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Dr Lauren Blekkenhorst

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 6304 4604, Email: l.blekkenhorst@ecu.edu.au, Campus: Joondalup, Room: JO31.470H
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 4604
Email: l.blekkenhorst@ecu.edu.au
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO31.470H  

 

Dr Blekkenhorst is a National Heart Foundation of Australia Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the School of Medical and Health Sciences and holds an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Investigator Grant. Her research aims to better understand the vascular and metabolic health effects of specific vegetables and their bioactive constituents, as well as findings new and improved ways to encourage people to eat more vegetables every day to improve health outcomes.

Background

Dr Blekkenhorst was awarded her PhD from The University of Western Australia in July 2019. Her PhD research investigated the cardiovascular health benefits of specific vegetables and their constituents. In particular, dietary nitrate, found abundantly in vegetables, was a major research focus. Dr Blekkenhorst is a Registered Nutritionist with the Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA) and is currently the Secretary for the NSA Perth Regional Group. She has expertise in the design and conduct of randomised controlled trials and observational studies that focus on the vascular and metabolic health benefits of vegetables and their bioactive components. Her research has been published in leading nutrition journals, including the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Clinical Nutrition, and the European Journal of Nutrition.

Professional Associations

  • Nutrition Society of Australia
  • Australasian Epidemiological Association
  • American Society for Nutrition
  • American Heart Association: Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health

Awards and Recognition

  • 2019 Best Publication Award, Clinical Medicine & Dentistry Discipline, The University of Western Australia
  • 2018 Early Career Researcher Award, Edith Cowan University
  • 2018 Poster Presentation Award, Australasian Epidemiological Association
  • 2017 New Investigator Award, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • 2017 Travel Award, Nutrition Society of Australia
  • 2017 Graduate Research Student Overseas Travel Award, The University of Western Australia
  • 2016 Travel Award, Nutrition Society of Australia
  • 2016 Graduate Research Student Local Travel Award, The University of Western Australia
  • 2015 Travel Award, Nutrition Society of Australia
  • 2014 Travel Award, Nutrition Society of Australia
  • 2014-2017 Australian Postgraduate Award
  • 2014-2017 Top-Up Scholarship, The University of Western Australia

Research Areas and Interests

Vegetables; Bioactive compounds; Dietary nitrate; Vascular and metabolic health; Nutritional epidemiology; Randomised controlled trials

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia, 2019.
  • Honours in Medical Science (First Class), The University of Western Australia, 2014.
  • Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition Major), Edith Cowan University, 2012.

