David Jenkins




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, Chiavaroli, L, Mirrahimi, A, Mitchell, S, Faulkner, D, Sahye-Pudaruth, S et al.. Glycemic Index Versus Wheat Fiber on Arterial Wall Damage in Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Diabetes Care. 2022;45 (12):2862-2870. doi: 10.2337/dc22-1028. PubMed PMID:36326712 .
  2. Mahdavi, S, Jenkins, DJA, El-Sohemy, A. Genetic variation in 9p21, dietary patterns, and insulin sensitivity. Front Genet. 2022;13 :988873. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2022.988873. PubMed PMID:36313440 PubMed Central PMC9616109.
  3. Jenkins, DJA, Kendall, CWC, Sievenpiper, JL. Carbohydrate quality and cardiovascular disease: Need for trials. Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2022; :. doi: 10.1016/j.tcm.2022.09.008. PubMed PMID:36252732 .
  4. Qi, X, Chiavaroli, L, Lee, D, Ayoub-Charette, S, Khan, TA, Au-Yeung, F et al.. Effect of Important Food Sources of Fructose-Containing Sugars on Inflammatory Biomarkers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Feeding Trials. Nutrients. 2022;14 (19):. doi: 10.3390/nu14193986. PubMed PMID:36235639 PubMed Central PMC9572084.
  5. Yu, J, Balaji, B, Tinajero, M, Jarvis, S, Khan, T, Vasudevan, S et al.. White rice, brown rice and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2022;12 (9):e065426. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-065426. PubMed PMID:36167362 PubMed Central PMC9516166.
  6. Glenn, AJ, Li, J, Lo, K, Jenkins, DJA, Boucher, BA, Hanley, AJ et al.. The Portfolio Diet and Incident Type 2 Diabetes: Findings From the Women's Health Initiative Prospective Cohort Study. Diabetes Care. 2022; :. doi: 10.2337/dc22-1029. PubMed PMID:36162007 .
  7. Jenkins, DJA, Jones, PJH, Abdullah, MMH, Lamarche, B, Faulkner, D, Patel, D et al.. Low-carbohydrate vegan diets in diabetes for weight loss and sustainability: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2022; :. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqac203. PubMed PMID:36156115 .
  8. Nielsen, DE, Boucher, BA, Da Costa, LA, Jenkins, DJA, El-Sohemy, A. Reproducibility and validity of the Toronto-modified Harvard food frequency questionnaire in a multi-ethnic sample of young adults. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2022; :. doi: 10.1038/s41430-022-01209-z. PubMed PMID:36100702 .
  9. Jayalath, VH, Lajkosz, K, Fleshner, NE, Hamilton, RJ, Jenkins, DJA. The effect of lowering cholesterol through diet on serum prostate-specific antigen levels: A secondary analysis of clinical trials. Can Urol Assoc J. 2022;16 (8):279-282. doi: 10.5489/cuaj.7975. PubMed PMID:35905298 PubMed Central PMC9343158.
  10. Lee, D, Chiavaroli, L, Ayoub-Charette, S, Khan, TA, Zurbau, A, Au-Yeung, F et al.. Important Food Sources of Fructose-Containing Sugars and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2022;14 (14):. doi: 10.3390/nu14142846. PubMed PMID:35889803 PubMed Central PMC9325155.
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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