Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cheng, Wen-Hsing

Committee Member

Tolar-Peterson, Terezie T.

Committee Member

Mathews, Rahel

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


The importance of the gut microbiome is being explored in relation to multiple facets of health and performance. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of frequent sweet potato ingestion on alterations of the gut microbiome which might in turn alter cholesterol levels and exercise performance. Thirteen recreationally trained males had fecal and blood samples collected and exercised to fatigue with and without exogenous carbohydrate ingestion prior to and following 42 days of daily sweet potato ingestion. Bacterial communities were extracted from fecal samples and bacterial DNA were sequence. Blood samples were analyzed for total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-C, high-density lipoprotein-C, and triglycerides. Performance was analyzed comparing changes in time-to-volitional fatigue with and without carbohydrate ingestion. Changes were observed in microbial abundance following 42 days of sweet potato ingestion but no differences in cholesterol or cycling fatigue with and without carbohydrates.


Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce - Specialty Crop Block Grant Program