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.

Recent Publications

  1. Jenkins, DJA, Kitts, D, Giovannucci, EL, Sahye-Pudaruth, S, Paquette, M, Blanco Mejia, S et al.. Selenium, antioxidants, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020; :. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa245. PubMed PMID:33053149 .
  2. Porciello, G, Montagnese, C, Crispo, A, Grimaldi, M, Libra, M, Vitale, S et al.. Mediterranean diet and quality of life in women treated for breast cancer: A baseline analysis of DEDiCa multicentre trial. PLoS One. 2020;15 (10):e0239803. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239803. PubMed PMID:33031478 PubMed Central PMC7544033.
  3. Zurbau, A, Au-Yeung, F, Blanco Mejia, S, Khan, TA, Vuksan, V, Jovanovski, E et al.. Relation of Different Fruit and Vegetable Sources With Incident Cardiovascular Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020;9 (19):e017728. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.017728. PubMed PMID:33000670 .
  4. Bogotá-Gregory, JD, Lima, FCT, Correa, SB, Silva-Oliveira, C, Jenkins, DG, Ribeiro, FR et al.. Biogeochemical water type influences community composition, species richness, and biomass in megadiverse Amazonian fish assemblages. Sci Rep. 2020;10 (1):15349. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-72349-0. PubMed PMID:32948815 PubMed Central PMC7501869.
  5. Augustin, LSA, Aas, AM, Astrup, A, Atkinson, FS, Baer-Sinnott, S, Barclay, AW et al.. Dietary Fibre Consensus from the International Carbohydrate Quality Consortium (ICQC). Nutrients. 2020;12 (9):. doi: 10.3390/nu12092553. PubMed PMID:32846882 PubMed Central PMC7551906.
  6. Manole, A, Efthymiou, S, O'Connor, E, Mendes, MI, Jennings, M, Maroofian, R et al.. De Novo and Bi-allelic Pathogenic Variants in NARS1 Cause Neurodevelopmental Delay Due to Toxic Gain-of-Function and Partial Loss-of-Function Effects. Am J Hum Genet. 2020;107 (2):311-324. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.06.016. PubMed PMID:32738225 PubMed Central PMC7413890.
  7. Prakash, PS, Moore, SA, Rezende-Neto, JB, Trpcic, S, Dunn, JA, Smoot, B et al.. Predictors of retained hemothorax in trauma: Results of an Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma multi-institutional trial. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2020;89 (4):679-685. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000002881. PubMed PMID:32649619 .
  8. Jenkins, DJA, Jayalath, VH, Choo, VL, Viguiliouk, E, Kendall, CWC, Srichaikul, K et al.. Does conventional early life academic excellence predict later life scientific Discovery? An assessment of the lives of Great Medical Innovators. QJM. 2020; :. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcaa210. PubMed PMID:32589722 .
  9. Marinangeli, CPF, Harding, SV, Glenn, AJ, Chiavaroli, L, Zurbau, A, Jenkins, DJA et al.. Destigmatizing Carbohydrate with Food Labeling: The Use of Non-Mandatory Labelling to Highlight Quality Carbohydrate Foods. Nutrients. 2020;12 (6):. doi: 10.3390/nu12061725. PubMed PMID:32526896 PubMed Central PMC7353004.
  10. Jenkins, DJA, Srichaikul, KK, Kendall, CWC, Sievenpiper, JL. Bean, fruit, and vegetable fiber, but not cereal fiber are associated with reduced mortality in Japan. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020;111 (5):941-943. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa045. PubMed PMID:32219427 .
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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