Research

Recent Research Grants

  • Vegetable types and their bioactives: Growing the evidence for cardiovascular benefits,  National Health and Medical Research Council,  Investigator grants,  2020 - 2024,  $1,028,346.
  • Stronger evidence for the cardiovascular health benefits of specific vegetables and their bioactive compounds,  National Heart Foundation,  NHF - Postdoctoral Fellowships,  2020 - 2022,  $60,000.
  • Vegetable types and their Bioactives: Growing the evidence for Cardiovascular benefits,  Department of Health WA,  Near Miss Merit Awards,  2019 - 2021,  $50,000.
  • Short-term effects of increased intake of cruciferous vegetables on blood pressure, oxidative stress and inflammation ,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher Grant - 2019,  2019 - 2020,  $29,943.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Bondonno, N., Lewis, J., Blekkenhorst, L., Bondonno, C., Shin, JH., Croft, KD., Woodman, RJ., Wong, G., Lim, WH., Gopinath, B., Flood, VM., Russell, J., Mitchell, P., Hodgson, J., (2020), Association of flavonoids and flavonoid-rich foods with all-cause mortality: The Blue Mountains Eye Study. Clinical Nutrition, 39(1), 141-150, Netherlands, DOI: 10.1016/j.clnu.2019.01.004.
  • Smith, C., Voisin, S., Al Saedi, A., Phu, S., Brennan-Speranza, T., Parker, L., Eynon, N., Hiam, D., Yan, X., Scott, D., Blekkenhorst, L., Lewis, J., Seeman, E., Byrnes, E., Flicker, L., Duque, G., Yeap, B., Levinger, I., (2020), Osteocalcin and its forms across the lifespan in adult men. Bone, 130(2020), Article 115085, DOI: 10.1016/j.bone.2019.115085.
  • Godrich, S., Kent, K., Murray, S., Auckland, S., Lo, J., Blekkenhorst, L., Penrose, B., Devine, A., (2020), Australian consumer perceptions of regionally grown fruit and vegetables: importance, enablers and barriers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(1), Article number 63, Switzerland, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17010063.
  • Connolly, E., Bondonno, C., Sim, M., Radavelli Bagatini, S., Croft, K., Boyce, M., James, A., Clark, K., Anokye, R., Bondonno, N., Woodman, R., Devine, A., Gan, SK., Schultz, C., Mithen, R., Lewis, J., Hodgson, J., Blekkenhorst, L., (2020), randomised controlled crossover trial investigating the short-term effects of different types of vegetables on vascular and metabolic function in middle-aged and older adults with mildly elevated blood pressure: the VEgetableS for vaScular hEaLth (VESSEL) study protocol. Nutrition Journal, 19(2020), Article 41, DOI: 10.1186/s12937-020-00559-3.
  • Sim, M., Lewis, J., Prince, R., Levinger, I., Brennan-Speranza, T., Palmer, C., Bondonno, C., Bondonno, N., Devine, A., Ward, N., Schultz, C., Woodman, R., Brynes, E., Croft, K., Hodgson, J., Blekkenhorst, L., (2020), The effects of vitamin K-rich green leafy vegetables on bone metabolism: a 4-week randomised controlled trial in middle-aged and older individuals. Bone Reports, 12(June 2020), article number 100274, -, DOI: 10.1016/j.bonr.2020.100274.
  • Palmer, C., Blekkenhorst, L., Lewis, J., Ward, N., Schultz, CJ., Hodgson, J., Croft, K., Sim, M., (2020), Quantifying dietary vitamin K and its link to cardiovascular health: a narrative review. Food and Function, 11(4), 2826-2837, -, DOI: 10.1039/c9fo02321f.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Lewis, J., Bondonno, C., Sim, M., Devine, A., Zhu, K., Lim, WH., Woodman, RJ., Beilin, LJ., Thompson, PL., Prince, RL., Hodgson, J., (2020), Vegetable diversity in relation with subclinical atherosclerosis and 15-year atherosclerotic vascular disease deaths in older adult women. European Journal of Nutrition, 59(1), 217-230, DOI: 10.1007/s00394-019-01902-z.
  • Gopinath, B., Liew, G., Lewis, J., Blekkenhorst, L., Bondonno, C., Burlutsky, G., Hodgson, J., Mitchell, P., (2020), Association of dietary nitrate intake with retinal microvascular structure in older adults. European Journal of Nutrition, 59(5), 2057–2063, DOI: 10.1007/s00394-019-02055-9.
  • Tacey, A., Sim, M., Smith, C., Woessner , M., Byrnes , E., Lewis, J., Brennan-Speranza , T., Hodgson, J., Blekkenhorst, L., Levinger, I., (2020), Association between circulating osteocalcin and cardiometabolic risk factors following a 4-week leafy green vitamin K-rich diet. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism: European journal of nutrition, metabolic diseases and dietetics, -(-), -, -, DOI: -.
  • Kent, K., Godrich, S., Murray, S., Auckland, S., Blekkenhorst, L., Penrose, B., Lo, J., Devine, A., (2020), Definitions, Sources and Self-Reported Consumption of Regionally Grown Fruits and Vegetables in Two Regions of Australia. Nutrients, 12(4), Article 1026, DOI: :10.3390/nu12041026.
