David Jenkins


Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute


Educated at Oxford University, Dr. David Jenkins is currently a Professor in both the Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, a Staff Physician in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, the Director of the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center, and a Scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital. He has served on committees in Canada and the United States that have formulated nutritional guidelines for the treatment of diabetes and recommendations for fibre and macronutrient intake (fat protein and carbohydrates) for the general population (including the Dietary Reference intake or DRIs) under the joint United States-Canada DRI system (RDAs) of the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC). He led the team that first defined and explored the concept of the glycemic index of foods. He was the first to demonstrate the breadth of metabolic effects of viscous soluble fiber (as found in fruit, certain beans, oats barley) on blood glucose and cholesterol lowering of relevance to prevention and treatment of diabetes and heart disease. His studies on combining cholesterol lowering food components (dietary portfolio) have been recognized as creating an effective dietary alternative to drug therapy (statins) for lower risk people. In an important study, he compared a dietary portfolio with all food provided with a statin in the same people and demonstrated that the effects of both were comparable. The dietary portfolio, on the basis of this and other studies including a major cross Canada real world study, was the only dietary approach referenced in 2004 Guidelines update of the US National Cholesterol Education Program (ATP III) and recommended in the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) guidelines for 2012 and the European Atherosclerosis Society consensus statement (2015). He has received many National and International awards in recognition of his contribution to nutrition research. He believes in the value of plant based diets, and that a major effort is required to mount large studies to determine the extent of their health benefits. He also believes that diets have to be environmentally sustainable.

Please note: Dr. Jenkins is currently accepting volunteer students for summer 2018.

Recent Publications

  1. Katz, DL, Doughty, KN, Geagan, K, Jenkins, DA, Gardner, CD. Perspective: The Public Health Case for Modernizing the Definition of Protein Quality. Adv Nutr. 2019; :. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmz023. PubMed PMID:31066877 .
  2. Blanco Mejia, S, Messina, M, Li, SS, Viguiliouk, E, Chiavaroli, L, Khan, TA et al.. A Meta-Analysis of 46 Studies Identified by the FDA Demonstrates that Soy Protein Decreases Circulating LDL and Total Cholesterol Concentrations in Adults. J. Nutr. 2019; :. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz020. PubMed PMID:31006811 .
  3. Marinangeli, CPF, Castellano, J, Torrance, P, Lewis, J, Gall Casey, C, Tanuta, J et al.. Positioning the Value of Dietary Carbohydrate, Carbohydrate Quality, Glycemic Index, and GI Labelling to the Canadian Consumer for Improving Dietary Patterns. Nutrients. 2019;11 (2):. doi: 10.3390/nu11020457. PubMed PMID:30813261 PubMed Central PMC6412396.
  4. Bowen, KJ, Kris-Etherton, PM, West, SG, Fleming, JA, Connelly, PW, Lamarche, B et al.. Diets Enriched with Conventional or High-Oleic Acid Canola Oils Lower Atherogenic Lipids and Lipoproteins Compared to a Diet with a Western Fatty Acid Profile in Adults with Central Adiposity. J. Nutr. 2019;149 (3):471-478. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy307. PubMed PMID:30773586 PubMed Central PMC6398388.
  5. Jenkins, DJA, Kendall, CWC, Lamarche, B, Banach, MS, Srichaikul, K, Vidgen, E et al.. Correction to: Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet: a reanalysis of a randomised controlled trial. Diabetologia. 2019;62 (3):549-552. doi: 10.1007/s00125-018-4795-8. PubMed PMID:30617725 .
  6. Choo, VL, Viguiliouk, E, Blanco Mejia, S, Cozma, AI, Khan, TA, Ha, V et al.. Food sources of fructose-containing sugars and glycaemic control: systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled intervention studies. BMJ. 2018;363 :k4644. doi: 10.1136/bmj.k4644. PubMed PMID:30463844 PubMed Central PMC6247175.
  7. Chang, VC, Cotterchio, M, Boucher, BA, Jenkins, DJA, Mirea, L, McCann, SE et al.. Effect of Dietary Flaxseed Intake on Circulating Sex Hormone Levels among Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Intervention Trial. Nutr Cancer. 2019;71 (3):385-398. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2018.1516789. PubMed PMID:30375890 .
  8. Spence, JD, Jenkins, D. Cardiovascular benefit of egg consumption is most unlikely. Heart. 2018;104 (21):1805-1806. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2018-313687. PubMed PMID:30309867 .
  9. Jenkins, D, Sievenpiper, J, Jones, P. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts. N. Engl. J. Med. 2018;379 (14):1387-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1809971. PubMed PMID:30285332 .
  10. Mahdavi, S, Jenkins, DJA, El-Sohemy, A. Genetic variation in 9p21 is associated with fasting insulin in women but not men. PLoS ONE. 2018;13 (8):e0202365. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0202365. PubMed PMID:30138332 PubMed Central PMC6107190.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Director, Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Staff Physician, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism, Dept. of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism