Blueberry Immune Study Participants Needed

Thanks for your interest in the Blueberry Immune Study. This study will test the health benefits of Blueberries. Blueberries will be available in a powder form. The primary goal of this study is to determine whether eating blueberries daily for 12 weeks can improve immunity and how well the body responds to influenza vaccine in older men and post-menopausal women. 

Who is eligible for the study?

Investigators are looking for older men and post-menopausal women aged 50-70 years 2.Have a BMI of 25-32 3. Being able to commute to Loma Linda University. 4. Not taking medication or supplements that affect immunity 5. Agree to get vaccinated for Flu. Exclusion Criteria:1.  Intolerance or allergy to Blueberries 2. Regular intake of blueberries and other berries (>2 ounces per week).3.  Immune system insufficiency or disease. 4. Using immune boosting supplements.  5. Exposure to antibiotics and corticoids immediately prior to the study. 6. Participants with uncontrolled chronic diseases, and relevant psychiatric illness, including major depression will not be included in the study 7. Flu vaccination less than 10 months ago from the start of the study.

What is expected of participants?

Participants must be willing to commit for a duration of 12 weeks to attend four office visits. During this time, participants are expected to attend all scheduled meetings and visits. Participants must be equally willing to consume blueberry powder or placebo powder (a powder that looks like the blueberry powder but doesn’t have the properties of the blueberry powder). While continuing their usual diet and other routines or lifestyle habits.  Participants will be asked to restrict the consumption of other polyphenol rich foods like other berries, nuts, dark chocolates) for duration of the study. Participants are expected to visit the clinic 4 times during the study (about once a month). At these visits, blueberry or placebo powder will be provided based on the group you are randomized to, body measurements including height, weight and body composition will be taken. Participants will also be completing some questionnaires. During three of these visits participants will be fasting to provide blood samples. About 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of blood will collected during the blood draw visits.

How can I participate?

Please fill out the Blueberry Immune Study form.

Participation Form

How long will the study last?

The study will last for 12 weeks (3 months) from start to finish.

Will it cost me anything?

There is NO cost to the participants for any of the study-associated intervention or tests.


The committee at Loma Linda University that reviews human studies (Institutional Review Board) has determined that participating in this study could expose you to minimal risk. Possible discomfort may result from the blood drawings. This includes slight pain and minor bleeding or bruising at the point of needle insertion. Breach of confidentiality is also a potential risk during the study. Risks also include allergic reactions to blueberries or placebo powder.

Benefits and compensation

As an incentive, participants will receive the results of their body composition assessment, which will be performed by a state-of-the-art body impendence analyzer. In addition, participants will receive $150 as a compensation at the end of the study, upon successful completion of all study protocols.  Participation in this study is voluntary. Your decision on whether or not to participate or withdraw at any time from the study will not affect your ongoing medical care or relationship to your doctors and will not involve any penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.

Required Dates

Dates will be provided soon.

Who is conducting the study?

Dr. Joan Sabaté

Dr. Joan Sabaté

Nutritionist, Principal Investigator

Dr. Joan Sabate is a Professor of Nutrition and Director of the Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle and Disease Prevention at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. He is the Principle Investigator of the study. He is a leading researcher in nutrition. He has several decades of experience in conducting clinical trials on the benefits of many plant foods including nuts, avocado, and soybean. He has also directed considerable research in the area of Vegetarian Nutrition in the prevention of chronic diseases and the Environmental impact of vegetarian diets. He has authored more than 150 research articles many of them in high-impact journals

Sujatha Rajaram, PhD

Sujatha Rajaram, PhD


Dr. Sujatha Rajaram, is a Professor of Nutrition at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She is a Co-Investigator for the Mango Cardiometabolic Study. She has contributed significantly to the research activities at the Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle and Disease Prevention. She has served as both principal investigator and co-investigator on several clinical trials, specifically feeding studies on tree nuts, and plant omega-3 fatty acids with respect to cardiometabolic disease outcomes and healthy aging.

Amandeep Wright

Amandeep Wright

Amandeep Wright is a Research Manager at the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She has been working with the PIs of the Blueberry study, and the nutrition research team for the past five years. She has expertise in coordinating and managing the conduct of clinical trials. She has been involved with larger clinical trials like the Habitual Diet and Avocado Trail, which was a multi-center trial (UCLA, Tufts University, Penn State and Loma Linda University) with over a 1000 participants .She was the main coordinator for the Loma Linda site during the trial.

Rawiwan Sirirat, DrPH

Rawiwan Sirirat, DrPH

Research Associate

Dr. Rawiwan Sirirat is a research associate at Nutrition Research Center. She is a Registered Dietitian with doctoral degree of public health in Nutrition. Her main interest is in nutrition epidemiology. Dr. Sirirat has accumulated research experience over the years via multiple clinical trials as well as a large cohort study. Her experiences include nutrition data collections, quality control of the data as well as nutrition data management. She is also well acquainted with laboratory analyses of nutrition biomarkers, bio specimen processing and handling. She will be primarily involved in data and bio specimen collection and handling in this study.