  • Liu, AH., Bondonno, C., Russell, J., Flood, VM., Lewis, J., Croft, KD., Woodman, RJ., Lim, WH., Kifley, A., Wong, G., Mitchell, P., Hodgson, J., Blekkenhorst, L., (2019), Relationship of dietary nitrate intake from vegetables with cardiovascular disease mortality: a prospective study in a cohort of older Australians. European Journal of Nutrition, 58(7), 2741–2753, DOI: 10.1007/s00394-018-1823-x.
  • Raubenheimer, K., Bondonno, C., Blekkenhorst, L., Wagner, K., Peake, J., Neubauer, O., (2019), Effects of dietary nitrate on inflammation and immune function, and implications for cardiovascular health. Nutrition Reviews, 77(8), 584-599, DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nuz025.
  • Sim, M., Lewis, J., Blekkenhorst, L., Bondonno, C., Devine, A., Zhu, K., Peeling, P., Prince, R., Hodgson, J., (2019), Dietary nitrate intake is associated with muscle function in older women. Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, 10(3), 601-610, DOI: 10.1002/jcsm.12413.
  • Lewis, J., Brennan-Speranza, T., Levinger, I., Byrnes, E., Lim, E., Blekkenhorst, L., Sim, M., Hodgson, J., Zhu, K., Lim, W., Adams, L., Prince, R., (2019), Effects of calcium supplementation on circulating osteocalcin and glycated hemoglobin in older women. Osteoporosis International, 30(10), 2065-2072, DOI: 10.1007/s00198-019-05087-3.
  • Bondonno, N., Blekkenhorst, L., Bird, A., Lewis, J., Hodgson, J., Shivappa, N., Hebert, J., Woodman, R., Wong, G., Kerr, D., Lim, W., Prince, R., (2019), Dietary inflammatory index and the aging kidney in older women: a 10‑year prospective cohort study. European Journal of Nutrition, Online(Dec), 11p., DOI: 10.1007/s00394-019-02160-9.
  • Jackson, J., Patterson, A., Macdonald-Wicks, L., Forder, P., Blekkenhorst, L., Bondonno, C., Hodgson, J., Ward, N., Holder, C., Oldmeadow, C., Byles, J., McEvoy, M., (2019), Vegetable Nitrate Intakes Are Associated with Reduced Self-Reported Cardiovascular-Related Complications within a Representative Sample of Middle-Aged Australian Women, Prospectively Followed up for 15 Years. Nutrients, 11(2), Article number 240, DOI: 10.3390/nu11020240.
  • Bondonno, C., Blekkenhorst, L., Liu, AH., Bondonno, N., Ward, NC., Croft, KD., Hodgson, J., (2018), Vegetable-derived bioactive nitrate and cardiovascular health. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 61(June 2018), 83-91, London, United Kingdom, Pergamon Press, DOI: 10.1016/j.mam.2017.08.001.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Bondonno, N., Liu, A., Ward, N., Prince, R., Lewis, J., Devine, A., Croft, K., Hodgson, J., Bondonno, C., (2018), Nitrate, the oral microbiome, and cardiovascular health: a systematic literature review of human and animal studies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 107(4), 504-522, United States, American Society of Nutrition, DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqx046.
  • Bondonno, N., Bondonno, C., Blekkenhorst, L., Considine, M., Maghzal, G., Stocker, R., Woodman, R., Ward, N., Hodgson, J., Croft, K., (2018), Flavonoid-rich apple improves endothelial function in individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 62(3), Article number 1700674, Germany, Wiley-VCH, DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201700674.
  • Sim, M., Blekkenhorst, L., Lewis, J., Bondonno, C., Devine, A., Zhu, K., Woodman, R., Prince, R., Hodgson, J., (2018), Vegetable Diversity, Injurious Falls, and Fracture Risk in Older Women: A Prospective Cohort Study. Nutrients, 10(8), Article no.1081, Switzerland, MDPIAG, DOI: 10.3390/nu10081081.
  • Jackson, J., Patterson, A., Macdonald-Wicks, L., Bondonno, C., Blekkenhorst, L., Ward, N., Hodgson, J., Byles, J., McEvoy, M., (2018), Dietary Nitrate and Diet Quality: An Examination of Changing Dietary Intakes within a Representative Sample of Australian Women. Nutrients, 10(8), article no.1005, Switzerland, MDPIAG, DOI: 10.3390/nu10081005.
  • Sim, M., Blekkenhorst, L., Lewis, J., Bondonno, C., Devine, A., Zhu, K., Woodman, R., Prince, R., Hodgson, J., (2018), Vegetable and fruit intake and injurious falls risk in older women: a prospective cohort study. The British Journal of Nutrition: an international journal of nutritional science, 120(8), 925-934, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, DOI: 10.1017/S0007114518002155.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Lewis, J., Prince, R., Devine, A., Bondonno, N., Bondonno, C., Wood, L., Puddey, I., Ward, N., Croft, K., Woodman, R., Beilin, L., Hodgson, J., (2018), Nitrate-rich vegetables do not lower blood pressure in individuals with mildly elevated blood pressure: a 4-wk randomized controlled crossover trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 107(6), 894-908, Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy061.