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. Sharma, R, Patel, A, Ojha, T, Pablo, LA, Vosoughi, T, Ziegler, C et al.. Role of Antioxidant Therapy in the Treatment and Prognosis of COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Curr Dev Nutr. 2024;8 (5):102145. doi: 10.1016/j.cdnut.2024.102145. PubMed PMID:38693966 PubMed Central PMC11061685.
  2. Jarvis, S, Hadjikakou, M, Wu, J, Classens, M, Chiavaroli, L, Sievenpiper, J et al.. Integrating health, nutrition, and environmental impacts of foods: a life cycle impact assessment and modelling analysis of foods in Canada. Lancet Planet Health. 2024;8 Suppl 1 :S18. doi: 10.1016/S2542-5196(24)00083-4. PubMed PMID:38632913 .
  3. Miller, V, Jenkins, DA, Dehghan, M, Srichaikul, K, Rangarajan, S, Mente, A et al.. Associations of the glycaemic index and the glycaemic load with risk of type 2 diabetes in 127 594 people from 20 countries (PURE): a prospective cohort study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2024;12 (5):330-338. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(24)00069-X. PubMed PMID:38588684 .
  4. Polesel, J, Di Maso, M, Esposito, G, Vitale, S, Palumbo, E, Porciello, G et al.. A Plant-Based Cholesterol-Lowering Diet Score Correlates with Serum LDL-Cholesterol Levels. Nutrients. 2024;16 (4):. doi: 10.3390/nu16040495. PubMed PMID:38398819 PubMed Central PMC10892311.
  5. Talukdar, JR, Cooper, M, Lyutvyn, L, Zeraatkar, D, Ali, R, Berbrier, R et al.. The effects of inulin-type fructans on cardiovascular disease risk factors: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2024;119 (2):496-510. doi: 10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.10.030. PubMed PMID:38309832 .
  6. Jenkins, DJA, Willett, WC, Yusuf, S, Hu, FB, Glenn, AJ, Liu, S et al.. Association of glycaemic index and glycaemic load with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of mega cohorts of more than 100 000 participants. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2024;12 (2):107-118. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(23)00344-3. PubMed PMID:38272606 .
  7. Soczynska, I, da Costa, BR, O'Connor, DL, Jenkins, DJ, Birken, CS, Keown-Stoneman, CD et al.. Plant-Based Milk Consumption and Growth in Children 1-10 Years of Age. J Nutr. 2024;154 (3):985-993. doi: 10.1016/j.tjnut.2023.12.046. PubMed PMID:38219863 .
  8. Glenn, AJ, Guasch-Ferré, M, Malik, VS, Kendall, CWC, Manson, JE, Rimm, EB et al.. Portfolio Diet Score and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Findings From 3 Prospective Cohort Studies. Circulation. 2023;148 (22):1750-1763. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.123.065551. PubMed PMID:37877288 PubMed Central PMC10841173.
  9. Delcroix, M, de Perrot, M, Jaïs, X, Jenkins, DP, Lang, IM, Matsubara, H et al.. Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension: realising the potential of multimodal management. Lancet Respir Med. 2023;11 (9):836-850. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(23)00292-8. PubMed PMID:37591299 .
  10. Liu, Q, Chiavaroli, L, Ayoub-Charette, S, Ahmed, A, Khan, TA, Au-Yeung, F et al.. Fructose-containing food sources and blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled feeding trials. PLoS One. 2023;18 (8):e0264802. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0264802. PubMed PMID:37582096 PubMed Central PMC10427023.
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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