An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

BLUEBERRIES AND CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH IN POSTMENOPAUSAL WOMEN: EXPLORING THE ROLE OF THE GUT MICROBIOME

Investigators
Johnson, S. A.; Weir, Ti, .; Gentile, Ch, L..
Institutions
Colorado State University
Start date
2020
End date
2023
Objective
Our long-term goal is to identify, systematically evaluate, and establish high-quality functional foods important to United States agricultural and food systems for the promotion of human health, particularly cardiovascular health. In this regard, blueberries are a highly promising functional food with diverse beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. Previous research has demonstrated the ability for chronic blueberry consumption to improve endothelial function and other measures of cardiovascular health including blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Previous research has also demonstrated the potential for blueberries to beneficially alter the gut microbiota, albeit primarily in preclinical models. These data beget the question of whether blueberry-induced alterations in the microbiota mediate the beneficial effects of blueberries on cardiovascular health. Importantly, chronic consumption of blueberries has been shown to increase plasma polyphenol metabolites that are derivatives of gut microbial metabolism, suggesting that metabolism by the gut microbiota increases bioavailability of blueberry polyphenols. To our knowledge, the impact of chronic blueberry consumption on the gut microbiota in postmenopausal women has not been examined, nor has the essentiality of the microbiota in mediating the beneficial effects of blueberries on cardiovascular health. Thus, the overall goal of the current project is to examine the relationship between chronic blueberry consumption and the gut microbiome in promoting human cardiovascular health using a reverse translational approach that spans humans, animals and cell culture models. This will be acheived using the following objectives: 1) To determine whether improvements in endothelial function and other measures of cardiovascular health following chronic blueberry consumption are associated with changes in fecal microbiota and blueberry polyphenol microbial metabolites in postmenopausal women with elevated blood pressure; and 2) To determine the extent to which the gut microbiome mediates the beneficial effects of blueberries on endothelial function using a reverse translational approach to identify the underlying cellular and molecular pathways mediating the cardiovascular-protective effects of chronic blueberry consumption.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
COL0-2019-07707
Accession number
1021875
Categories
Microbiological Standards and Guidelines
Chemical Contaminants
Commodities
Produce