) and ultimate pH (pHu) of beef.
Transportation is associated with numerous risks which include management, intrinsic and extrinsic factors; of these, intrinsic factors have been found to significantly affect the level of bruising and the quality of meat and carcass characteristics (Hoffman and LA?hl, 2012).
On arrival at the abattoir the three breeds of cattle; Bonsmara, Brahman and Beefmaster were identified according records from the farmers.
Therefore, that could be the reason of increased plasma activity of CK found in steers transported for 12 to 16 h. Young animals are poorly adapted to cope with transportation related stress thus it results in high rates of injuries.
Different temperament found within an individual breed can influence meat quality due to inherent genetic parameters. Cows were the only class of animal where the amount of bruising increased with duration of the journey. The presence of both a relative lymphocytopenia and an elevated rapid creatine kinase-MB level had a sensitivity of 44%, a specificity of 99.7%, and a positive predictive value of 97% (95% CI, 80% to 99%). In goats, higher levels of CK in the plasma may also be caused by breed temperament, excitability and fighting against each other (Grzyb and Skorkowski, 2005). For example, mature cattle (>500 kg) such as transported for about 400 km for slaughter had less shrinkage, deaths and bruising compared to young animals (Grandin, 2007). Therefore the objective of the study was to determine the effects of animal related factors on bruising in slaughter cattle, levels of creatine kinase (CK) and the quality of beef. The numbers of animals per breed were 108 Bonsmara, 130 Beefmaster and 83 Brahman respectively. The reaction of this breed to longer transportation is perplexing because it has been highlighted that Bonsmara are able to withstand harsh and unfamiliar conditions (Ndlovu et al., 2008). Young animals respond to transportation stress by increasing their body temperature, heart rate and plasma cortisol concentration (Steinhardt and Thielscher, 1999). This could be due to the extent of stress during handling and transportation depending on the temperament, handling during the journey, condition of the animal, and duration of the journey resulting in pale colour of animals.
This can also be attributed to the fact that an animala€™s behaviour differs with its age (Terlouw, 2005). However, contradicting results reported by Wythes and Shorthose (1991) highlighted that heavy animals had more bruising than young animals and mature ones and between old cows and old steers of the group.
On the other hand, distance had a negative relationship on beef quality (L*, a*, and b*), however no correlation was observed between distance and CK levels.
In the contusions, the blood accumulates in the surrounding tissues, producing pain and swelling (Blood and Studdert, 1988).
Therefore, poor beef quality may be influenced by the activity undertaken by the animal prior to slaughter.
The animals used were both male and females and grouped according to age categories as follows: Group 1 (16 months), Group 2 (18 months) and Group 3 (24 months).
However, if animals are transported for longer hours they have reduced plasma CK levels if they are given feed and water at the lairages. The darker meat produced by the Brahman breed in comparison to the Bonsmara show similar trends to the findings by Oa€™Neill et al. Differences in meat colour has been associated with variations in intramuscular fat, moisture content and is age dependent on the muscle myoglobin content (Lawry, 1974).
It appears that breed differences can be attributed to differences in behaviour and either being horned or hornless (Minka and Ayo, 2007).
This therefore could mean that cattle bruising does not depend on the age of the animal but is mainly determined by the type of vehicle, duration of transport and handling methods used prior and after transport.
It was also concluded that there is no significant relationship between meat parameters (L,* a*, and b*) and CK levels.
Higher CK levels were also observed in winter compared to summer, spring and autumn respectively.
Therefore, animal factors (sex, breed and animal age at slaughter) contribute to the development of bruises and have an effect on the levels of CK and meat quality.
This is also linked with CK in muscles as it is expressed in higher levels in males and younger animals (Neal et al., 2009). Aggressive breeds are more prone to bruising, injuries resulting in carcass damage and poorer meat quality (Voisinet et al., 1997).



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