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. 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. 2018; :1-14. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2018.1516789. PubMed PMID:30375890 .
  2. 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 .
  3. 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 .
  4. 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.
  5. Jones, PJH, Shamloo, M, MacKay, DS, Rideout, TC, Myrie, SB, Plat, J et al.. Progress and perspectives in plant sterol and plant stanol research. Nutr. Rev. 2018;76 (10):725-746. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuy032. PubMed PMID:30101294 PubMed Central PMC6130982.
  6. Allaire, J, Talbot, D, Couture, P, Tchernof, A, Jones, PJH, Kris-Etherton, P et al.. Assessing the impact of the diet on cardiometabolic outcomes: are multiple measurements post-intervention necessary?. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018; :. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0257-0. PubMed PMID:30065355 .
  7. Liu, X, Garban, J, Jones, PJ, Vanden Heuvel, J, Lamarche, B, Jenkins, DJ et al.. Diets Low in Saturated Fat with Different Unsaturated Fatty Acid Profiles Similarly Increase Serum-Mediated Cholesterol Efflux from THP-1 Macrophages in a Population with or at Risk for Metabolic Syndrome: The Canola Oil Multicenter Intervention Trial. J. Nutr. 2018;148 (5):721-728. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy040. PubMed PMID:30053283 .
  8. Viguiliouk, E, Kendall, CW, Kahleová, H, Rahelić, D, Salas-Salvadó, J, Choo, VL et al.. Effect of vegetarian dietary patterns on cardiometabolic risk factors in diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clin Nutr. 2018; :. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.05.032. PubMed PMID:29960809 .
  9. Mahdavi, S, Jenkins, DJA, Borchers, CH, El-Sohemy, A. Genetic Variation in 9p21 and the Plasma Proteome. J. Proteome Res. 2018;17 (8):2649-2656. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.8b00117. PubMed PMID:29905076 .
  10. Jenkins, DJA, Spence, JD, Giovannucci, EL, Kim, YI, Josse, R, Vieth, R et al.. Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals for CVD Prevention and Treatment. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2018;71 (22):2570-2584. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.04.020. PubMed PMID:29852980 .
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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