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The interpretation of nutritional information relies on an understanding of how nutrients are metabolised and what can go wrong in disease states. The subject material covers control of the digestion and absorption of nutrients; the regulation of blood glucose concentration and the causes of diabetes; the generation of free-radicals and the importance of antioxidants in protecting proteins, lipids and DNA from oxidative damage; the regulation of muscle protein metabolism in response to starvation, physical trauma and various diseases; the metabolism of blood lipids and how they contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease; metabolic contributions to obesity, cardiovascular disease, aging and related nutritional problems; carrier proteins for nutrients and receptors on the cell surface involved in the regulation of nutrition and metabolism.
Intended learning outcomes
- To give students a sound understanding at the molecular level of how humans handle nutrients via metabolism and what can go wrong in disease states
- To indicate the similarities between humans and other living organisms
- To demonstrate how the emerging field of metabolomics (the study of a range of metabolites in a cell or tissue) is being applied as a diagnostic tool
Students will be provided with the opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking, particularly through researching a relevant topic and preparing a 1000-word essay assignment. They will learn to apply theoretical principles to the explanation of observations and acquire skills in time management.
Last updated: 29 October 2019