noun_Search_345985 Created with Sketch.
noun_Search_345985 Created with Sketch.

The latest from The Paleo Diet®, just for you.

Hot topics, new recipes, and science

Mark J. Smith, Ph.D.

Chief Science Officer
Say Hello

Dr. Smith obtained a bachelor’s degree in PE & Sports Science and a teaching certificate in PE & Mathematics from Loughborough University, England. He completed both his master’s degree (Exercise and Sport Science) and his doctorate (Physiology) at Colorado State University. He has worked with Dr. Cordain, the founder of the modern Paleo diet movement, since 1988. Dr. Smith is also a leading expert on supra-maximal interval training. He has maintained his own health and conditioning practice at The Sports Club at Mission Hills CC in Rancho Mirage, CA since 2006.

Mark J. Smith, Ph.D.
Meet The Expert

What makes you an expert on The Paleo Diet?

I bought into the hypothesis and subsequent development of a modern-day Paleolithic diet template back in the late 1980s when I arrived at Colorado State University, as a graduate student embarking on completing a masters degree in Exercise and Sport Science. As luck would have it, Dr. Loren Cordain was assigned to be my advisor and I never looked back!

Describe the impact The Paleo Diet has had on you and your family's life?

I have used The Paleo Diet® as my nutritional template since I was in my early twenties—over 35 years. I am convinced that my good fortune in regard to my health and fitness today is because of this. For my family, everyone has benefited: My sister is a breast cancer survivor, my mother once suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, and my father regressed cardiovascular disease.

What does “healthy living” mean to you? And what do you like to eat when you go to the movies (i.e. what is your favorite cheat food)?

It means encompassing all aspects of life that affect health: diet, physical conditioning, sleep, and stress relief. I believe being happy in your life is extremely important for your health, and so that guides much of my decision-making. Part of that is adopting a “when in Rome” philosophy (some of the time). Because I don’t go to the movies that much (I typically wait to watch the movies on-demand at home), I will often have a small popcorn. But my favorite cheat food? Hmmm, probably freshly made chips (and salsa)!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing for The Paleo Diet?

There isn’t much that doesn’t interest me, which isn’t necessarily a good thing when you are trying to keep on top of a busy life. But as a performance coach that works in the golf and tennis industry, I enjoy playing both of those sports. My father is an artist, photographer, and calligrapher, and I’ve been doing calligraphy since I was very young. In recent years I have renewed my interest in calligraphic design and photography.

See The Articles
The Sodium/Potassium Ratio and its Importance in Human Health
Evidence suggests that the sodium/potassium ratio in the Paleolithic diet is far more beneficial to human health when compared to a typical Western diet.
By Mark J. Smith, Ph.D.
The Importance of Sleep for Your Immune System
We often focus on diet and exercise to improve our health and immune system, but the importance of a good night’s sleep can’t be overstated.
By Mark J. Smith, Ph.D.
The Paleo Diet: Designed by Nature, Built By Science
The Paleo Diet is the diet we evolved over a million years to eat and there is still a lot of science to show why it is still the best human diet.
By Mark J. Smith, Ph.D.
Recent research study challenges the Paleolithic diet’s benefit on gut and cardiovascular health and adds that whole grain sources may be required
A recent study from Australia found the Paleo Diet raises TMAO, but Mark J. Smith show that there may be more politics than results in the study
By Mark J. Smith, Ph.D.
The Oldest Human or the Greatest Scam of All Time?
A Russian researcher claims 122-year-old Jeanne Calment was actually a 99-year-old imposter. The potential implications for longevity research are dramatic. Get the full story from The Paleo Diet!
By Mark J. Smith, Ph.D.
Our food & beverage store philosophy . . .
Read about our paleo food & beverage philosophy. Browse The Paleo Diet® blog to learn more about paleo diet basics, paleo food, recipes & more today!
By Mark J. Smith, Ph.D.
Paleo Leadership
Trevor Connor
Trevor Connor

Dr. Loren Cordain’s final graduate student, Trevor Connor, M.S., brings more than a decade of nutrition and physiology expertise to spearhead the new Paleo Diet team.

Mark J Smith
Dr. Mark Smith

One of the original members of the Paleo movement, Mark J. Smith, Ph.D., has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the benefits of Paleo nutrition.

Nell Stephenson
Nell Stephenson

Ironman athlete, mom, author, and nutrition blogger Nell Stephenson has been an influential member of the Paleo movement for over a decade.

Loren Cordain
Dr. Loren Cordain

As a professor at Colorado State University, Dr. Loren Cordain developed The Paleo Diet® through decades of research and collaboration with fellow scientists around the world.