Associate Professor  |  Nutritional Medical Education Coordinator

John Sievenpiper

Department of Nutritional Sciences

MD, PhD

Location
Medical Sciences Building, 5th Floor, Room 5334A
Address
1 King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5S 1A8
Research Interests
cardiometabolic health, clinical trials, carbohydrate/fibre metabolism, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, clinical practice guidelines, nutritional epidemiology, community and public health nutrition, metabolomics, microbiome
Appointment Status
Primary
Accepting
Pending the availability of funding

Qualification

  • FRCPC, Medical Biochemistry, McMaster University (2009-2014)
  • MD, St. Matthew's University School of Medicine (2004-2008)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto (2004-2006; 2007-2009)
  • PhD, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto (1999-2004)
  • MSc, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto (1997-2000)
  • BASc, School of Nutrition, Ryerson University (1993-1997)

LinkedInGoogle Scholar

Other Academic and Clinical Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (2020 - present)

Nutritional Medical Education Coordinator, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (2015 - present)

Member, Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, University of Toronto (2015 - present)

Researcher, the Joannah & Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition, University of Toronto (2015 - present)

Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital (2014 - present)

Knowledge Synthesis Lead, Toronto 3D (Diet, Digestive tract and Disease) Knowledge Synthesis and Clinical Trials Unit, Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital (2009 - present)

Staff Physician, Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Department of Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital (2014 - present)


At a Glance

  • Dr. Sievenpiper’s research team aims to identify and investigate diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors and outcomes in relation to dietary sugars, legumes/pulses, tree nuts, and comprehensive dietary patterns.
  • Through a combination of randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, meta-analyses and knowledge translation activities, Dr. Sievenpiper’s group aims to provide evidence to inform clinical practice guidelines, public health policy, and the design of future randomized controlled trials.

About Dr. John Sievenpiper

Dr. Sievenpiper is a Clinician Scientist who holds appointments as an Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences and Medicine and the Lifestyle Medicine Lead in the MD Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and as a Staff Physician in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and Scientist in the La Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Sievenpiper completed his MSc, PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowship training in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. He completed his MD at St. Matthew’s University followed by Residency training in Medical Biochemistry at McMaster University leading to his certification as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC). He has established an internationally recognized research program focused on using systematic reviews and meta-analyses (the “gold standard” of evidence synthesis) and randomized controlled trials (the “gold standard” of research design) to address questions of public health and clinic practice importance in relation to diet and cardiometabolic disease prevention with a particular interest in the role of sugars, carbohydrate quality, and plant-based dietary patterns. He is directly involved in knowledge translation with appointments to the nutrition guidelines’ committees of Diabetes Canada, European Association for the study of Diabetes (EASD), Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS), and Obesity Canada. He is the recipient of several major awards including an Insulin 100 Emerging Leader Award from the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, The Khursheed Jeejeebhoy Award for Best Application of Clinical Nutrition Research Findings to Clinical Practice from the Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS),  PSI Foundation Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation Fellowship, Diabetes Canada Clinician Scientist Award, Banting & Best Diabetes Centre Sun Life Financial New Investigator Award, CIHR-INMD/CNS– New Investigator Partnership Prize, and CNS Young Investgator Award for Outstanding Research. He has received >250 invitations to speak nationally and internationally and serves on the Editorial Board of various journals including the highest ranked peer-reviewed original research journal in nutrition, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Dr. Sievenpiper has authored 225 scientific papers and 17 book chapters. His work has had a major impact in shaping international clinical practice guidelines, public health policy, and research priorities. He has been cited more than 13,500 times with an h-index of 65 (Google Scholar).


Research Synopsis

Generations of nutrition research have often focused on identifying a single nutrient that leads to health benefits or disease. Clinical practice guidelines and public health policies are now moving away from these traditional nutrient-centric approaches to more food and dietary pattern-based approaches, a process Dr. John Sievenpiper helped initiate and steer in the Diabetes Canada 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for Nutrition Therapy.

Through randomized controlled trials, knowledge syntheses (systematic reviews and meta-analyses), and knowledge translation activities, Dr. Sievenpiper’s research program attempts to drive this modernization of food and dietary pattern-based approaches by investigating the role of dietary sugars (fructose, sucrose, and high-fructose corn syrup), legumes/dietary pulses (beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils), tree nuts, and dietary patterns (including the Portfolio diet and low glycemic index dietary patterns) in cardiometabolic health.

