A New Paradigm of Evidence-based Nutrition: Moving Beyond Randomized Controlled Trials

Session Track: Health Issues
Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2012; 3:20 – 4:20 p.m.

Session Description:

During this session, an expert panel will set the stage for developing a new paradigm for how micronutrients and non-nutrient dietary components should be studied and utilized to make scientifically substantiated policy decisions. Unlike drugs, nutrients and other bioactive dietary components working in complex networks are homeostatically controlled, and cannot be contrasted to a true placebo group. In this panel session, participants will evaluate the appropriateness of the randomized controlled trial, learn new approaches to defining evidence-based nutrition, and understand implications for health-related claims. The session will conclude with a balanced discussion on using the totality of evidence to define the parameters of “evidence-based nutrition,” and developing stronger public policy recommendations to result in more informed and healthier consumers. 

Speaker Information:

Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., C.N.S., Director, Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Tufts University
Jeffrey Blumberg received Bachelor of Science degrees in Pharmacy and Psychology from Washington State University and a PhD in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He also received postdoctoral training in cyclic nucleotide metabolism at the Tennessee Neuropsychiatric Institute and the University of Calgary.   Dr. Blumberg is a Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and also serves as the Director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.  His research has focused on the biochemical basis for the role of antioxidant nutrients and their dietary requirements in promoting health and preventing disease during the aging process via changes in status of oxidative stress and inflammation.  He has published more than 300 scientific articles and serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals. 


Robert Heaney, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Creighton University
Dr. Heaney has worked for over 50 years in the study of osteoporosis, vitamin D, and calcium physiology. He is the author of three books and has published overRobert Heaney 400 original papers, chapters, and reviews in scientific and educational fields. The major theme of his work has been quantitative physiology, for example, the elucidation of how much vitamin D was necessary to produce the nutrient’s canonical effect on calcium absorption, how much vitamin D is metabolized each day, how much vitamin D is synthesized in the skin, and the degree to which skin pigmentation modifies that synthesis, how much vitamin D is stored, and the extent to which input levels modify that change. At the same time, he has engaged nutritional policy issues, serving as a member of the 1997 DRI panel of the IOM. He has helped redefine the context for estimating nutrient requirements.


Douglas MacKay, N.D., Vice President, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Council for Responsible NutritionDouglas MacKay
Dr. MacKay is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and was a co-owner and practitioner in a family-owned New Hampshire complementary and alternative medicine private practice for seven years. In addition to his hands-on experience as a practitioner in the field of integrative medicine, he spent eight years working as a medical consultant for two companies in the dietary supplement industry, including four years as an executive with Nordic Naturals, where he was in charge of clinical research. He previously served as Technical Advisor for Thorne Research. Dr. MacKay has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, and serves on the Editorial Board of two peer-reviewed publications: the clinical journal Alternative Medicine Review and the official publication of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Natural Medicine Journal.