Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Adipose tissue, Carbohydrate restriction, Cardiovascular disease, Cholesterol, dairy, Inflammation.

Major Advisor

Maria Luz Fernandez

Associate Advisor

Hedley Freake PhD

Associate Advisor

Ji-Young Lee, PhD

Associate Advisor

Paulo Verardi PhD

Associate Advisor

Jeff Volek PhD

Field of Study

Nutritional Science


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Low grade chronic inflammation is the underlying cause of many metabolic mediated diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). It has been observed that dietary interventions are a successful strategy to address this problem.

Studies were conducted to determine the effects of carbohydrate restriction on cholesterol- induced inflammation in guinea pigs and the effects of dairy consumption on chronic low grade inflammation in volunteers with metabolic syndrome (MetS).

Hartley guinea pigs (10/group) were assigned to either low cholesterol (LC) (0.04g/100g) or high cholesterol (HC) (0.25g/100g) diets for 6wk. Then, 20 guinea pigs were fed HC diet for 6 wk and then assigned to either a low or high carbohydrate (L-CHO) (10% energy from CHO) (H-CHO) (54% CHO) for 6wk. Guinea pigs fed the HC had higher total (P < 0.005) and free (p< 0.05) cholesterol concentrations, pro-inflammatory cytokines (p < 0.005) and increased macrophage infiltration in the adipose. The L-CHO group had lower concentrations of cholesterol, inflammatory and macrophage infiltration in adipose tissue (p < 0.05).

In a randomized crossover study, participants (n=33) consumed low-fat dairy (LFD) (1% milk, non-fat yogurt, 2% cheese) or control (CNT) (granola bar and juice) for 6 weeks. Participants in the LFD period had lower concentrations of both hepatic alanine and aspartate aminotransferases (p < 0.05) and lower expression of IL-1b and IL-6 (46 and 63% less).

In conclusion, L-CHO and LFD consumption are a good strategy to attenuate the detrimental effects generated by the development of chronic low grade systemic inflammation.