The ultimate goal of Dr. Sievenpiper’s research program is to identify and investigate important diet and disease questions in relation to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, with the view to inform clinical practice guidelines, public health policy, and the design of future randomized controlled trials in order to improve the health of those living with or are at risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

To date, Dr. Sievenpiper has led or been involved in the conduct of several randomized controlled trials, including the Fructose and Allulose Catalytic Effects (FACE) Trial [ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02459834], Dried Fruit and Postprandial Glycemia Trial [ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02960373], Strategies To OPpose Sugars With Non-nutritive Sweeteners Or Water (STOP Sugars NOW) Trial [ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03543644], and the Combined Portfolio Diet and Exercise Study (PortfolioEx) [ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02481466], as well as >35 systematic reviews and meta-analyses in this area. His research has helped inform the prevention and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and has been cited extensively in guidelines. He has also provided expertise for several national and international medical and public health organizations, including Diabetes Canada, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the American Society of Nutrition.


Recent Awards and Distinctions (Selected)

Insulin 100 Emerging Leader Award, Dean’s Alumni Award, University of Toronto (2021)

The Khursheed Jeejeebhoy Award for Best Application of Clinical Nutrition Findings to Clinical Practice, the Canadian Nutrition Society (2021)

Young Investigator Award for Outstanding Research, Canadian Nutrition Society (2019)

Graduate Teaching Award for Early Career Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentorship, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (2018)

Banting & Best Diabetes Centre Sun Life Financial New Investigator Award for Diabetes Research, University of Toronto (2016)


National and International Committee Memberships (Current)

Section Lead (Health Behaviours Interventions) and Expert Committee Member, Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) 2020 Dyslipidemia Guidelines Update (2017-present)

Expert Committee Member, Obesity Canada 2020 Clinical Practice Guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy (2017-present)

Chapter Lead and Expert Committee Member, Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy (2015-present)

Director, Toronto 3D Knowledge Synthesis & Clinical Trials Foundation (2014-present)

Committee Member, International Year of the Pulse, Health, Nutrition & Food Innovation Committee (2014-present)

Executive Board Member, Diabetes Nutrition Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (2013-present)

Expert Committee Member, International Carbohydrate Quality Consortium (2013-present)


