Interview of Dr. Flouris and Dr. Samoutis about the HEAT-SHIELD project

Interview of Dr. Flouris and Dr. Samoutis about the HEAT-SHIELD project


A live interview of Dr. Andreas Flouris and Dr. George Samoutis about the HEAT-SHIELD project, a research programme funded by the European Union (EU). The interview was given on Ant1 Channel in Cyprus on June 12, 2018. Dr. Flouris is the Director of FAME Lab (www.famelab.gr), an Associate Professor at the University of Thessaly Department of Exercise Science, and the Technical Manager of the HEAT-SHIELD project. Dr. Samoutis is an Associate Professor at the University of Nicosia Medical School.

The HEAT-SHIELD project aims in addressing the negative effects of climate change, i.e., increasing workplace temperature, on its working population. The effects of heat exposure include productivity loss in many jobs, and HEAT-SHIELD investigates this issue and its prevention in different sectors. In addition, heat strain as a result of the increased workplace temperature creates health risks to the workers of the EU.

To address these issues, HEAT-SHIELD focuses on providing adaptation strategies for the five major industries of the EU and its workers: manufacturing, construction, transportation, tourism, and agriculture. Together, these industries represent 40% of the EU’s GDP and 50% of its workforce. Thus, by ensuring the health of the workforce, we can also shield our economy from the negative effects of climate change.

The HEAT-SHIELD project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 668786.

Nutrition and rheumatic disease: are we really what we eat?

Nutrition and rheumatic disease: are we really what we eat?

Speaker: Elena Philippou PhD

Purpose: To explore which foods and/or dietary patterns are associated with the risk of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs).

Methods: Research studies associating diet and RMDs were identified through MEDLINE.

Results: A number of dietary factors might act as environmental triggers in disease development.  Overall, a ‘Western’ type diet rich in energy intake, total and saturated fat, an unbalanced ratio of n-3 to n-6 fatty acids, high in sugar and low in fiber and antioxidants might increase the risk of RMDs both directly through increasing inflammation (Minihane et al. 2015) and indirectly through increasing insulin resistance, obesity and associated co-morbidities, with obesity being a known risk factor for RD (Qin et al. 2015).

High consumption of foods characteristic of the ‘Western-type’ diet such as red meat, meat and meat products combined, or total protein have been shown to increase the risk of inflammatory polyarthritis suggesting a role of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) (Pattison et al. 2004).  This is supported by findings of regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soda, but not diet soda, being associated with an increased risk of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in women (Hu et al. 2014), and of high-fructose corn-syrup sweetened soft drinks, fruit drinks and apple juice being associated with arthritis in young US adults (DeChristopher et al. 2016).  It is hypothesized that regular consumption of excess free fructose and HFCS contributes to fructose reactivity in the gastrointestinal tract and intestinal in situ formation of enFruAGEs, which once absorbed, travel beyond the intestinal boundaries to other tissues and promote inflammation (DeChristopher et al. 2016).    Individual biomarkers of antioxidant intake have also been previously investigated in relation to RA with some evidence that low serum levels of selenium and alpha tocopherol (Knekt et al. 2000) and beta carotene (Comstock et al. 1997) are associated with an increased disease risk.  Interestingly, a meta-analysis also suggests that coffee consumption of ≥ four cups per day is associated with an elevated risk of seropositive RA but not seronegative RA (Lee et al. 2014).  However, the results should be interpreted with caution due to other potential confounders.  The same meta-analysis found no association between tea consumption and risk of RA (Lee et al. 2014).

On the contrary, consumption of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, derived from fish and fish oil, is associated with a reduced risk of RA (Di et al. 2014) probably due to their anti-inflammatory properties.  The  Mediterranean diet (MD), rich in plant-based foods such as wholegrains, legumes, fruit, vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil and low in red meat consumption, might have the potential to reduce the risk of RA.  It has been shown that greater adherence to the MD is associated with lower concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers (Fung et al. 2005), while daily consumption of monounsaturated fatty acids from olive oil is thought to be the key factor in suppressing RA disease activity (Matsumoto et al. 2017).

Conclusions: Based on current research evidence, it is suggested that adherence to the MD  with an increased consumption of fatty fish, reduced consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and maintenance of a normal body weight, contributes to reducing the risk of RA.  Further research on RA susceptibility will allow more specific dietary recommendations.

IDEA Graduation Ceremony, 15 March 2018

IDEA Graduation Ceremony, 15 March 2018

The Graduation Ceremony of IDEA 2nd cycle teams was a celebration for the friends of innovation and the IDEA family. Guardian Angel Mobile Health Technologies team was there!

IDEA, that you for this great honor and opportunity!

Special thanks to Bank of Cyprus, CIIM – Cyprus International Institute of Management, Lellos P. Demetriades Law Office LLC, Innovation-Leo Burnett, Cyta & Deloitte Cyprus.

 

eHipp Guardian Angel​ announce the collaboration with​ the International Institute for Compassionate Care

eHipp Guardian Angel​ announce the collaboration with​ the International Institute for Compassionate Care

The ​eHipp Guardian Angel​ in collaboration with​ the International Institute for Compassionate Care ( www.symponesi.org) has started on the 14 th of Nov ​2017 ​experiential workshops on managing stress at work (5 workshops in the next ​2​ months) . The first groups are 120 employees in the bank sector . A validated questionnaire shall measure the impact of the 5 workshops in several aspects of employees health, wellness and productivity​y before and after the intervention. ​ We shall also pilot test the use of the Guardian Angel stress management app. ​

IDEA Incubator phase – Stage B

IDEA Incubator phase – Stage B

In April 2017, ‘Guardian Angel’ was awarded participation in the IDEA incubator program, the first integrated accelerator/incubator program in Cyprus. (www.ideacy.net)

Bank of Cyprus and the Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM) have partnered up to develop IDEA- Innovate.Develop.Excel.Accomplish, which is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. The 9-month program aims to facilitate the creation of innovative sustainable start-ups with a global outlook, whilst contributing in the further development of the Cypriot entrepreneurship ecosystem.

As a resident team of the IDEA program, ‘Guardian Angel’ enjoys a wide array of privileges, which among others include:

  • Mentoring and specialized consulting services, from international experts in the fields of innovation, start-ups, business, industry, finance, marketing, legal and academia;
  • Networking, through introduction to other incubator programs and international high profile investors; and
  • Seed capital.

‘Guardian Angel’ has been one of the successful teams to progress to the final stage of the IDEA program. Even though the program officially ends in December 2017, the partnership and collaboration between ‘Guardian Angel’ and IDEA shall remain strong throughout the project lifecycle.