Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
M.D., 1977, Columbia University
Sc.B. in Biology, 1970, Brown University
Harvard Medical School
Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine
Dr. Sacks is Professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. He is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a senior attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he has had a specialty clinic in hyperlipidemia with the cardiovascular division. He is involved in research and public policy in nutrition, cholesterol disorders, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
His research program is a combination of laboratory research on human lipoprotein metabolism, and clinical trials in nutrition and cardiovascular disease. The laboratory research concerns the acute and long-term effects of dietary and drug treatments on the function of lipoproteins including VLDL, LDL and HDL in humans; and biochemical epidemiology of lipoprotein particle types and CVD. His group recently discovered that a type of HDL that contains apolipoprotein C-III predicted higher rates of heart disease, the opposite to the protective relation for the total HDL. Dr. Sacks was Chair of the Design Committee of the DASH study where the DASH diet was designed, and Chair of the Steering Committee for the DASH-Sodium trial. These multi-center National Heart Lung and Blood Institute trials found major beneficial additive effects of low salt and a dietary pattern rich in fruits and vegetables on blood pressure. Dr. Sacks was Co-Chair of the OmniHeart Trial, a multicenter feeding trial that found that a variation of the DASH diet that is higher in protein or unsaturated fat diets further improved blood pressure and lipid risk factors compared to the lower fat DASH-type diet. Dr. Sacks was Principal Investigator of an NIH funded trial on dietary approaches for weight loss and maintenance, the PoundsLost trial. In this trial, 4 diets varying in protein, carbohydrate and fat content were tested in 811 overweight people for 2 years. The diets had the same beneficial effects on weight loss, and all favorably affected risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Dr. Sacks is principal investigator of a new trial that is evaluating the effect of carbohydrate, type and amount, on insulin resistance and cardiovascular risk factors. Dr. Sacks recently published a clinical review on dietary treatment of hypertension in New England Journal of Medicine. This review emphasized that optimizing diet quality, including sodium reduction, can eliminate the age-related rise in blood pressure with age in just 4 weeks, as shown in new analyses in the DASH-Sodium trial.
Dr. Sacks is active in national and international committees and conferences in dietary and drug treatments of dyslipidemia, and nutrition and health guidelines. He is Chair of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee which advises the AHA on nutrition policy. He was a member of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel IV, the NIH advisory group that is developing new guidelines for treatment of dyslipidemia. He was a member of the Hypertriglyceridemia Guidelines Committee of the Endocrine Society. He is a member of the Lifestyle Working Group of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Clinical Guidelines for Reducing Cardiovascular Disease. Dr. Sacks teaches at Harvard School of Public Health as course director for nutritional biochemistry and for scientific writing, and at Brigham & Women’s Hospital on treatment of lipid disorders. Dr. Sacks received the 2011 Research Achievement Award of the American Heart Association.
Dr. Sacks has published 175 original research articles and 72 reviews, editorials, and letters.
Jensen MK, Rimm EB, Furtado JD, Sacks FM. Apolipoprotein C-III as a potential modulator of the association between HDL-cholesterol and incident coronary heart disease. J Am Heart Assoc 2012;1:e000232.
Furtado JD, Wedel MK, Sacks FM. Antisense inhibition of apoB synthesis with mipomersen reduces plasma apoC-III and apoC-III-containing lipoproteins. J Lipid Res 2012;53:784-91.
Mendivil CO, Rimm EB, Furtado J, Chiuve SE, Sacks FM. Low-density lipoproteins containing apolipoprotein C-III and the risk of coronary heart disease. Circulation 2011;124 : 2065-72.
Bray GA, Smith SR, Delonge L, de Souza R, Rood J, Champagne CM, Laranjo N, Carey V, Obarzanek E, Loria CM, Anton SD, Ryan DH, Greenway FL, Williamson D, Sacks FM. Effect of diet composition on energy expenditure during weight loss : the POUNDS LOST Study. Int J Obes 2011 ; Sep 27 epub ahead of print.
Qi Q, Bray GA, Smith SR, Hu FB, Sacks FM, Qi L. Insulin receptor substrate 1 gene vaiation modifies insulin resistance response to weight-loss diets in a 2-year randomized trial : The Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Stretegies (POUNDS LOST)_ Trial. Circulation 2011;124 :563-71.
Zheng C, Furtado J, Khoo C, Sacks FM. Apolipoprotein C-III and the metabolic basis for hypertriglyceridemia and the dense LDL phenotype. Circulation 2010;121:1722-34.
Sacks FM, Campos H. Dietary therapy in hypertension. N Engl J Med 2010;362:2102-12.
Furtado JD, Campos H, Sumner AE, Appel LJ, Carey VJ, Sacks FM. Dietary interventions that lower lipoproteins containing apolipoprotein C-III are more effective in whites than in blacks: results of the OmniHeart trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92:714-22.
Carey VJ, Bishop L, Laranjo N, Harshfield BJ, Kwiat C, Sacks FM. Contribution of high plasma triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol to residual risk of coronary heart disease after establishment of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol control. Am J Cardiol. 2010;106:757-63
Mendivil C, Zheng C, Furtado J, Lel J, Sacks FM. Metabolism of VLDL and LDL containing apolipoprotein C-III and not other small apolipoproteins. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2010;30:239-45.
Sacks FM, Rudel L, Connor A, Akeefe H, Kostner G, Baki T, Rothblat R, Llera-Moya M, Asztalos B, Perlman T, Zheng C, Alaupovic P, Maltais J, Brewer HB. Selective delipidation of plasma HDL enhances reverse cholesterol transport, in vivo. J Lipid Res 2009;50:894-907.
Sacks FM, Bray GA, Carey VJ, Smith SR, Ryan DH, Anton SD, McManus K, Champagne CM, BishopLM, Laranjo N, Leboff MS, Rood JC, deJonge L, Greenway FL, Loria CM, Obarzanek E, Williamson DA. Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. N Engl J Med 2009;360:859-73.
Harris WS, Mozaffarian D, Rimm E, Kris-Etherton P, Rudel LL, Appel LJ, Engler MM, Engler MB, Sacks F. Omega-6 fatty acids and risk for cardiovascular disease. a science advisory from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2009;119:902-7.
Zheng C, Khoo C, Furtado J, Ikewaki K, Sacks FM. Dietary monounsaturated fat activates pathways for triglyceride-rich lipoproteins that involve apolipoproteins E and C-III. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;88:272-81.
Zheng CY, Ikewaki K, Walsh BW, Sacks FM. Metabolism of apoB lipoproteins of intestinal and hepatic origin during constant feeding of small amounts of fat. J Lipid Res 2006; 47:1171-9.
Lee SJ, Campos H, Moye LA, Sacks FM. LDL particles containing apolipoprotein CIII are independent risk factors for coronary events in diabetic patients. Arterioscl Thromb Vasc Biol 2003; 23:853-858.
Sacks FM, Svetkey LP, Vollmer WM, Appel LJ, Bray GA, Harsha D, Obarzanek E, Conlin PR, Miller ER, Simons-Morton D, Karanja N, Lin PH. Effects on blood pressure of reduced dietary sodium and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. N Engl J Med 2001;344:3-10.