Recent Publications

  1. Lo K, Glenn AJ, Yeung S, Kendall CWC, Sievenpiper JL, Jenkins DJA, Woo J. Prospective Association of the Portfolio Diet with All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality Risk in the Mr. OS and Ms. OS Study. Nutrients. 2021 Dec 3;13(12):4360. doi: 10.3390/nu13124360. PMID: 34959911; PMCID: PMC8705939.
  2. Jovanovski E, Smircic-Duvnjak L, Komishon A, Au-Yeung FR, Sievenpiper JL, Zurbau A, Jenkins AL, Sung MK, Josse R, Li D, Vuksan V. Effect of coadministration of enriched Korean Red Ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L) on cardiometabolic outcomes in type-2 diabetes: A randomized controlled trial. J Ginseng Res. 2021 Sep;45(5):546-554. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2019.11.005. Epub 2019 Nov 14. PMID: 34803424; PMCID: PMC8587487.
  3. Khan TA, Sievenpiper JL, Fernstrom JD. Commentary: Dietary Glutamic Acid, Obesity, and Depressive Symptoms in Patients With Schizophrenia. Front Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 14;12:725786. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.725786. PMID: 34721103; PMCID: PMC8551475.
  4. Barclay AW, Augustin LSA, Brighenti F, Delport E, Henry CJ, Sievenpiper JL, Usic K, Yuexin Y, Zurbau A, Wolever TMS, Astrup A, Bulló M, Buyken A, Ceriello A, Ellis PR, Vanginkel MA, Kendall CWC, La Vecchia C, Livesey G, Poli A, Riccardi G, Salas-Salvadó J, Trichopoulou A, Bhaskaran K, Jenkins DJA, Willett WC, Brand-Miller JC. Dietary Glycaemic Index Labelling: A Global Perspective. Nutrients. 2021 Sep 17;13(9):3244. doi: 10.3390/nu13093244. PMID: 34579120; PMCID: PMC8466312.
  5. Nishi SK, Viguiliouk E, Blanco Mejia S, Kendall CWC, Bazinet RP, Hanley AJ, Comelli EM, Salas Salvadó J, Jenkins DJA, Sievenpiper JL. Are fatty nuts a weighty concern? A systematic review and meta-analysis and dose-response meta-regression of prospective cohorts and randomized controlled trials. Obes Rev. 2021 Nov;22(11):e13330. doi: 10.1111/obr.13330. Epub 2021 Sep 8. PMID: 34494363.
  6. Glenn AJ, Boucher BA, Kavcic CC, Khan TA, Paquette M, Kendall CWC, Hanley AJ, Jenkins DJA, Sievenpiper JL. Development of a Portfolio Diet Score and Its Concurrent and Predictive Validity Assessed by a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Nutrients. 2021 Aug 19;13(8):2850. doi: 10.3390/nu13082850. PMID: 34445009; PMCID: PMC8398786.
  7. Jenkins DJA, Kendall CWC, Sievenpiper JL. Plant Polyphenols Lignans and Cardiovascular Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Aug 17;78(7):679-682. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.06.014. PMID: 34384549.
  8. Chiavaroli L, Lee D, Ahmed A, Cheung A, Khan TA, Blanco S, Mejia, Mirrahimi A, Jenkins DJA, Livesey G, Wolever TMS, Rahelić D, Kahleová H, Salas-Salvadó J, Kendall CWC, Sievenpiper JL. Effect of low glycaemic index or load dietary patterns on glycaemic control and cardiometabolic risk factors in diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2021 Aug 4;374:n1651. doi: 10.1136/bmj.n1651. Erratum in: BMJ. 2021 Aug 26;374:n2114. PMID: 34348965; PMCID: PMC8336013.
  9. Glenn AJ, Lo K, Jenkins DJA, Boucher BA, Hanley AJ, Kendall CWC, Manson JE, Vitolins MZ, Snetselaar LG, Liu S, Sievenpiper JL. Relationship Between a Plant-Based Dietary Portfolio and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Findings From the Women's Health Initiative Prospective Cohort Study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 Aug 17;10(16):e021515. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.121.021515. Epub 2021 Aug 4. PMID: 34346245; PMCID: PMC8475059.
  10. Ahmed A, Khan TA, Dan Ramdath D, Kendall CWC, Sievenpiper JL. Rare sugars and their health effects in humans: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of the evidence from human trials. Nutr Rev. 2021 Aug 2:nuab012. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuab012. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34339507.

In the News

University of Toronto study showed those on low-glycemic diet lost weight without trying. Toronto Star. January 3, 2022.

Your artificial sweetener may actually make you hungrier. Nourish by WebMD. October 6, 2021.

Nuts are not linked to weight gain: U of T study. U of T news. September 22, 2021.

Low glycemic diet reduces cardiometabolic risks for people with diabetes: U of T study. U of T News. August 12, 2021.

Is a calorie always a calorie? Not when it comes to almonds, U of T researchers find. U of T News. April 13, 2021.


Current Lab Members

Laura Chiavaroli – Postdoctoral Fellow

Andrea Glenn – Postdoctoral Fellow

Nanci Guest – Postdoctoral Fellow

Tauseef Khan – Postdoctoral Fellow

Andreea Zurbau – Postdoctoral Fellow

Fei (Rodney) Au-Yeung – PhD student

Sabrina Ayoub-Charette – PhD student

Meaghan Kavanagh – PhD student

Amna Ahmed – MSc student

Madeline Erlich – MSc student

Danielle Lee – MSc student

Sonia Blanco Mejia – Research Assistant


Teaching Appointments

Course Instructor, NFS301- Nutrition Literacy: Sorting Science from Snake Oil (undergraduate), Department of Nutritional Sciences, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Course Instructor, NFS1220 - Clinical Nutrition (graduate), Department of Nutritional Sciences, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Transition to Clerkship Nutrition Lead, MD Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Lifestyle Medicine Lead and Course Instructor, MD Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Health Promotion Lead and Nutrition Theme Lead, MD Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto