Biological chemistry

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Biochemistry is a necessary base teaching for the comprehension of Nutritional Sciences because it explains the mechanisms underlining food assumption and its metabolism. The detailed knowledge of these mechanisms is the requirement for understanding other subjects as physiology and pathology. The course of studies is aimed at the acquisition of the main principles of the biological, structural and functional role of proteins, sugars and lipids, as well as of the rules governing their biochemical transformation aimed at maintaining the body homeostasis, and of their digestion and adsorption, hence their metabolism.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of this course of studies, the students will know the fundamental principles of the biological life of human body; they will be able to link the type of nutrients to human metabolism; they will know the structure and function of the main classes of biological molecules; they will know the bio-energetic principles regulating human body nutrition; they will be able to explain the metabolic relationships among tissues and organs, specifically in fasting and feeding conditions. The students will be able to evaluate the metabolic healthy conditions according to the diet. The students will autonomously evaluate the information sources concerning the subject of the course. They will be able to present their knowledge by extensive and detailed oral exposure and by personal ability in linking different topics in a coherent form.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Assessment methods and criteria:
If the exams cannot be performed in university classrooms, due to sanitary reasons, oral exams will be hold on Microsoft Teams.
Teaching methods:
Lessons will be held on Microsoft Teams Platform with synchronous learning on the basis of the lesson plan of the first semester and the students could successively attend the lessons with asynchronous learning since the course will be registered and made available on the same platform. Some of the lessons will be held in classroom with a number of students consistent with the regulation of the Covid-19 emergency in synchronous learning on Microsoft Teams Platform. The participation to the lessons in classroom needs a reservation by a dedicated app. All the related information will be reported in the Ariel website of the course.
Course syllabus
1. The main classes of biological molecules: sugar, proteins, lipids. nitrogen bases
2. Structure and function of proteins
3. Examples: collagen, proteoglican, coagulation proteins, immunoglubulins
4. Structure and functions of lipids: glycerolipids, sphingolipids, eicosanoids, cholesterols
5. Biological membranes
6. Transporters and channels
7. Enzymes
8. Bioenergetics
9. Hemoglobin and transport and use of oxygen
10. Free radicals and oxidative stress
11. Sugars metabolism: digestion absorption transport. Metabolic pathways and their control
12. Lipids metabolism: digestion absorption transport. Metabolic pathways and their control
13. Proteins metabolism: digestion absorption transport. Metabolic pathways and their control
14. Production release and effects of glucagon and insulin
15. Calcium and phosphate metabolism
16. Diabetes
17. Ethanol metabolism
18. Vitamins
Prerequisites for admission
No prerequisites needed (first year course).
Teaching methods
The entire course is based on frontal lessons integrated by slide projection and movies.
Teaching Resources
Biochimica Medica, Siliprandi Tettamanti, IV edizione Casa editrice Piccin
Introduzione alla biochimica di Leningher, Nelson e Cox Zanichelli
Testo di consultazione facoltativo: Biochimica della Nutrizione, Leuzz, i Bellocco,Barreca; Casa editrice Zanichelli
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists in a written and an oral part, performed on the same day. The written test will consist in multiple-choice questions and will be necessary to get access to the oral section. The professor will directly inform the student on the eligibility for the oral test. The oral test consists in questions on the whole program of the course. The student will answer by making appropriate correlations among the different topics related to the question. No calculators, vocabulary, glossary or other material are required nor admitted at the exam. There will be no intermediate tests during the course.
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 60 hours
Educational website(s)