How nutrition and genetics can be used in nutrition practice? Focus on heart health (1 CME Point)

Event Dates:

7:00 pm Monday 11th Sep 2023

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Dr. Leta Pilic

MPH, RNutr

Leta completed a degree in Nutrition Science at the Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology, University of Zagreb, followed by a Master’s degree in Public Health at the Andrija Stampar School of Public Health, Medical School, Croatia.

After obtaining her master’s degree and working in pharmaceutical industry for two years, Leta moved to the UK and completed a PhD in Nutrition and Genetics at St Mary’s University. She is currently a lecturer on BSc and MSc programmes in Nutrition. Leta is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Registered Nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition.

Leta’s PhD explored the effects of genetics on blood pressure response to salt. As member of the Nutrition and Genetics research group at St Mary’s Leta is currently exploring the associations between genetics, taste perception and dietary intake.

She is supervising number of MSc and PhD projects in the area of nutrigenetics and personalised nutrition.

She is also founder of Optimyse Nutrition, personalised nutrition company providing nutrigenetic testing for clients and nutrition practitioners.


In this presentation I will provide an overview of how knowledge of nutrient-gene interactions may be used in prevention or treatment of heart disease. I will start by providing a brief background to the topic explaining the central dogma of molecular biology and how genetic variations may affect our risk of chronic disease and response to nutrients. I will then provide examples of nutrient-gene interactions in context of heart disease and how we can derive personalised dietary recommendations that may be used in practice. I will conclude by highlighting advantages and limitations of using nutrition and genetics in providing personalised recommendations and offer some future perspectives.

Learning objectives

  • Understand and define key terms in nutrition and genetics (central dogma, nutrigenomics vs. nutrigenetics vs. personalised nutrition)
  • Define the concept of nutrient-gene interaction
  • Provide examples of gene-diet interactions in heart disease
  • Apply this knowledge to be able to provide personalised dietary recommendations (salt and caffeine sensitivity, riboflavin supplementation)
  • Understand advantages and limitations of using nutrition and genetics in providing personalised recommendations
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