Nutrition physiology macro nutrients

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course gives a detailed introduction both theoretically and practically to the digestion, absorption, transport, storage and excretion of nutrients, with emphasis on the function and biochemistry of nutrition.

Further, the focus will be on the association of energy and macronutrient intake with normal development and health. The scientific principles for the development of national and international dietary recommendations and food-based dietary guidelines are thoroughly discussed, including their interpretation. Students get also an introduction into the pathophysiology of obesity, diabetes mellitus type 2 and cardiovascular diseases, and the role of diet in the development of disease.

The course provides an introduction to the theoretical and practical basis of the analysis of nutrition-related biochemical markers. Students learn about the principals of the methods used in nutrition, and they will get a short introduction to the principals of sampling of biological material, processing and quality assurance. In addition, common methods used in chemical and biochemical laboratories are presented, including routine laboratories like Laboratory for clinical biochemistry (Haukeland University Hospital) and research laboratories. During the practicals, the students will conduct own analyses.

Learning Outcomes

After finishing the course, the students will have the following learning outcomes, defined as knowledge, skills and general competence

Knowledge: Students..

  • Have broad knowledge on the structure, metabolism and metabolic function of macronutrients
  • Have broad knowledge on dietary recommendations and food based dietary guidelines and their use for healthy people in all phases of life
  • Have advanced knowledge on the physiologic regulation of appetite and fullness and how this affects food intake.
  • Have broad knowledge of the structure, function and processes of the human digestive system,
  • Have broad knowledge of the underlying causes of obesity, diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis
  • Have knowledge of relevant analytical methods that are used in basic and clinical nutrition research and can interpret the results
  • Have knowledge of biomarkers for the assessment of nutritional status, risk markers of diabetes mellitus type 2 and atherosclerosis, their analytical methods and their use.

Skills: Students..

  • Can master nomenclature of the biochemistry of macro nutrients
  • Can apply their knowledge of dietary recommendations and food based dietary guidelines to the quality of the general diet of the population
  • Can use biochemical methods for measurement of nutritional biomarkers, writing of a laboratory protocol and interpretation of the result, in light of statistics and biological variation.

General competence Students..

  • Can use their knowledge and skills for dietary advice to different population groups

Level of Study

Required Previous Knowledge
Completion of the two first semesters of Bachelor programme in nutrition
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
The course is taught together with NUTR203A, and credits will only be awarded to one course
Access to the Course
Admission to the bachelor's programme in nutrition
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures, laboratory practicals
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Participation in the laboratory course is mandatory, aprox. 12 hours in total. Submission of a protocol after each laboratory course. The protocols must be approved prior to the exam.
Forms of Assessment
Four hours written exam
Grading Scale
Course Evaluation
The Department strives at continually improving their study programmes and welcome the feedback of students in the form of organized student evaluations. The evaluation results will be used to revise the study programmes, curriculum and teaching methods.
Examination Support Material

Simple, bilingual dictionary, that must be reviewable, meaning that one of the languages must be English, or a Scandinavian language.

Simple calculator, model is subject to limitations determined by UiB.