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Dr Lauren Blekkenhorst

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

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

  • 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.
  • Sim, M., Blekkenhorst, L., Bondonno, N., Radavelli Bagatini, S., Peeling, P., Bondonno, C., Magliano, D., Shaw, J., Woodman , R., Murray, K., Lewis, J., Daly, R., Hodgson, J., (2020), Dietary nitrate intake is positively associated with muscle function in men and women independent of physical activity levels. The Journal of Nutrition, -(-), -, -, DOI: in press.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: -.
  • 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(January 2020), Article 115085, DOI: 10.1016/j.bone.2019.115085.
  • Sim, M., Lewis, J., Prince, R., Levinger, I., Brennan-Speranza, T., Palmer, C., Bondonno, C., Bondonno, N., Devine, A., Ward, N., Byrnes, E., Schultz, C., Woodman, R., 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, Netherlands, DOI: 10.1016/j.bonr.2020.100274.
  • Hill, C., Blekkenhorst, L., Radavelli Bagatini, S., Sim, M., Woodman, R., Devine, A., Shaw, J., Hodgson, J., Daly, R., Lewis, J., (2020), Fruit and Vegetable Knowledge and Intake within an Australian Population: The AusDiab Study. Nutrients, 12(12), 3628, -, DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123628.
  • Smith, C., Lewis, J., Sim, M., Lim, W., Blekkenhorst, L., Brennan-Speranza , T., Adams, L., Brynes, E., Duque, G., Levinger, I., Prince, R., (2020), Higher undercarboxylated to total osteocalcin ratio is associated with reduced physical function and increased 15-year falls-related hospitalizations: The Perth Longitudinal Study of Ageing Women. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, -(-), -, -, 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 number 1026, DOI: 10.3390/nu12041026.
  • Blekkenhorst, L., Sim, M., Radavelli Bagatini, S., Bondonno, N., Bondonno, C., Devine, A., Schousboe, J., Lim, W., Kiel, D., Woodman, R., Hodgson, J., Prince, R., Lewis, J., (2020), Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely associated with extensive abdominal aortic calcification in elderly women: a cross-sectional study. The British Journal of Nutrition: an international journal of nutritional science, Online(July), 9p., DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114520002706.
  • Radavelli Bagatini, S., Bondonno, C., Sim, M., Blekkenhorst, L., Anokye, R., Connolly, E., Bondonno, N., Schoesboe, J., Woodman, R., Zhu , K., Szulc, P., Jackson, B., Dimmock, J., Schlaich, M., Cox, K., Kiel, D., Lim, W., Stanley, M., Devine, A., Thompson, P., Gianoudis, J., De Ross, B., Daly, R., Lewis, J., Hodgson, J., (2020), The Modification Of Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle (MODEL) study: a randomised controlled trial protocol. BMJ Open, 10(11), e036366, DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036366.
  • Bondonno, N., Blekkenhorst, L., Bird, A., Lewis, J., Hodgson, J., Shivappa, N., Hebert, J., Woodman, R., Wong, G., Kerr, D., Lim, W., Prince, R., (2020), Dietary inflammatory index and the aging kidney in older women: a 10‑year prospective cohort study. European Journal of Nutrition, 59(7), 3201-3211, DOI: 10.1007/s00394-019-02160-9.
  • 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), A 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(1), Article number 41, DOI: 10.1186/s12937-020-00559-3.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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., 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, 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., 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., 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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