Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Final Testing Week

Measuring Sophie's metabolic rate
using the Metamax 3X system, Cortex Medical

Final part of sea level testing

With only 5 days to go, all the sea level studies are coming to an end and everyone is getting rather excited, mainly because they can now sleep in past 6am.


The main study being carried out this week is the fat metabolism at altitude study, in which we aim to assess whether individuals increase metabolic rate, reduce appetite, suppress taste or exercise more when at altitude. This study considers a range of measures such as basal metabolic rate, daily appetite, taste, leptin changes, body mass and lipid profile markers (free fatty acids, cholesterol, triglycerides) pre, post and throughout the project. For some this was their first taste of having a cannula in their arm (required for multiple venous blood samples) needless to say some didn't take too well to the sensation. Multiple respiratory samples were taken while lying down for 1 hour and then while sitting to ascertain metabolic rates. Measures such as oxygen use, carbon dioxide production and therefore the substrates used for energy production were measured using the Cortex Medical Metamax 3X system.

Dominic doing his heat tolerance test


The final few training sessions are being completed and then everyone will have their final heat tolerance trial. Both participants and experimenters have found this hard work as the monotony of 90mins cycling at 40C with rectal thermistors takes its toll. Please see our previous for more details of this study.

Summer having her SaO2, blood pressure and
body fluid compartment volumes measured


Participants completed their second hydration measurement session for their double baseline over this week. This study requires the measurement of body fluid compartments and hydration throughout the project. Testing for this is a lot more relaxing, with subjects providing a urine sample, body mass and then laying for a long period before multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis, SaO2, blood pressure and heart rate was taken. 

The lightweight Seca scales and the Nonin Plus pulse oximeters that will be travelling to Peru and up to Machu Picchu with us were kindly donated by Cranlea.

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