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. Sullivan, TP, Moore, JE, Klein, AA, Jenkins, DP, Williams, LK, Roscoe, A et al.. Evaluation of the Clinical Utility of Transesophageal Echocardiography and Invasive Monitoring to Assess Right Ventricular Function During and After Pulmonary Endarterectomy. J. Cardiothorac. Vasc. Anesth. 2017; :. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2017.09.026. PubMed PMID:29310938 .
  2. Li, SS, Blanco Mejia, S, Lytvyn, L, Stewart, SE, Viguiliouk, E, Ha, V et al.. Effect of Plant Protein on Blood Lipids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017;6 (12):. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.117.006659. PubMed PMID:29263032 PubMed Central PMC5779002.
  3. Jamnik, J, Jenkins, DJ, El-Sohemy, A. Biomarkers of cardiometabolic health and nutritional status in individuals with positive celiac disease serology. Nutr Health. 2017; :260106017748053. doi: 10.1177/0260106017748053. PubMed PMID:29249178 .
  4. Augustin, LSA, Taborelli, M, Montella, M, Libra, M, La Vecchia, C, Tavani, A et al.. Associations of dietary carbohydrates, glycaemic index and glycaemic load with risk of bladder cancer: a case-control study. Br. J. Nutr. 2017;118 (9):722-729. doi: 10.1017/S0007114517002574. PubMed PMID:28990544 .
  5. Ha, V, Viguiliouk, E, Kendall, CWC, Balachandran, B, Jenkins, DJA, Kavsak, PA et al.. Effect of a low glycemic index diet versus a high-cereal fibre diet on markers of subclinical cardiac injury in healthy individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus: An exploratory analysis of a randomized dietary trial. Clin. Biochem. 2017;50 (18):1104-1109. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2017.09.021. PubMed PMID:28958804 .
  6. Marinangeli, CPF, Foisy, S, Shoveller, AK, Porter, C, Musa-Veloso, K, Sievenpiper, JL et al.. An Appetite for Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Protein Content Claims in Canada. Nutrients. 2017;9 (9):. doi: 10.3390/nu9090921. PubMed PMID:28832556 PubMed Central PMC5622681.
  7. Jenkins, AL, Morgan, LM, Bishop, J, Jovanovski, E, Jenkins, DJA, Vuksan, V et al.. Co-administration of a konjac-based fibre blend and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) on glycaemic control and serum lipids in type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled, cross-over clinical trial. Eur J Nutr. 2017; :. doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1496-x. PubMed PMID:28687934 .
  8. Tsilas, CS, de Souza, RJ, Mejia, SB, Mirrahimi, A, Cozma, AI, Jayalath, VH et al.. Relation of total sugars, fructose and sucrose with incident type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. CMAJ. 2017;189 (20):E711-E720. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.160706. PubMed PMID:28536126 PubMed Central PMC5436961.
  9. Jenkins, D. Counterpoint: Soy protein. J Clin Lipidol. ;11 (1):307-308. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2016.11.006. PubMed PMID:28391903 .
  10. Chiavaroli, L, Mirrahimi, A, Ireland, C, Mitchell, S, Sahye-Pudaruth, S, Coveney, J et al.. Cross-sectional associations between dietary intake and carotid intima media thickness in type 2 diabetes: baseline data from a randomised trial. BMJ Open. 2017;7 (3):e015026. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015026. PubMed PMID:28336747 PubMed Central PMC5372138.
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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