There is a lot of confusion out there on who can call themselves “nutrigenomics rd“. In my previous video I discussed what the emerging field of nutritional genomics (NGx) is and how this may impact on how we provide nutritional recommendations in the future. And whilst it is not mainstream yet, there are already RD and nutritionists who have integrated NGx into their practice, myself included. The professional title is certainly not defined yet. Some have integrated it as part of functional approach, I on the other hand have gone more the industry consulting route so I would not call myself a functional dietitian, but for the purpose of this video, I will call it a NGx RD.
So how do you become a Nutrigenomics RD?,
You need to be a registered dietitian first of all. Although you don´t need to have decades of experience, I would recommend that you have some clinical or practical experiences working with clients or patients because you will use test results as a tool to develop a personalized nutrition plan. There is a misconception that it is a all-or nothing approach, meaning that we will base all the dietary advice on the gene report, and this is just not the case. So I have been in clinical practice for 7 years as a gastroenterology and nutrition support RD and I have been in private practice for over 10 years so it is a good basis to have.
There are different courses you can take to build your knowledge in genetics and nutrigenomics.
Firstly undergrad courses:
Are available in some countries like South- Africa, the US, Canada and the UK, however because of increasing consumer demand and the movement towards personalized health or precision medicine more universities are looking into providing compulsory courses.
From experience though, I do feel that these courses need to be offered by RD´s who have been in practice, because ultimately they understand the demographic of who is interested in these tests and the kind of questions they have. The field itself can be quite daunting, but as a practitioner you can separate the have to know from the nice to know in terms of the real clinical setting.
Postgraduate courses are available also as masters courses
University of California
Stellenbosch university (South Africa)
European Nutrigenomics Organisation (NuGO) http://nugo.org
Int Society of Nutrigenomics & Nutrigenetics http://nutritionandgenetics.org
Online courses: Australia, Monash University
Coming Soon! – Dietitians of Canada online course
Translational Nutrigenomics: http://manukascience.co.za
On demand: Accredited Nutritional genomics webinar recording
If you are more into education on demand, I have a webinar recording that explains the emerging field as well as where developments are happening. You need no prior genetic or genomics knowledge. The course has been accredited by the British Dietetics Association for CPD points. The webinar is an instant download link and full presentation handouts, reference list and certificate are provided. For more details and to order please send me an email here
Don´t miss our next live webinar covering the latest developments and technologies in personalised nutrition and nutritional genomics. To book and for more information click here
Other resources Dietitians in integrative and functional medicine http://integrativeRD.org ISNN: http://www.nutritionandgenetics.org/Links/Links-to-Resources
So there are a few options for you to develop your knowledge in order to call yourself a nutrigenomics RD. However as I mentioned, the title is not defined yet, however how you apply the science to your prosessional role is clearly up to you.
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