Nutrition and cardiovascular health

Exploring how food effects heart health

It’s common knowledge that eating a healthy diet can lower your risk of developing heart disease. However, what constitutes a heart-healthy diet and whether this differs from person-to-person is in dispute.

We will guide the Australian population on the best dietary choices for good heart health with a focus on understanding the role of personalised advice in making dietary decisions.

Our research aims to use a comprehensive suite of non-invasive measures for vascular health and a suite of markers for cardiovascular risk to assess the influence of various dietary patterns on cardiovascular health.

Our work explores how diets, including nutrient profiles, whole foods and dietary patterns, can prevent heart disease in different people. With a focus on the Australian population, we’ll develop scientifically proven ways to prevent cardiovascular disease and identify whether dietary advice should be personalised.

Our research will offer the general population the information they need to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, improving their quality of life and, ultimately, their lifespan.

Education and community

  • Developed and hosted a satellite meeting of the DOHaD 2019 World Congress ("Cardiometabolic and immune health across the life course" workshop), together with the Baby1000 and DOHaD nodes.

Collaborative projects

  • Maternal diet and epigenetic age in newborns (completed); Funding from Sydney Medical School to analyse epigenetic markers in newborns
  • Nutritional biomarkers (ongoing). Identification of key nutritional biomarkers, particularly for study of cardiometabolic disease, and establishment of these techniques on the USyd/RPA campus.
  • Paper published in a leading nutrition journal, and covered by media, demonstrating associations of maternal dietary characteristics with offspring epigenetic aging. 

Key publications

  • M Phang, J Ross, JH Raythatha, HUW Dissanayake, RL McMullan, Y Kong, J Hyett, A Gordon, P Molloy, MR Skilton. Epigenetic aging in newborns – role of maternal diet. Am J Clin Nutr 2020 [more]


  • Biology
  • Populations
  • Society and environment
  • Solutions

Project Node Leader

Dr Michael Skilton
Professor Michael Skilton
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