Honors Program

Midway Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

W. A. Clark

Thesis Professor Department

Allied Health Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

E. Cress, N. Assad


This study examined nutritional status and fecundity of women and was approved for patient enrollment by the ETSU Institutional Review Board (IRB). Once enrolled, participants filled out two food frequency questionnaires (FFQ, fruit/vegetable intake, fat intake), self-reported anthropometric data, and had one 5 mL vacutainer of whole blood (EDTA) collected for measures of oxidative stress (OS), coenzyme Q10 level, and fatty acid profile of the red blood cell (RBC) membrane. Participants were either designated to the case group (13 women experiencing fertility problems and an anti-mullerian hormone level of 1 ng/ml or less (AMH, <1 ng/mL)) or the control group (13 women experiencing normal ovulation cycles and no evidence of polycystic disease). This study hypothesized that the case group would have poorer plasma antioxidant status, consume more dietary saturated fat and have lower levels of omega-3 and higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids in the RBC membrane. Results showed that case participants had significantly higher body mass index (BMI) when graduating from high school, BMI upon enrollment in the study, and trended to gain more weight since high school. Antioxidant status of the plasma tended to be higher for the case group. This result was surprising as case participants consumed significantly fewer servings of fruits and vegetables (sources of antioxidants) than control subjects. FFQ results indicated that case participants consumed significantly higher amounts of total fat (g), saturated fat (g), unsaturated fat (g), and their diets had a higher dietary fat percent. No significant differences were noted in the individual fatty acids isolated from the RBC membrane or in calculated ratios of fatty acid between case and control groups. The fatty acid profile from RBC membranes are in agreement with self-reported fat intake from FFQ data and may provide a rationale for no differences observed between the two groups.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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