HAP-30306 Nutritional Physiology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Practical intensively supervised24
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. EM van Schothorst
Lecturer(s)dr. VVAM Schreurs
dr. ir. EM van Schothorst
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. J Keijer

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Human and Animal Biology, part 1 and part 2 (EZO-10306 and HAP-20306)


This course is focussed on the physiological utilisation of dietary macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, fat and protein) and discusses their flow from oral intake to their utilisation and/or excretion under various physiological conditions as maintenance, production, physical activity, stress etc. Metabolism is discussed as an interface between 'Nutritional Input' and 'Physiological Output' of the body.
This course discusses the main biochemical processes involved in digestion, absorption and metabolism of macro-nutrients.
Special attention will be paid to potential constraints for proper physiological functioning of the body.
The intensity of energy metabolism might have adverse effects on the ability to maintain the body temperature depending on the environmental conditions (thermo-neutral zone, comfort zone). Within protein metabolism there may be a friction between the efficiency of protein utilization for maintenance, protein deposition and the abilty to cope with stress conditions as far as mediated by protein turnover.
With regard to (semi)-quantitative aspects relevant for nutritional physiology specific assigments will be discussed. In a practical part students will be allowed to study aspects of digestion, absorption and metabolism in both "in vivo and in vitro" experiments.

Learning outcomes:

After the course the student is expected to be able to:
- describe and explain general digestive functions and main metabolic pathways;
- predict settings of metabolism based on nutritional input and physiological output;
- estimate changes in energetic efficiencies in relation to changing conditions;
- judge physiological conditions in terms of constraints for homeostatic control.


The course encloses 36 lectures, 9 hours for assigments and a practical (24 hours).


Multiple choice exam.


Textbook: Introduction to Nutrition and Metabolism. David A Bender (4th edition 2008). Taylor and Francis, London, UK. ISBN 1-4200-4312-9. The main course material will be available on internet. Powerpoint presentations of the lectures are also available as hardcopy. A separate syllabus about the digestive system is available.

Compulsory for: MNHNutrition and HealthMScC: Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology2MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status2MO
Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScA: Cell Biology2MO
MBIBiologyMScC: Animal Biology2MO
MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Epidemiology and Public Health2MO