Nutrition-related diseases

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
MED/04 MED/13
Learning objectives
To attain a specific knowledge of the role of various factors which can compromise the health and well being of a single cell and, hence, of the whole organism. To know in detail the molecular and cellular processes involved in the major diseases and the possible relation with the diet
Expected learning outcomes
The student should recognize, understand and describe critically the causes, the pathogenic mechanisms and the pathological consequences of the main noxious and damaging agents, including life style and diet
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Prerequisites for admission
The course requires basic knowledge of the major concepts of cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, anatomy and histology, as usually given by first level degrees
Assessment methods and Criteria
For Fisiopatologia, the exam consist in an oral exam aimed at assessing that the student knows and understands the topics treated in the course. For Sistematica e Prevenzione, the exam is composed of 2 parts: A) Oral Power Point Presentation together with 3.-4 other students colleagues on a topic which is tangential to the topics treated during the course of about 15 minutes duration; B) oral examination on the topics treated during the course (Frontal Lectures)
During the period of COVID 19 emergency, exams will be from remote, according to the rules decided by the University.
Students with recognized learning difficulties (DSA) and disabilities are kindly requested to get in touch with the teacher by e-mail at least 10 days in advance of the exam in order to decide the necessary procedures. In the mail addressed to the teacher the services for students with DSA ( and disabilities ( should be in CC
Course syllabus
BASIS OF GENERAL PATHOLOGY General aetiology 1. Pathogenetic mechanisms. Interaction between intrinsic causal factors (elements of genetics) and acquired effectors. 2. Cell damage and death; necrosis and apoptosis in physiological and pathological processes: the mechanisms. 3. Oxidative stress and related pathologic conditions (antioxidant defenses, vitamines). Inflammation 1. Inflammatory agents, vascular events, cells of the inflammatory process. 2. Mechanisms of leukocyte recruitment and phagocytosis. 3. Chemical mediators which coordinate the various phases of inflammation. Oncology 1. Distinction between non neoplastic and neoplastic growth. 2. Mutations and cancer. 3. Lack of control of the cell cycle in tumors: role of oncogenes and tumor suppressors. 4. Neoplastic progression, angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis. 5. Aetiology of tumors. PHYSIOPATHOLOGY OF MULTIFACTORIAL DISEASES 1. Blood physiopathology: anemia (erythropoiesis- iron and pholates deficiency). 2. Obesity (control of energy homeostasis and body weight-signals of hunger and satiety). 3. Diabetes (classifications- glycemic control- insulin resistance- metabolic alterations - long term complications ). 4. Steatosis (alcoholic and non alcoholic). 5. Hypertension (regulation of blood pression-consequences). 6. Atherosclerosis (risk factors-pathogenesis-consequences). 7. Tumors [interaction between genetic background and environment (food as environmental factor)-cancerogens in the diet-chemoprevention]. 8. Allergies and intollerances: molecules and cells involved-allergens (nature and identification)-anaphylactic shock. 9. Gout (purine metabolism-pathogenesis of hyperuricemia). GENETICS. Nutrigenetic and nutrigenomic will be also examined, by analysing the role of diet as an environmental mechanism of interaction with the genome and regulator of gene expression
Teaching methods
Teaching Resources
Textbooks: G.M. Pontieri "Elementi di Patologia Generale e Fisiopatologia Generale" (Piccin Ed.).
G Cairo, S Recalcati, L Tacchini "Patologia" (serie Quick Review EdiSES). Powerpoints files with the slides shown during the lectures are available in the ARIEL website
Sistematica e prevenzione
Course syllabus
Lecture 1: Physiology and Pathophysiology of pancreatic endocrine secretion and gastrointestinal tract endocrine secretion, and methods to evaluate Insulin secretion and sensitivity in humans.
Lecture 2. Obesity: Classification, pathogenesis and pathophysiology. Clinical evalution and instrumental methods for the evalution of body mass and body composition.
Lecture 3: Obesity 2: The role of dietary approaches in the treatment and prevention of obesity and morbid obesity. Pharmacological and novel surgical approaches to obesity
Lecture 4: Plurimetabolic Syndrome X of Insulin resistance. Pathophysiology and pathogenesis. Incidence and Diagnosis. The role of the dietary approach in the prevention and treatment.
Lecture 5: Diabetes Mellitus. Classification (old and new), Incidence and pathogenesis.
Lezione 6: Type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Pathogenesis and pathophysiology. The role of multiple dietary approaches and physical activity/sport/life style modification in the prevention and treatment.
Lecture 7: Chronic complications (micro and macrovascular) of Diabetes Mellitus.
Lecture 8: Polyendocrine autoimmune syndromes. Pathogenesis and pathophysiology of multiple endocrine defects.
Lecture 9: Anorexia and Bulimia.
Lecture 10: Atherosclerotic Cerebro-vascular Diseases and Alzheimer Disease.
Lecture 11: NAFLD- NASH
Lecture 12: Liver Cirrhosis and its complications
Lecture 13: Principles and ethics of Clinical Research in Humans and Clinical Trials.
Lecture 14: Arterial hypertension and its renal and cardiovascular complications - Congestive Heart Failure
Teaching methods
Teaching Resources
There is no commercially available textbook of Medicina Sistematica for students of Alimentazione e Nutrizione Umana and the Internal Medicine textbooks are too complex for this type of course. The lectures are available to students online.
Lessons: 48 hours
Sistematica e prevenzione
MED/13 - ENDOCRINOLOGY AND METABOLISM - University credits: 5
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 32 hours
Professor: Folli Franco