Dr. Leticia Rao

Dr. Leticia Rao

Dr. Leticia Rao is an Associate Professor Emerita and at the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and an Emeritus Scientist at St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario. Her postgraduate degrees include a M.Sc. in Food Science from Oregon State University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto.

Her expertise is in the area of bone cell biology and calcium metabolism, and her long term research goal is to uncover the causes and prevention of osteoporosis by studying the role of drugs and natural health supplements on bone cell culture and carrying out clinical studies.

She has extensive basic research experience on drugs that have been approved for osteoporosis prevention and treatment such as raloxifene and estrogen.

Recently, she has focused her research on natural health product supplements. Her clinical studies on postmenopausal women showed that the fat­ soluble carotenoid antioxidant lycopene present predominantly in tomatoes and tomato products and the water-soluble antioxidant polyphenols in natural food supplement can help in the prevention of risk for postmenopausal osteoporosis.

She has presented her research data and has been invited to give talks on her basic and clinical research on osteoporosis to a number of local and international symposia.

Her publications in peer reviewed scientific journals are extensive. She co-authored a book entitled "Bone Building Solution" and co-edited the books "Phytochemicals - Isolation, Characterization and Role in Human Health", "Probiotics and Prebiotics in Human Nutrition and Health" and "Lycopene and Tomatoes in Human Nutrition and Health." Although presently retired, she still holds the academic positions both at the University of Toronto and St. Michael's