Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Nutritional Biochemistry, Metabolism and Physiology

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Food Sciences and Nutrition

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will review the basic physiological and biochemical aspects and then move on to take a more advanced approach investigating the role of food in the human body looking particularly at aspects of metabolism, nutrient and energy balance, metabolic disturbances and new emerging areas such as the genetic basis for obesity and the causative role of the gut microbiomes in the development of obesity. It will also investigate the regulation of food intake including appetite.

Study-unit Aims:

- To provide a detailed understanding on the role of the nutrients and metabolic aspects;
- To describe the role of different systems dealing with appetite regulation;
- To describe and provide a comprehensive overview of the regulation of energy balance; and
- To investigate the role of genetics, personalised nutrition and other new emerging research areas in the development of obesity and other chronic disease.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Discuss and explain the key role of different nutrients in metabolism such as adipose tissue and skeletal muscle metabolism, lipoprotein metabolism, regulation of energy balance and overall maintenance of health, the role of the CNS and GI tract on food intake regulation, appetite and satiety regulation;
- Comprehend concepts relating to genetic influence on dietary behaviours and obesity, the role of gut microbiota and microbiomes, early life determinants of adiposity and weight regulation across the lifecycle; and
- Develop an understanding on personalised nutrition and the emerging fields of nutrigenetics and metabolomics.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Evaluate and describe the role of the different nutrients, the physiological, biochemical and metabolic functions relating to food intake and energy balance, and selected metabolic diseases;
- Apply this knowledge to describe and report on nutritional issues related to appetite, health and pathophysiology; and
- Explain and report on the genetic basis of obesity.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Williams, G. & Fruhbeck, G. (2009) Obesity Science to Practice . West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Lanham-New, SA., Macdonald, I. & Roche, H.M. (2010). Nutrition and Metabolism. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lecturers will provide updated reports and scientific journals references.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Independent Study, Practicum & Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%
Examination (1 Hour) SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Nikolai Pace
Charles Savona Ventura
Anne-Marie Scerri

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.