Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Human Nutrition and Foods

Committee Chair

Cindy Fitch.


Heart disease is the leading killer of women in the United States, and the risk is 2--3 times greater in post-menopausal than pre-menopausal women. C-Reactive protein (CRP) is an inflammatory marker that has been identified as a risk factor for heart disease. The objective of this study was to determine if increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, reduced CRP levels in post-menopausal women. A sample of 29 women was recruited to participate in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to two groups, experimental and control. The women were instructed to follow a heart healthy diet for eight weeks and to avoid all fish, seafood, and omega-3 enhanced products for the duration of the study (8 weeks). In addition to the heart healthy diet and restricted omega-3 guidelines, subjects in the experimental group were provided two 4 ounce servings of omega-3 enhanced trout each week. The control group subjects were instructed on the same diet guidelines but were not given the omega-3 enhanced trout. Seven day food diaries were recorded and blood tests were performed to determine CRP, interleukin-6 (IL-6), total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels at the beginning and end of the study. No significant pre- to post-study changes between groups were seen for CRP (p=0.34), total cholesterol (p=0.64), HDL cholesterol (p=0.65), LDL cholesterol (p=0.50), VLDL cholesterol (p=0.91) and triglycerides (p=0.92). Participants in the fish group significantly increased their consumption of omega-3 fatty acids ( p=0.004) during the eight week study. A majority (87.5%) of the experimental group and 85.7% of the control group experienced no change or a decrease in CRP. A similar trend was evident for Il-6 levels. The addition of two servings of omega-3 enhanced trout per week for eight weeks was successful in increasing n-3 intake in post-menopausal women; however the increased n-3 intake did not produce significant changes in markers of inflammation over the course of the study.