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Bondonno, C., Lewis, J., Woodman, R., Devine, A., Bondonno, N., Lim, W., Zhu, K., Beilin, L., Thompson, P., Prince, R., Hodgson, J., (2018), Cruciferous and Total Vegetable Intakes Are Inversely Associated With Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Older Adult Women. Journal of the American Heart Association, 7(8), Article no.e008391, United States, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Inc, DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.117.008391.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Sim, M., Bondonno, C., Bondonno, N., Ward, N., Prince, R., Devine, A., Lewis, J., Hodgson, J., (2018), Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Specific Vegetable Types: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, 10(5), Article no.595, Switzerland, MDPIAG, DOI: 10.3390/nu10050595.
  • Bondonno, C., Blekkenhorst, L., Prince, R., Ivey, K., Lewis, J., Devine, A., Woodman, R., Lundberg, J., Croft, K., Thompson, P., Hodgson, J., (2017), Association of vegetable nitrate intake with Carotid Atherosclerosis and Ischemic Cerebrovascular Disease in older women. Stroke, 48(7), 1724-1729, Philadelphia, USA, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.117.016844.
  • Bondonno, N., Lewis, J., Blekkenhorst, L., Shivappa, N., Woodman, R., Bondonno, C., Ward, N., Hebert, J., Thompson, P., Prince, R., Hodgson, J., (2017), Dietary inflammatory index in relation to sub-clinical atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic vascular disease mortality in older women. The British Journal of Nutrition: an international journal of nutritional science, 117(11), 1577-1586, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, DOI: 10.1017/S0007114517001520.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Hodgson, J., Lewis, J., Devine, A., Woodman, R., Lim, W., Wong, G., Zhu, K., Bondonno, C., Ward, N., Prince, R., (2017), Vegetable and Fruit Intake and Fracture-Related Hospitalisations: A Prospective Study of Older Women. Nutrients, 9(5), Article number 511, Basel, Switzerland, MDPI AG, DOI: 10.3390/nu9050511.
  • Muka, T., Blekkenhorst, L., Lewis, J., Prince, R., Erler, N., Hofman, A., Franco, O., Rivadeneira, F., Kiefte-De Jong, J., (2017), Dietary fat composition, total body fat and regional body fat distribution in two Caucasian populations of middle-aged and older adult women. Clinical Nutrition, 36(5), 1411-1419, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Elsevier BV, DOI: 10.1016/j.clnu.2016.09.018.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Bondonno, C., Lewis, J., Devine, A., Woodman, R., Croft, K., Lim, W., Wong, G., Beilin, L., Prince, R., Hodgson, J., (2017), Association of dietary nitrate with atherosclerotic vascular disease mortality: a prospective cohort study of older adult women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 106(1), 207-216, Maryland, USA, American Society for Nutrition, DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.116.146761.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Bondonno, C., Lewis, J., Devine, A., Zhu, K., Lim, W., Woodman, R., Beilin, L., Prince, R., Hodgson, J., (2017), Cruciferous and allium vegetable intakes are inversely associated with 15-year Atherosclerotic Vascular disease deaths in older adult women. Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(10), Article number e006558, United States, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd, DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.117.006558.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Prince, R., Ward, N., Croft, K., Lewis, J., Devine, A., Shinde, S., Woodman, R., Hodgson, J., Bondonno, C., (2017), Development of a reference database for assessing dietary nitrate in vegetables. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 61(8), Article no. 1600982, Weinheim, Germany, Wiley - VCH Verlag, DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201600982.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Prince, R., Hodgson, J., Lim, W., Zhu, K., Devine, A., Thompson, P., Lewis, J., (2015), Dietary saturated fat intake and atherosclerotic vascular disease mortality in elderly women: a prospective cohort study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 101(6), 1263-1268, Bethesda, USA, American Society for Nutrition, DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.102392.
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