Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Committee Chair

Janet Tou

Committee Co-Chair

Nicole Waterland

Committee Member

Youyoun Moon

Committee Member

Gwo-Shing Sun


A rigorous research process is the foundation for the development and ultimate recommendation for use of dietary supplements and functional foods. This dissertation uses three seemingly disparate studies to explore the diverse research methodologies used in dietary supplement and functional food development and use. The first study focuses on primary research on the development of microgreen lemon balm herbal tea, employing experimental methodologies to assess its nutritional and bioactive properties compared to adult lemon balm herbal tea. Results showed that adult lemon balm tea contained higher total phenolics, total flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, and antioxidant capacity than microgreen teas, with hot preparations containing the highest amounts (p ≤ 0.05). In contrast, microgreen lemon balm teas contained higher amounts of minerals (p ≤ 0.05). The results from this study support the potential health benefits of using dried microgreens as a novel herbal tea beverage. Next, secondary research was conducted to assess the potential of herbal teas in improving cardiometabolic risk factors. Results from multiple studies were summarized with a scoping literature review to identify the current state of studies available in this field. The most consistent outcomes were of decreases in lipid profile measures and a lack of effect on blood glucose measures. Factors that can impact the efficacy of herbal tea such as preparation methods, use of additives, and effect on dietary caloric intake were also summarized to provide guidance for future research. Overall, the scoping review identified a paucity of trials evaluating the role of herbal teas on cardiometabolic risk factors. As a result, clinical practice influenced the topic of the final methodology explored. A systematic literature review was used to evaluate the efficacy of dietary supplement provision on motor and cognitive functional outcomes in post-stroke patients. Caloric supplementation was found to contribute to improvements in motor outcomes in individual studies, but not cognitive outcomes. In contrast, micronutrient and bioactive compound supplementation did not improve motor or cognitive outcomes. Meta-analyses of available measures demonstrated no significant differences in outcomes between the supplement and comparison groups. Through the theme of dietary supplements and functional foods, the studies in the present dissertation present a multifaceted investigation on the field of nutrition science, incorporating rigorous research methodologies to bridge the gaps between product development, clinical use, and public health implications.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending

Available for download on Wednesday, July 24, 2024