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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Blueberry study
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Who is conducting this study?

The study is conducted by Daniel Hwang, PhD. The study is funded by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and has been reviewed and approved by the UC Davis Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects.


What is the purpose of the study?

The purpose of the study is to test whether consumption of blueberry powder will decrease postprandial (after meal) immune cell activation and markers of inflammation that is increased by a moderately high fat meal.  Decrease in immune cell activation and markers of inflammation may reduce the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases. 


Who can participate?

Generally healthy, women and men between the ages of 18-60 years old with a BMI of 18-24.9kg/m2.


Who is NOT eligible to participate?

            Individuals taking medications for cholesterol, thyroid, asthma, or blood pressure. 

            Individuals using NSAIDs (Ibuprofen and aspirin) on a daily basis.

            Smokers or individuals using tobacco products


            Women who are pregnant, lactating or planning on becoming pregnant


You must be willing to stop taking all dietary supplements including fish or algae oil.


What do I need to do to participate?

            You will complete a telephone questionnaire to determine eligibility. If eligible, you will complete a screening visit at the WHNRC, 430 West Health Sciences Drive on the UC Davis campus.  A physical evaluation of your height, body weight, body temperature, and blood pressure will also be completed during this visit.  During this visit you will also be asked to give a blood sample.  The screening visit will take approximately 60 minutes. If you are eligible and decide to take part in this study, you will be asked to visit the WHRNC to pick up standardized dinners before each test day, which will take about 30min, and visit the WHNRC for 3 test days approximately two weeks apart.

            The total time commitment required for each test day is 4.5 hours: 45 mins for a fasting blood draw and consumption of a high fat breakfast, and 30 mins for a blood draw 3.5 hours after breakfast.  You will have about 3.5 hours of wait time where you will be allowed to leave or wait at the WHRNC.  You will be asked to refrain from consuming any foods or drinks during this time except for water.

            During the 5 week test period you will be asked to consume a diet low in polyphenolic compounds and omega -3s (i.e. fish oil) three (3) days prior to each test day.  Dietary restrictions include limited consumption of fruits, vegetables, soy, whole grains, herbs, spices, teas, wine, condiments, chocolate, fatty fish and supplements.  This includes not drinking wine, tea, and more than one serving of coca or chocolate per day. 

            You will also be asked to refrain from using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Motrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, Aleve (Naproxen), and aspirin three days before each test day.  You will also be asked to limit your use of NSAIDs during the study.  To monitor adherence you will be asked to keep a food and NSAIDs record for three (3) days before each test day. 


What is in the blueberry powder and meals?

The blueberry powder consists of freeze-dried blueberries ground into powder.  The standard test breakfast consists of a "Breakfast Sandwich" (bagel, beef sausage, cheddar cheese, eggs), a dish of frozen sweetened yogurt, and a full glass of water.  The blueberry powder will be mixed into the frozen sweetened yogurt.  You will be provided a standardized low-polyphenol and low omega-3 (i.e. fish oil) dinner the night before each test day.  You will warm up and consume the dinner at home between 6pm and 8pm. 


Who supplied the blueberry powder?

The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council supplies the blueberry powder.  Other investigators funded by the Council have used this powder with no report adverse effects.


What are the benefits to you from this study?

You will be informed of your own general health results at the end of the study and be compensated for participation. 


Will I be compensated for participating in this study?

You will receive $20 for the health screening to determine your eligibility to enroll in the study and $40 for each test day.  If all test days are completed the total payment to you will be $140.  There is no cost to you beyond the time and effort required to complete this study.


What should I do if I have questions?

            Call 530-752-5177 and Press # 2 member of the study team will call you back.



Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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