89 Carlton Street
M5B 1L6, Canada
Canadian Society for Orthomolecular Medicine
Aileen Burford-Mason PhD is an immunologist and cell biologist and an expert in evidence-based nutrition. Formerly Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, her many research papers have been published in leading medical and scientific journals.
Aileen maintains a busy downtown practice in orthomolecular nutrition, an approach to health and healing that uses diet and nutritional supplements for healthy aging and the prevention of disease. She also teaches popular continuing medical education courses for doctors and other health care practitioners on the evidence-based use of diet and nutritional supplements in clinical practice.
An Orthomolecular Approach to Preventing and Treating Influenza
Immune function is controlled through nutrient-dependent metabolic pathways and the presence of multiple nutrients that are essential to these pathways is a prerequisite to mounting an effective antiviral defence. On average, 5-20% of North Americans succumb to influenza annually, involving 30 million doctor visits and 200,000 hospitalizations. Although vaccination reduces incidence, it does not offer total protection, and efficacy varies from a low of 10% (2004-5) to a high of 60% (2010-11). Evidence suggests that correcting common shortfalls of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can enhance immune responses to infection and complement current public health approaches to mitigate the incidence and severity of seasonal influenza.
Contributions to Orthomolecular Medicine
- Editorial Board of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine
- Advisory Board: Japanese College of Intravenous Therapy (2013 –); ISOM (2016 –)
- Medical Education Advisory Board, Canadian Society for Orthomolecular Medicine (2009 –)
- Member of the core faculty of the Annual International Orthomolecular Medicine Today Conference
- National Spokesperson for Orthomolecular Health 2008-2009 (Canadian media tour)
Burford-Mason AP. Orthomolecular Medicine and Heart Health: Unmasking the Magnesium Link to Multiple Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2013; 38(1):9-16
Burford-Mason AP. Vitamin D Deficiency in Older Adults, Part 1: The Prevention of Chronic Degenerative Disease and Support of Immune Health. Geriatrics & Aging, 2009; 12(1):44-47
Burford-Mason AP, Dryden P, Kelner M, Saunders PR, Ware M. Complementary and Alternative (CAM) Therapies and Pain in the Elderly: A Review. Geriatrics & Aging, 2005; 8(6):28-33
Burford-Mason AP. Vitamin E and Heart Disease Controversy: Two Major Studies; One Common Flaw. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2003; 18(2):59-60
Burford-Mason AP. Magnesium. In: Scientific Evidence for Musculoskeletal, Bariatric and Sports Nutrition. Ed: Kohlstadt I. Taylor and Francis (CRC Press) USA. pp 137-152. 2006
Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of FameInducted 2015
Born Aileen Philomena Reilly in Birmingham England, Aileen returned with her parents to their native Ireland when she was three years old. Her earliest education was at the Dominican Convent, Santa Sabina, Dublin, where her favourite activities were writing, drawing and performing in school productions. From there she went to boarding school at Loreto Convent, County Meath, where she learned little science but developed a lasting love of music.
Aileen’s scientific education began in earnest at University College Dublin where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree. After graduation she moved to England to pursue a research career as a forensic biochemist in the horse-racing town of Newmarket, Suffolk. Her most enduring memory of that time was her futile attempts to appear calm and unruffled when collecting blood and urine samples from horses. (The horses were not fooled and to this day she is afraid of horses.)
While living in Newmarket Aileen met and married the love of her life, Roger Burford-Mason (d. 1998). They moved to Hitchin, Hertfordshire, where their son Oliver was born. After some years in teaching, she returned to research, this time in immunology. In 1983 she completed her PhD in immunology and continued research in that field until 1988 when she emigrated with her family from the UK to Canada.
Once in Toronto she moved into cancer research, holding positions as Research Associate and later Assistant Professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Pathology. However, a nutritional thread had run through her research career, and she gradually became convinced that most disease had a major nutritional component that was being ignored. So in 1996 she made the transition from conventional research to orthomolecular medicine.
Today Aileen divides her time between her private practice, writing, and lecturing to medical and allied health professionals on the evidence based use of diet and supplements in health maintenance and disease prevention. Eat Well, Age Better, her best-selling book, has been enthusiastically received by doctors and the public. The Healthy Brain, published by HarperCollins Canada in 2017 made the Globe and Mail’s top 10 non-fiction best seller list.