Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Document Type



Elevated free fatty acids (FFAs) in obesity are known risk factors associated with chronic inflammatory conditions including cardiovascular inflammation and thus cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading cause of death in the US. Anthocyanins from berries have the potential to provide protection against inflammation in various tissues; however they are poorly absorbed and undergo major transformations by the microbiome. The work presented in this dissertation involves the development and utilization of an in vitro model to characterize the products of colonic fermentation and absorption of blueberry and black raspberry pomace phenolics, and evaluate the potential efficacy of these products compared to anthocyanin-rich extracts as anti-inflammatory compounds in fatty acid-induced inflammation. A previous study identified myristic and palmitic acids as the most inflammatory, and linoleic acid as least inflammatory. In the first study, a model of colonic fermentation and transport through Caco-2 cells was used to evaluate the changes in phenolic profile of blueberry and black raspberry pomaces. Phenolic acids deriving from anthocyanin degradation were identified as the major products of berry pomace digestion and absorption. The second study involved the use of palmitic acid-stimulated HCAE and HCASM cells to evaluate the anti-inflammatory properties of anthocyanin-rich extracts and phenolic acids produced by microbiota fermentation and transport across Caco-2 monolayers using the prevention and intervention approaches. Protein and gene expression of inflammation markers demonstrate that phenolic acids derived from fermentation and absorption of both blueberry and black raspberry pomaces were equally or more effective than anthocyanin-rich extracts in modulating the inflammatory response through a proposed effect on NF-κB transcription, especially when used in the prevention approach. This suggests that phenolic acids may be responsible for some of the beneficial effects of blueberries and black raspberries. We have also demonstrated that berry pomaces, could be utilized in foods, providing anthocyanins and phenolic acids that may prevent inflammation in cardiovascular cells.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Finley, John W.



Included in

Life Sciences Commons