Principles of anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal system. Regulation of secretion and motility, interaction between organs involved in digestive processes.
Energy metabolism and expenditure: basal metabolism, energy expenditure for physical activity, thermal effect of food, adaptive thermogenesis. Methods of assessment of energy expenditure. Energy expenditure in relation to age, physiological states and physical activity.
Protein: Structure, digestion and absorption of food proteins. Function and metabolism of amino acids. Essential amino acids. Nutritional quality of protein and methods to evaluate it. Dietary reference intake of protein in different age and physiological status.
Lipid: structure and chemical characterization. Digestion and absorption of food lipids. Lipoprotein. Lipid metabolism and function. Essential fatty acids, eicosanoids. Dietary reference intake of lipid in different age and physiological status. Trans- fatty acids. CLA. Introduction on the role of the quantity / quality of dietary lipids on human health.
Available Carbohydrate, simplex and complex, digestion and absorption (focus on lactose) . Metabolism (focus on fructose) . Glycaemia and its regulation, glycemic index and influencing factors. Glycemic load and significance for human health. Dietary reference intake of carbohydrate in different age and physiological status.
Not-available carbohydrates, simple and complex (focus on sweeteners). Dietary fiber : definition, characterization and structure. Chemicals co-ingested with dietary fiber fractions. Dietary sources of fiber. Soluble and insoluble fiber and their physiological effects on human health. Introduction on the role of the microbiota on dietary fiber metabolism and health consequences for the host. Dietary reference intake of fiber in relation to age, healthy or disease status of individuals.
Water balance and its regulation, distribution and functions of water in human body, water deficiency
Alcohol , energy and soft drinks
Bioavailability of nutrient: significance and influencing factors
Vitamins: water and lipid soluble vitamins, absorption, distribution, storage and metabolism, functions in human body, dietary reference intakes, dietary sources, risks related to deficient or excessive intakes.
Antioxidant: vitamins and phytochemicals, reactive oxidative species, oxidative stress and oxidative damage, endogenous and exogenous antioxidants, mechanisms of action, dietary sources.
Minerals: major and trace elements, absorption distribution storage and metabolism, physiological roles, homeostatic regulation, dietary reference intakes, dietary sources, deficiency and toxicity
Assessment of nutritional status: direct and indirect methods, methods for assessing body composition, advantages and limits of the techniques.
Methods for assessing food consumption: 24 h recall, dietary diary, food frequencies questionnaire, advantages and limits of techniques, practical examples of evaluation of energy and macronutrient intakes.
Functional food and nutraceuticals: definition, research protocol for identification, health effects, examples of functional food, pre- and probiotics