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Institute for Optimum Nutrition

Heather Rosa Dean of ION tells us a little about ION
Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) is a higher education institution. The charity was established over thirty years ago by Patrick Holford to train nutritional therapists (NTs). ION is one of the most respected training bodies of its kind in Europe.

Heather tell us about your role as Dean and what ION provides?
I trained at ION 32 years ago initially with the intention of making myself well, and went on to practice, and then lead the first degree in nutritional therapy (NT) at the University of Westminster. I now manage the strategic direction of the academic department and hope to inspire a new generation of NTs.

As well as training Nutritional Therapists from all around the world we also provide a range of clinical packages in our professional, and student lead Nutrition Therapy clinic, public and professional short courses, produce a quarterly magazine – Optimum Nutrition and a free monthly newsletter that you can sign up for on our website.

What courses are available and who can study?
Nutritional Therapy Professional Practise Diploma 3 years part-time weekends or online ION is a leading accredited provider of nutritional therapy training in both attendance (10 weekends a year, about once a month in central London) and online learning formats with livestreaming and video resources. Clinical practice training in years two and three require attendance. You will need two GCSE A levels one in a relevant science e.g. biology and a good level of English and maths. Our students range from parents wanting to return to work to high flyers in the corporate world who want a change of career.

The Nutritional Therapy Science Access course brings applicants up to the required level of science to enter the NT diploma course.

Short Courses and Master Classes run throughout the year and range from one to three days. There are courses are for the public (food demo days, 'Children’s food allergies and atopic conditions' ) and professionals (food demo days and certificated training - cancer care management, thyroid health etc.).

How does ION differ from other colleges/institutes?
Foremost the level of student support and flexible options for length and format of study alongside an exciting and challenging curriculum. We use up to date technology to support learning with livestreaming, video and audio through our 24/7 virtual learning classroom. Our online learning option (with short blocks of attendance in years 2 and 3 for clinical practice training and clinical practice) attracts students worldwide.

What do you foresee/plan to happen for the future at ION?
With the popularity of television programmes such as ‘Doctor in the House’ and ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ we will be growing range of one-day course and food days to meet the public’s thirst for healthy eating information. We are also planning to offer post-graduate training courses in nutritional therapy for other healthcare practitioners to add to their existing skill sets. It’s an exciting time to be involved in nutritional therapy. “Optimum nutrition is the medicine of tomorrow.” Linus Pauling, PhD, Nobel laureate.