Polyphenols exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. We investigated the effect of consumption of polyphenol-rich figs on high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) and antioxidant levels in hyperlipidemic subjects. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of fig consumption on C-reactive protein and antioxidant levels. Analyses were carried out on collected data from September to December of 2008. Using a crossover design, one hundred and two participants were recruited and randomized into an intervention phase (eating figs) and a control phase (not eating figs) for 5 weeks. Blood samples were drawn from each group at the 4th and 5th week of each phase, centrifuged and frozen. Frozen samples were sent to the University of California Davis Clinical Laboratories for CRP analysis. Antioxidant analysis was done on frozen samples in the Nutrition Laboratory at Loma Linda University via a test and retest method for accuracy using the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and total antioxidant capacity (ABTS) tests. Data was analyzed using SPSS for paired t-test analysis for CRP,

antioxidant tests and dietary recalls. Mean CRP values did not differ significantly in the intervention phase when compared to control phase (median [interquartile range] 1[0.5, 2.1] mg/L versus 1 [0.6, 2.1]; p=0.31). The FRAP test results did not differ between study phases (0.1+ 0.1 mmol versus 0.1+ 0.1 mmol; p = 0.96). The ABTS test concentrations likewise did not differ between the two phases (0.2+ 0.04 mmol versus 0.2+ 0.04 mmol; p= 0.97). An analysis of dietary intake showed participants consumed approximately 187 calories more in the intervention phase (pO.OOOl) while consuming 4% less calories from fat (pO.OOOl). For men and women with elevated cholesterol levels, fig consumption did not lower CRP or affect antioxidant levels. While overall intake of iron, magnesium, potassium and copper increased significantly, fat and protein intake decreased slightly despite higher caloric intake.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Serena Tonstad

Second Advisor

Susanne Montgomery

Third Advisor

Ella Haddad

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Ficus -- enzymology; Functional Food; Nutritive Value; Nutritional Status; Antioxidants -- metabolism.; Antioxidants -- therapeutic use; C-Reactive Protein; Biological Markers



Page Count

xii: 170

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives