About Dr. Barry Sears

There are many self-proclaimed gurus in nutrition but few pioneers.  Dr. Barry Sears is one of those pioneers.  He is considered the founder of anti-inflammatory nutrition based on his ground-breaking research on the dietary control of the hormones that control inflammation.  

However, Dr. Sears’ early research had little to do with nutrition.  He was the founder of one of the first biotechnology companies in Massachusetts in the 1970s, specializing in developing intravenous lipid-based cancer drug delivery systems.  His patents issued in the early 1980s for inventing unique lipids (i.e., PEG-linked phospholipids) led to the first and only approved nanotechnology cancer drug that is still used today.  The identical lipids are used today in various mRNA vaccines for treating Covid-19.

His research direction began to change in 1982 when the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for understanding the role of dietary fats in the production of inflammatory hormones known as eicosanoids.  He reasoned that he could use his knowledge of lipids to reduce the levels of these inflammatory hormones associated with a significant number of chronic diseases ranging from heart disease and diabetes to auto-immune and neurological conditions. If so, it might change the course of medicine.  

His initial human studies were conducted with elite athletes since they live in a world of constant inflammation due to the intensity of their training.   Many of these early studies were undertaken with the Stanford University swimming teams.  The result was that the Stanford swimmers he worked with won seven Gold medals in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  Not bad for one country, but remarkable for one university.

The initial work he did with elite athletes was the basis for developing the concept of anti-inflammatory nutrition for the general population with his 1995 #1 New York Times bestseller, The Zone, which has sold more than two million hardcover copies.  Mastering the Zone, his next book in 1997, also became a New Times bestseller with more than one million hardcover copies.  His third book, Zone Meals in Minutes, was another New York Times bestseller and one of the best-selling cookbooks of the 1990s.

He has continued publishing ground-breaking books through the succeeding years.  The OmegaRx Zone published in 2001 started the omega-3 fatty acid revolution in the U.S.  The Mediterranean Zone published in 2014 explained the role of polyphenols in activating AMPK.  His latest book, The Resolution Zone, was published in 2019, pulls together his previous insights together into a comprehensive dietary program to improve the body’s ability to heal, thus slowing down biological aging.  To date, more than six million Zone books have been sold in the U.S. as well as being translated into 23 foreign languages.   

Dr. Sears is the author of more than 50 scientific publications and holds 14 U.S. patents on intravenous drug delivery technology, dietary regulation of hormonal responses, and treatment of cardiovascular disease.  He currently has academic appointments at the University of Miami Medical School and Arizona State University.

Dr. Sears continues his ongoing research on the dietary control of hormonal and epigenetic responses to treat several inflammatory disease conditions at the non-profit Inflammation Research Foundation in Peabody, MA. 

For more detailed scientific background on Dr. Sears: