Structural and functional bases of nutrition

A.Y. 2016/2017
Overall hours
BIO/09 BIO/16
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to provide the basic knowledge of structural and functional aspects that allow the homeostasis of the chemical components (organic and inorganic) in humans. Therefore, the chemical compounds intake (selection and intake of food, digestion, intestinal absorption), their metabolic destinies and excretion patterns (uropoietic apparatus), and the regulatory processes (endocrine and nervous) will be studied. The cardiovascular system and skeletal muscle apparatus will be also studied since they are strongly implicated in metabolic homeostasis.
Expected learning outcomes
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
Sensory selection
Smell, taste and qualitative perception of food. Organization of the olfactory system. Structure of taste buds and organization of the gustative pathways. Organization of the olfactory system.

Nutrients intake
Generalities on structure and function of the digestive system.
Oral cavity: general description; architecture and structure of tongue, teeth, salivary glands, pharynx and oesophagus. Salivary secretion, mastication and deglutition.
General morphology and structure of the stomach. Gastric secretion, digestion and mobility.
Small and large intestine: general morphology, localization, architecture and structure, innervation.
Pancreas and liver: general morphology, localization, architecture and structure. Structure of the intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts and of the gallbladder.
Pancreatic, biliary and enteric secretion. Digestion of glucides and molecular mechanisms for monosaccharides absorption. Protein digestion and transport mechanisms of aminoacids, Digestion and absorption of lipids. Absorption of vitamins. Functions of the large intestine. Intestinal mobility. Intestinal microflora and microbic fermentation. Role of the digestive system in immune response.

The excretions
Structure and functions of the uropoietic system. The kidneys: macroscopic anatomy, architecture and structure. Composition and structure of the nephron. Generalities on upper and lower urinary tract. Glomerular filtration. Molecular mechanisms of tubular reabsorptions and secretions. Distribution and composition of body liquids. Control of tubular transports and diuresis. Generalities on ionic and osmotic homeostasis. Functions of kidney in acid-base equilibrium

Role of the endocrine regulation
Generalities of organization and function modalities of the endocrine system regulation of hormonal secretion. Structure and functions of the hypophysis and of the hypothalamus-hypophysis axis Structure and functions of the endocrine pancreas. Control of hematic levels of insulin and glucagone. Anatomy and functions of the thyroid and the suprarenal glands: metabolic influences of their products. Gastro-entero-pancreatic system and gastrointestinal hormons.

Role of nervous regulation
Morphofunctional aspects of the nervous regulation of nutrient intake.

Metabolic fate of nutrients and regulation of the energetic balance
Homeostasis of the organic components. Role of the liver and glycaemic homeostasis. The regulation of the energetic balance: basal energetic metabolism and diet-induced thermogenesis. Measures of the energetic metabolism. Energetic reserves and modes of storage. Generalities on a correct alimentary regime.

Cardiovascular system
Anatomy of the heart and vessels, heart function, the cardiac cycle, cardiac output, excitation-contraction coupling, hemodynamics, control of the blood pressure.

Skeletal muscle
Basic concepts of skeletal muscle contractility, muscle motor units, physiology of physical exercise, muscular and metabolic effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Physiological effects of integration.

Martini, Timmons, Tallitsch "Anatomia Umana", EdiSES, 2004.
Ambrosi et al. "Anatomia dell'Uomo", Edi.Ermes, 2006.
Martini - Bartholomew. Elementi di Anatomia, Istologia e Fisiologia dell'uomo EdiSES"
Widmaier, Raff, Strang "Vander Fisiologia", CEA

Prerequisites and examination procedures
Basic knowledge of physics, cytology and physiology are required
Examination procedures: Written test

Propedeuticità consigliate

Teaching methods
Teaching Mode: Traditional. Lectures supported by video presentations.
Attendance: highly recommended.

Teaching language

Program information
The material shown during the lectures will be available on Ariel
BIO/09 - PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 0
BIO/16 - HUMAN ANATOMY - University credits: 0
Lessons: 72 hours
to be arranged by email
Torre A 6th floor
Friday from 2.30 PM by appointment
Department of Biosciences, via Celoria 26, ground floor, B tower