Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Food Science (MS)

Degree Level



Food Science


Latha Devareddy

Committee Member

Sun-Ok Lee

Second Committee Member

Edward Gbur


Health and environmental sciences, Biological sciences, Blackberries, Blueberries, Dietary intervention, Health, Menopause, Smoking


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of smoking on risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and determine the efficacy of antioxidant-rich berries in ameliorating these risk factors in postmenopausal smokers. Menopause and cigarette smoking have been identified as major risk factors for CVD due to a decrease in antioxidant protection, increase in inflammation and oxidative stress, and adverse changes in serum lipids. Antioxidants, specifically flavonoid compounds found in blackberries and blueberries, have been shown to prevent low-density lipoprotein cholesterol oxidation and thus prevent downstream inflammation and oxidative stress. Healthy, postmenopausal nonsmokers (n=14) and smokers (n=31) were recruited to participate in the three-month study and smokers were randomly assigned to one of three groups: smoker control (n=12), smoker + 45 g/day freeze-dried blackberries (n=6), or smoker + 45 g/day freeze-dried blueberries (n=13). Body mass index, blood pressure, hemoglobin A1c, serum lipid profiles, glucose, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), and plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were assessed at baseline and the end of the study. A food frequency questionnaire was administered to assess dietary intake. A two-sample t-test was performed on nonsmokers (n=14) and smokers (n=31) at baseline to assess the effects of smoking on CVD risk factors in postmenopausal women and are reported as means ± SD. Following treatment, data were analyzed as percent change by group using a randomized, one factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed up with a protected least significant differences (LSD) test. This study showed that smokers had significantly higher serum triglycerides and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol than nonsmokers; 130 ± 11 mg/dL vs. 87 ± 7 mg/dL (p=0.0010) and 58 ± 3 mg/dL vs. 66 ± 3 mg/dL (p=0.0384), respectively. There were no significant effects of blackberry or blueberry treatment for three months in ameliorating risk factors associated with CVD in postmenopausal smokers. The effects of berries on CVD risk factors needs to be elucidated in a larger sample size.