The Institute for Optimum Nutrition

The Healing Power of Nutrition

Heather Rosa, dean of the Institute for Optimal Nutrition, gives the inside track on how nutrition could change your life and how studying nutrition could open up a new career to help you change the lives of others

“Optimum nutrition is the medicine of tomorrow.” Linus Pauling, PhD, Nobel laureate.

How has nutrition changed your life?

I trained at ION 34 years ago, initially to make myself well. After restoring my health, I went on to practice Nutritional Therapy. As I had originally trained as a teacher, it was a logical step to return to education, and I led the very first degree in Nutritional Therapy (NT) in the UK.

At the Institute, I lead the academic department. Together we seek to inspire the next generation of NTs to become the therapists of the future, working collaboratively with doctors and other care professionals.

What are some of the highlights of working as a Nutritional Therapist?

Highlights include:

The sheer joy of empowering clients and seeing them move towards wellness.

Getting the healthy eating, real food message out there: Food is medicine and medicine is food.

Working in partnership with a client or with groups.

Always learning something new.

Tell us what’s special about the Institute for Optimum Nutrition

The Institute for Optimum Nutrition (ION) is one of the most respected training bodies of its kind in Europe. It’s a registered higher education charity established 35 years ago by Patrick Holford to train Nutritional Therapists.

Who studies on your courses?

Our students have a range of backgrounds; the corporate world, such as marketing and media; health care practitioners and therapists; those taking career breaks; and full-time carers. All our students share a passion for nutrition and making a difference to others’ lives.

What courses are available?

Our flagship course is the DipION Nutritional Therapy Diploma Course. This is a part-time weekend professional practice course or can be taken online. It includes clinical practice training, so you gain real-life experience of helping clients, supervised by our highly qualified assessors.

The Nutritional Therapy Science Access Course allows people without a science background to access the diploma course.

We also providing training through our Short Courses and Masterclass programmes. You can learn about interesting topics including everything from gluten-free eating, to digestive health, metabolism and menopause.

How does the ION diploma course differ from other colleges/institutes?

We enjoy reading the great feedback we get from our students! What they say differentiates ION from other nutritional training providers is our level of student support, flexible study options (length and format) and an exciting, comprehensive curriculum. Also, the clinic practice experience means our graduates are fully ready to run their own practice.

What else does ION provide?

We provide a range of clinical packages for the public in our Richmond clinic, helping you to improve your health and wellbeing and learn about what you should eat, away from the confusion of conflicting diet and nutrition advice. Visit our website:

If you are interested in nutrition, make sure you receive our quarterly magazine (free online) – Optimum Nutrition and monthly newsletter. Visit

What’s the future at ION?

There is so much interest in nutrition and different diets. We foresee engaging in more research, and expanding the range of courses we offer, providing opportunities for allied health professionals and the public to gain knowledge and skills backed by the latest research. We want people to realise that food is not an alternative therapy. It is fundamental to life, health, and wellbeing and something we should celebrate.

Another important part of our work will be to work with other care professionals to expand their understanding of the impact which food can have on chronic health issues.

It’s an exciting time to be involved in nutritional therapy. We hope to see you become a part of it!


The Institute for Optimum Nutrition
Ambassador House, Paradise Road, Richmond, TW9 1SQ

General Enquiries:
020 8614 7800

Short courses, CPD and food demo days enquiries:
020 8314 7800