Dr. Barry Sears is a leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal and inflammatory responses. A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his research efforts over the past 40 years to the study of lipids. He holds 13 U.S. Patents in the areas of intravenous drug delivery systems and hormonal regulation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
A turning point in his research occurred in 1982. That year the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for discoveries of the role that specialized hormones, known as eicosanoids, play in the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, and cancer. Since eicosanoids are only generated from dietary fat, Dr. Sears reasoned that one could apply intravenous drug delivery principles to nutrition in order to control these exceptionally powerful hormonal responses with laser-like precision. In essence, his approach treats food as if it were a drug.
This area of his research led to various patents in the area of hormonal and inflammation control by essentially using food as an oral drug delivery system to modulate eicosanoids especially for cardiovascular, diabetic, and neurological patients.
The impact of Dr. Sears' revolutionary work in the dietary control of hormonal response began with the publication of his landmark book, The Zone. Since its publication in June 1995, The Zone became a #1 best seller on the New York Times book list. In addition, The Zone has been translated into 22 languages indicating a worldwide response to Dr. Sears' research. His second book, Mastering the Zone, published in 1997, also became a New York Times bestseller. His third book, Zone Perfect Meals in Minutes, published in 1997, quickly became one of the best-selling cookbooks of 1997 and another New York Times bestseller. The Anti-Aging Zone was published in 1999 and provides the molecular insights into how the Zone Diet can slow the aging process. The OmegaRx Zone, published in 2002, was the first to explore the use of high-dose fish disease to treat chronic disease and essentially started the fish oil revolution in the United States. The Anti-Inflammation Zone published in 2005, explored the role of diet-induced cellular inflammation in the development of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and how to reverse these conditions using the combination of the Zone Diet and high-dose fish oil. His most recent book, Toxic Fat, was published in 2008. This new book goes into detail about how obesity has many similarities to cancer and explains why our current efforts to treat obesity will never be successful if they do not address its underlying cause, which is cellular inflammation. To date more than six million hardcover copies of his books have been sold in the United States.
His research has elevated food from more than simply a source of calories to being recognized as an exceptionally powerful drug with the ability to control the expression of our genes. Because of his revolutionary research, Dr. Sears has been a frequent guest on many national programs such as, 20/20, Today, Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, CNN, and MSNBC.
Dr. Sears continues his ongoing research as the president of the non-profit Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead, MA. In addition to continuing research on the hormonal effects of food, Dr. Sears has expanded his research in developing innovative dietary approaches to neurological conditions, as well as his on-going work in managing cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Address: 21 Tioga Way, Marblehead, MA 01945
Date of Birth: June 6, 1947
Place of Birth: Long Beach, CA
Research Interests: Dietary modulation of hormonal responses and eicosanoid biosynthesis, use of anti-inflammatory nutrition for the treatment of chronic disease conditions.
1964-1968 A.B. (with Honors) Occidental College
1968-1971 Ph.D. Indiana University
1971-1974 University of Virginia Medical School, Department of Biochemistry
1974-1975 Boston University Medical School, Department of Medicine
Academic and Non-Profit Positions
1975-1978 Research Instructor, Department of Medicine, Boston University Medical School
1978-1982 Staff Scientist, National Magnet Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2003-present President, Inflammation Research Foundation, Marblehead, MA
1976-1986 President, Lipid Specialties, Inc.
1982-1986 President, PGE Technologies, Inc.
1986-1992 President, BIOSYN, Inc.
1992-1996 President, Eicotec Foods, Inc.
1992-present President, Surfactant Technologies, Inc.
1996-1999 President, Eicotech Corporation
1999-present President, Zone Labs, Inc.
2006-present President, MedWell Foods, Inc.
2011-present President, ZoneHealth, LLC
American Oil Chemists Society
International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids
American Diabetes Association
American Society of Bariatric Physicians
1. Griffiths, R.R., Sears, B., and Jennings, L.B. "Specificity of transfer of a learned response by intracisternal injection of brain extract from trained rats: negative findings." Psychological Reports 25: 339-348 (1969)
2. Baumrucker, J., Calzadilla, M., Centeno, M., Lehrmann, G., Linquist, P., Dunham, D., Price, M., Sears, B., and Cordes, E.H. "Secondary valence force catalysis. XI. Enhanced reactivity and affinity of cyanide ions elicted by ionic surfactants." J Phys Chem 74: 1152-1156 (1970)
3. Baumrucker, J., Calzadilla, M., Centeno, M, Lehrmann, G., Urdaneta, M., Linquist, P., Dunham, D., Price, M., Sears, B., and Cordes, E.H. "Secondary valence force catalysis. XII. Enhanced reactivity and affinity of cyanide toward N-substituted 3-carbomoyl-pyridinium ions elicted by ionic surfactants and biological lipids." J Am Chem Soc 94: 8162-8172 (1972)
4. Williams, E., Sears, B., Allerhand, A., and Cordes, E.H. "Segmental motion of amphipathic molecules in aqueous solutions and micelles. Applications of natural abundance 13C partially relaxed fourier transform nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. J Am Chem Soc 95: 4871-4874 (1973)
5. Sears, B., Hutton, W.C., and Thompson, T.E. "13C NMR studies on bilayers formed from synthetic di-10-methyl-stearoyl phosphatidylcholine enriched with 13C in the N-methyl carbons." Biochem Biophys Res Comm 60: 1141-147 (1974)
6. Sears, B. "13C nuclear magnetic resonance studies of egg phosphatidylcholine." J Mem Biol 20: 59-73 (1975)
7. Sears, B., Hutton, W.C., and Thompson, T.E. "Effects of paramagnetic shift reagents on the 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of egg phosphatidylcholine enriched with 13C in the N-methyl carbons." Biochemistry 15: 1635-1639 (1976).
8. Yeagle, P.E., Hutton, W.C., Martin, R.B., Sears, B., and Huang. C.
9. Sears, B., Deckelbaum, R.J., Janiak, M.J., Shipley, G.G., and Small, D.M. "Temperature dependent 13C nuclear magnetic resonance studies of human serum low density lipoproteins." Biochemistry 15: 4151-4157 (1976)
10. Curatolo, W.C., Shipley, G.G., Small, D.M., Sears, B., and Neuringer, L.J. "Effect of lectin-induced agglutination on 13C nuclear magnetic resonance line width in sonicated phospholipid/glycolipid vesicles." J Amer Chem Soc 99: 6771-6772 (1977)
11. Roseman, M.A., Lentz, B., Sears, B., Gibbes, D., and Thompson, T.E. "Properties of sonicated vesicles of three synthetic phospholipids." Chem Phys Lipids 21: 205-210 (1978)
12. Curatolo, W.C., Yau, A.O., Small, D.M., and Sears, B. "Lectin-induced agglutination of phospholipid/glycolipid vesicles." Biochemistry 17: 5740-5744 (1978)
13. Neuringer, L.J., Sears, B., and Jungalwala. "Difference in orientational order in phospholipid and sphingomyelin bilayers. FEBS Letters 104: 173-175 (1979)
14. Neuringer, L.J., Sears, B., and Jungalwala, F.B. "2H NMR studies of the interaction of cerebrosides with dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine in bilayers." Biochim Biophys Acta 558: 325-329 (1979)
15. Widder, K.J., Senyei, A.E. and Sears, B. "Experimental methods in cancer therapeutics." J Pharm Sci 71: 379-387 (1982)
16. Mendelsohn, R., Dluhy, R.A., Curatolo, and Sears, B. "Order and fluidity in terminal methyl regions of dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine mutilayers: a comparison of Raman and deuterium NMR spectroscopy." Chem Phys Lipids 30: 287-291 (1983)
17. Stark, R.E., Manstein, J.L., Curatolo, W.C., and Sears, B. "Deuterium NMR of bile salt/phosphatidylcholine mixed micelles." Biochemistry 22: 2486-2490 (1983)
18. Curatolo, W.C., Sears, B., and Neuringer, L.J. "A calorimetry and deuterium NMR study of mixed model membranes of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleyl phosphatidylcholine and saturated phosphatidylcholines." Biochim Biophys Acta 817: 261-270 (1985)
20. Sears, B. “Essential fatty acids and dietary endocrinology: a hypothesis for cardiovascular treatment.” J Adv Med 6: 211-224 (1993)
21. Sears, B. “The Zone diet and athletic performance.” Sports Med 99: 289-291 (2000)
22. Bell, S.J. and Sears, B. “Low-glycemic load diets: Impact on obesity and chronic diseases.” Crit Rev Food Sci and Nutr 43: 357-377 (2003)
23. Bell, S.J. and Sears, B. "A Proposal for a New National Diet: A Low Glycemic- Load Diet with a Unique Macronutrient Composition." Metabol Synd and Related Disord 1:199-208 (2003).
24. Bell, S.J. and Sears, B. “The Zone Diet: An Anti-Inflammatory, Low Glycemic-Load Diet.” Metabol Synd and Related Disord 2:24-38 (2004).
25. Johnston, C.S., Tjonn, S., Swan, P.D., White A., Hutchins H., and Sears B. “Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets.” Am J Clin Nutr 83: 1055-1061 (2006)
26. Johnston CS, Tjonn SL, Swan PD, White A, and Sears B. “Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets that restrict potassium-rich fruits and vegetables promote calciuria.” Osteoporos Int 17: 1820-1821 (2006)
27. Johnston, C.S., White A.M, Tjonn, S., Swan P.D., Hutchins H., and Sears B. “Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets. Reply to NJ Krilanovich.” Am J Clin Nutr 85: 239 (2007)
28. Sorgi PJ, Hallowell EM, Hutchins HL, and Sears B. “Effects of an open-label pilot study with high-dose EPA/DHA concentrates on plasma phospholipids and behavior in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Nutr J 13:16 (2007)
29. White AM, Johnston CS, Swan PD, Tjonn SL, and Sears B. “Blood ketones are directly related to fatigue and perceived effort during exercise in overweight adults adhering to low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss: A pilot study.” J Am Diet Assoc 107: 1792-1796 (2007)
30. Sears B. “Anti-inflammatory diets for obesity and diabetes.” J Coll Amer Nutr 28: 482S-491S (2009)
31. Mills JD, Bailes JE, Sedney CL, Hutchins H, and Sears B. “Omega-3 dietary supplementation reduces traumatic axonal injury in a rodent head injury model”. J Neurosurgery 114: 77-84 (2011)
32. Sears B and Ricordi C. “Anti-inflammatory nutrition as a pharmacological approach to treat obesity.” J Obesity 2011: 431985 (2011)
33. Sears B and Ricordi C. “Role of fatty acids and polyphenols in inflammatory gene transcription and their impact on obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.” Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 16: 1137-1154 (2012)
34. Lorich, FE, Sears, B, and McNamara RK. “Elevated ratio of arachidonic acid to long-chain omega-3 fatty acids predicts depression development following interferon-alpha treatment: Relationship with interleukin-6.” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (in press)
1. Sears, B. The Zone. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY. (1995)
2. Sears, B. Mastering the Zone. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY (1997)
3. Sears, B. Zone Perfect Meals in Minutes. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY (1997)
4. Sears, B. Zone Food Blocks. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY (1998)
5. Sears, B. The Anti-Aging Zone. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY (1999)
6. Sears, B. A Week in the Zone. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY (2000)
7. Sears, B. The Soy Zone. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY (2000)
8. Sears, B. 100 Great Zone Foods. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY (2001)
9. Sears B. The OmegaRx Zone. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY (2002)
10. Sears, B. and Sears, L. Zone Meals in Seconds. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY (2004)
11. Sears, B. The Anti-Inflammation Zone. Regan Books (Harper Collins). New York, NY (2005)
12. Sears, B. Toxic Fat. Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN (2008)
1. Sears, B. "Phosphatidyl quarternary ammonium compounds."
U.S. Patent No. 4,086,257 (1978)
2. Sears, B. "Phosphatidyl sulfonium compounds."
U.S. Patent No. 4,097,502 (1978)
3. Sears, B. "Phosphatidyl phosphonium compounds." U.S. Patent No. 4,097,503 (1978)
4. Sears, B. "Method for determining the level of LDL cholesterol in blood plasma." U.S. Patent No. 4,126,416 (1978)
5. Sears, B. "Method of preparing a controlled release pharmaceutical preparation." U.S. Patent No. 4,145,410 (1979)
6. Sears, B. "Kit for determining the level of LDL cholesterol in body fluids."
U.S. Patent No. 4,190,628 (1980)
7. Sears, B. and Yesair, D.W. "Xenobiotic delivery vehicles."
U.S. Patent No. 4,298,594 (1981)
8. Sears, B. "Method of emulsifying cholesterol, cholesterol esters, and triglyceride compounds." U.S. Patent No. 4,320,121 (1982)
9. Sears, B. "Synthetic phospholipid compounds."
U.S. Patent No. 4,426,330 (1984)
10. Sears, B. "Magnetic compositions and magnetic memory devices prepared." U.S. Patent No. 4,507,217 (1985)
11. Sears, B. "Synthetic phospholipid compounds."
U.S. Patent No. 4,534,899 (1985)
12. Sears, B. "Method for reducing blood pressure levels in hypertensive persons." U.S. Patent No. 5,059,622 (1991)
13. Sears, B. “Method of and nutritional and pharmaceutical compositions for reduction of hyperinsulinemia.” U.S. Patent No. 6,140,304 (2000)