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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Food Science

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Hang Xiao

Subject Categories

Food Biotechnology | Food Chemistry


Public health problems are becoming a global health issue, including obesity, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. In North America, a significant increasing of the incidence of those types of diseases has been confirmed, which could be caused by the unhealthy lifestyle, including lack of physical activity, overconsumption of alcohol and Western diets. Many epidemiological studies demonstrated that the raising risk and incidence of colorectal cancer are associated with obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. Therefore, it is important to understand the relationship and mechanism between those types of disease and phytochemicals from diet, which can provide potential health benefit effect to prevent the risk and incidence of those health diseases. Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) is known as the rich source of phytochemicals including polyphenols and dietary fiber. Those ingredients has been reported that has potential health benefits to body including anti-inflammation, anti- cancer and anti-obesity effect. However, limited studies demonstrated the role of blueberry as a whole object to contribute to health benefits. Therefore, we studied the potential health effects of whole blueberry powder in vitro, against coliti effect in vivo through DSS-induced inflammation mice model, against obesity effect in vivo through HFD obese mice model and its impact on gut microbiota. Our results showed that whole blueberry have strong capability of anti- inflammation, anti-cancer and anti-obesity effects, which could mitigate the inflammation of macrophages RAW264.7 and inhibit the growth of human colon cancer cell HTC116. In DSS-induced colitis mice model, the DAI score and colonic inflammation could be decreased and inhibited by providing whole blueberry powder into diet comparing to the control group. In addition, the composition of gut microbiota could be altered by consumption of blueberry powder through protect the growth of Bifidobacterium. In HFD obese mice model, the size of adipocytes, lipid storage in liver and level of cholesterol and triglycerides in serum could be significantly decreased by oral administration of whole blueberry powder. Meanwhile, the blood glucose tolerance has been improved in obese mice with whole blueberry. The composition changes of gut microbiota could be observed in blueberry-treated HFD obese mice, which promote the growth of Lactobacillus and inhibit the growth of Akkermansia. In summary, our study demonstrated that dietary intake of freeze-dried blueberry powder could modulated the composition of gut microbiota in both DSS- treated and HFD-treated mice, which may associate to the potential health benefit effects of blueberry. Also, we provided more fundamental evidences for further study of food diet with obesity and obesity-related diseases.