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Jay J Cao



Jay Cao, Ph.D.


Contact information

(701) 795-8377


Dr. Cao, joined the USDA-ARS GFHNRC in 2006, is a research nutritionist with decades of broad research experience in academic, clinical, and industry settings.

Dr. Cao has conducted both basic and translational research with multiple animal species and human subjects with over 100 publications which include 82 peer-reviewed research papers and 8 review articles.

Dr. Cao has chaired scientific sessions seven times at international meetings such as the American Society for Nutrition and the Fifth International Conference on Osteoporosis and Bone Research. Dr. Cao served on the executive board of two professional organizations and as an editorial board member of 4 peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Cao has given many presentations at national and international conferences, or as an invited speaker at academic institutions and industry organizations.

Research Interests

Dr. Cao’s overall research focuses on how nutritional and physical factors affect bone metabolism.

Specifically, Dr. Cao investigates how protein, calcium, and phosphorus intakes influence bone health in the context of acid-base balance in humans. Using animal and cell culture models, Dr. Cao has been studying the mechanisms of bone metabolism in obesity and how diet, physical activity, and/or the timing of exercise improve bone quality and quantity.


Research Accomplishments

  • Demonstrated that obesity increases bone resorption leading to reduced bone mass in mice.
  • Demonstrated that decreasing oxidative stress by supplementation of selenium and pinto bean hull extract is beneficial to bone.
  • Demonstrated that high beef protein does not impair bone health in postmenopausal women.
  • Demonstrated that short-term consumption of high-protein diets protects muscle mass without negatively affecting Ca balance during weight loss.
  • Demonstrated that increased fruit and vegetable consumption at or above dietary guideline is beneficial to bone health in humans.
  • Demonstrated that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma affects adiposity, bone remodeling, and age-related bone loss.
  • Demonstrated the influence of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) upon obesity-induced bone loss.

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