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Kevin M. Connolly, PhD

Kevin M. Connolly, PhD received his bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Brown University, and doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from UCLA. Before consulting for the dietary supplement industry, he spent 15 years in basic biochemistry research elucidating such diverse mechanisms as bacterial antibiotic resistance and collagen synthesis. He contributes to several online and print publications, and is a frequent guest on radio health programs throughout the country. When not writing, he teaches undergraduate biochemistry.


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) result from elevated levels of bacteria colonizing the urogenital tract (including the bladder and urethra; the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body), and are one of the most commonly acquired bacterial infections in both non-hospitalized and hospitalized individuals. UTIs lead to about 8 million visits to doctor’s offices and emergency rooms each year in the U.S., and are a substantial burden to healthcare...

Depression is characterized by low mood, loss of pleasure, or changes in sleep or energy, that are not associated with recent grief or another underlying medical condition. At any time, it affects an estimated 9 percent of the U.S. population, and is projected to have the second greatest contribution to lifetime disability (behind cardiovascular disease) by the end of the decade.1,2 Part of the multimodal approach to management of chronic clinical depression can involve...

The lipids are the third class of macronutrient. They are as ubiquitous in the diet as proteins and carbohydrates, where they occur predominantly as storage lipids called triglycerides (formed from fatty acids), and cholesterol, a lipid with roles in both cell structural and communication.

Fatty acids are the building blocks of most lipids. These energy-rich molecules come in a variety of configurations, each with different chemical and physical...

What Your Father Never Told You

Ask the average American man what his greatest health concerns will be as he ages, and his answer would likely be drawn from a familiar list: heart disease, prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer, osteoarthritis, erectile dysfunction. Few would list osteoporosis, the degenerative skeletal condition that is generally considered a “woman’s disease.” Most would be surprised to learn that the prevalence of male osteoporosis is close to...

They are used to construct the cells and tissues that form our bodies, provide sources of energy to power metabolism (as well as provide a mechanism for storing energy between meals), and are used to form the countless enzymes that drive our metabolism. Unlike the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) which are needed in small amounts and are generally reused, macronutrients undergo a constant flux in our body, necessitating a consistent intake to provide enough energy for our...

Many medical organizations advise against routine supplementation of vitamins and minerals (citing “safety concerns,” lack of evidence of benefit,” or that they are simply “unnecessary”) and recommend a focus on acquiring nutrients from the diet. Which, for the most part, is a good suggestion: no combination of supplemental vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients could possibly emulate the diversity of known (and unknown) beneficial compounds found in the diet. However,...

Taking Supplementation Seriously Part I:

There is an ongoing debate on whether dietary supplements deserve to be part of a health-promoting strategy. Several medical organizations do not advise routine supplementation for people, without underlying deficiencies, citing safety concerns or lack of clear evidence of benefits, and suggest that an adequate diet should be sufficient in obtaining proper nutrition. Prophylactic use of supplemental vitamins or minerals, like iron, has...

Taking Supplementation Seriously Part II:

Last month, we started a dialogue on whether supplementation is the appropriate course for insuring a nutritionally complete diet. We examined a very simple case, the multivitamin: a supplement designed to provide the base set of essential nutrients that are requisite for normal human metabolism. In response to the case against multivitamin usage (“proper diet alone should be adequate in providing essential nutrients”), we...

Taking Supplementation Seriously Part III

There is little debate that a balanced diet is the most desirable method for obtaining essential nutrients, but there are cases when the use of supplemental nutrients may be requisite for insuring adequate nutrient intake. When negotiating the vast number of choices in dietary supplements, one criteria for deciding upon a product is whether it contains natural versus synthetic vitamins and minerals.

Taking Supplementation Seriously Part IV

In past articles, we presented the case for insuring nutritional sufficiency of the essential vitamins and minerals through supplementation. There is little debate that these micronutrients are requisite for human survival, and that their supplementation may be an apt course for some. A healthy diet also provides several other nutritionally-beneficial elements which, like the vitamins and minerals, are not always present at optimal levels...

Choosing a quality dietary supplement can be an exercise in abstraction. As a class of product nestled somewhere in between food and drug, they lack many of the obvious quality measurements inherent to these two other categories (such as the sensory properties one uses to select quality produce, or the strict quality control procedures inherent to the manufacture of a government-regulated pharmaceutical). Until recently, the only way to assess the quality of a supplement (short of spending a...

Carbohydrates are the most abundant biomolecules on our planet and in our food supply. They exhibit some of the largest differences in their metabolism by different members of the animal kingdom. At one extreme, herbivores can almost completely break down dietary plant material with the help of beneficial bacteria that dwell within their gastrointestinal tract; at the other extreme, true carnivores can’t process most dietary carbohydrates. Humans fall somewhere in between; we derive a great...