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Cardiovascular Research

James DiNicolantonio, Pharm.D.

Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Insititue

Dr. DiNicolantonio is a cardiovascular research scientist at the Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. His research focuses on cardiovascular health and disease—specifically, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, lipids, antithrombotics, anticoagulants, as well as nutrition and nutritional supplements. He is the author or co-author of over 120 medical publications, encompassing opinion pieces, review articles, and systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Dr. DiNicolantonio has testifed in front of the Canadian Senate on the harms of added sugars, and has published several high-profile articles in peer-reviewed journals related to nutrition, including an opinion piece in The New York Times on sugar addiction. 

Dr. DiNicolantonio also serves as the Associate Editor of British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) Open Heart, which is published in partnership with the British Cardiovascular Society. He’s also a frequent reviewer for several medical journals and is on the editorial advisory board of several medical journals including the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology (IJCPT), CIP Journal of Cardiology, and Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases. 

Dr. DiNicolantonio graduated from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy in 2010. He frequently collaborates on research initiatives with James O’Keefe, M.D., a cardiologist at the Mid America Heart Institute.

Contact Dr. DiNicolantonio

Historic US and UK Dietary Advice on Fats "should not have been introduced"
February 10, 2015
National dietary advice on fat consumption issued to millions of US and UK citizens in 1977 and 1983 “should not have been introduced,” concludes research published in Open Heart. (from Science Daily)

Is Sugar More Addictive Than Cocaine?
January 7, 2015
Dr. DiNicolantonio recently published a comprehensive review of dozens of studies in which he contends that sugar is more dangerous than salt when it comes to risk for heart disease.(NPR)

Study Suggests Sugar Is Worse For Blood Pressure Than Salt: Really?
December 12, 2014
Now, authors of a new study in Open Heart argue that sugar consumption may be considerably worse for blood pressure than salt intake. (Forbes)

Why We Might Want To Worry More About Sugar Than Salt For Heart Health
December 10, 2014
James J. DiNicolantonio, lead author of the study and a cardiovascular research scientist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, tells Yahoo Health. (Yahoo Health)

Get Rid Of Sugar, Not Salt, Say Authors
December 10, 2014
Too much negative attention has been focused on salt and not enough on sugar, write two authors in Open Heart. (Forbes)

Want To Lose Weight? Stop Counting Calories
November 25, 2014
The problem, says cardiovascular research scientist James DiNicolantonio of Saint Luke's Hospital, is the idea of calories themselves as a weight loss tool. (The Huffington Post)

Calorie-focused thinking when it comes to obesity may mislead and harm public health
November 24, 2014
Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute cardiovascular research scientist James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, challenges the prevailing belief that all consumed calories are equivalent.

Diets High in Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids Shown to Help Prevent Cox-2 Sependent Adenocarcinomas
November 6, 2014
Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute research study finds marked benefits for cancer prevention with a higher intake of fatty fish.

Evidenced-based Prescription of Blood Pressure Medications Key to Effectively Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes
November 4, 2014
Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute researchers discover many of the most commonly prescribed medications are not effective for reducing cardiovascular events.

Organically Grown Foods May Offer Greater Health and Safety than Foods Conventionally Grown
September 30, 2014
Review by Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute researcher examines question of health benefits of organic food.

Omega-3 and Prostate Cancer: Examining the Pertinent Evidence
March 20, 2014
Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute researchers question the purported link between fish oil supplements and an increased risk of prostate cancer.



Bangalore S, Makani H, Radford M, Thakur K, Toklu B, Katz SD, DiNicolantonio JJ, Devereaux PJ, Alexander KP, Wetterslev J, Messerli FH. Clinical Outcomes with β-blockers for Myocardial Infarction A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials. Am J Med. 2014 Jun 10. pii: S0002-9343(14)00470-7.

Bell DS, DiNicolantonio JJ, O'Keefe JH. Is statin-induced diabetes clinically  relevant? A comprehensive review of the literature. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2014 Aug;16(8):689-94.​

DiNicolantonio JJ. The cardiometabolic consequences of replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates or Ω-6 polyunsaturated fats: Do the dietary guidelines have it wrong? Open Heart. 2014 Feb 8;1(1):e000032. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2013-000032

DiNicolantonio JJ, Hu T, Lavie CJ, O'Keefe JH, Bangalore S. Perindopril vs Enalapril in Patients with Systolic Heart Failure: Systematic Review and Metaanalysis. Ochsner J. 2014 Fall;14(3):350-8.

DiNicolantonio JJ, O'Keefe JH, Lucan SC.Population-wide sodium reduction: reasons to resist. Mayo Clin Proc. 2014 Mar;89(3):426-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2014.01.007

DiNicolantonio JJ and Lucan SC. Sugar Season. It’s Everywhere, and Addictive. The New York Times. 12/22/2014.

DiNicolantonio JJ and Lucan SC. The wrong white crystals: not salt but sugar as aetiological in hypertension and cardiometabolic disease. Open Heart 11/2014; 1(1). DOI: 10.1136/openhrt-2014-000167          

DiNicolantonio JJ, Lucan SC, Lavie CJ, O'Keefe JH. Dietary sodium restriction: still searching for the grains of truth. The reply. Am J Med. 2014 Jun;127(6):e17.

DiNicolantonio JJ, Lucan SC, O'Keefe JH. Letter by DiNicolantonio et al regarding article, "reducing sodium intake to prevent stroke: time for action, not hesitation". Stroke. 2014 Jun;45(6):e106-7.

DiNicolantonio JJ, Lucan SC, O'Keefe JH. Is coffee harmful? If looking for longevity, say yes to the coffee, no to the sugar. Mayo Clin Proc. 2014 Apr;89(4):576-7.

DiNicolantonio JJ, Niazi AK, McCarty MF, O'Keefe JH, Meier P, Lavie CJ.Omega-3s and cardiovascular health. Ochsner J. 2014 Fall;14(3):399-412.

DiNicolantonio JJ, Niazi AK, Sadaf R, O' Keefe JH, Lucan SC, Lavie CJ. Dietary sodium restriction: take it with a grain of salt. Am J Med. 2013 Nov;126(11):951-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.05.020. Epub 2013 Sep 18. Review.

DiNicolantonio JJ, O'Keefe JH, Lucan SC. An unsavory truth: sugar, more than salt, predisposes to hypertension and chronic disease. Am J Cardiol. 2014 Oct1;114(7):1126-8.

Lucan SC, DiNicolantonio JJ. How calorie-focused thinking about obesity and related diseases may mislead and harm public health. An alternative. Public Health Nutr. 2014 Nov 24:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]

McCarty MF, DiNicolantonio JJ. Bioavailable dietary phosphate, a mediator of cardiovascular disease, may be decreased with plant-based diets, phosphate binders, niacin, and avoidance of phosphate additives. Nutrition. 2014 Jul-Aug;30(7-8):739-47.

McCarty MF, Dinicolantonio JJ, Lavie CJ, O'Keefe JH. RE: Plasma phospholipid  fatty acids and prostate cancer risk in the SELECT trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Apr;106(4):dju014.

Menezes AR, Lamb MC, Lavie CJ, DiNicolantonio JJ. Vitamin D and atherosclerosis. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2014 Aug 20.

Ravnskov U, DiNicolantonio JJ, Harcombe Z, Kummerow FA, Okuyama H, Worm N. The questionable benefits of exchanging saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat. Mayo Clin Proc. 2014 Apr;89(4):451-3. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2013.11.006. Epub 2014 Feb 26. Review

Added Fructose: A Principle Driver of Type 2 Diabetes
Dr. James DiNicolantonio discusses his article appearing in the March 2015 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Researchers Claim Cutting Sugar Is Key Remedy for Low Blood Pressure
On Good Morning America, Dr. Richard Besser discusses Dr. DiNicolantonio's research that cutting sugar is more important than cutting salt.

James DiNicolantonio at the Canadian Senate
Dr. DiNicolantonio addresses the Canadian Senate on refined carbohydrates and added sugars as principal drivers of obesity.

Don't Believe Everything You Read
Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute experts smelled something fishy when recent media reports warned of eating fish or fish oil supplements.