Biological basis of wellness

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
BIO/10 BIO/12 MED/13
Learning objectives
The course provides knowledge in:
- the theoretical elements of the effects of the absence/excess of hormones involved in sports and physical activity and the theoretical principles underlying doping and antidoping
- the analytical biochemical/biomolecular methods for monitoring the effects of physical activity on health and well-being
- the biological methods and their use in genetic manipulation in sports
- the biochemical-molecular aspects of the development and differentiation of skeletal muscle
- the biomolecular processes underlying muscular hypertrophy and regenerative processes
Expected learning outcomes
Students will acquire the ability to critically analyze diverse aspects of physical activity (e.g., hormonal regulation, biochemical and biomolecular mechanisms in physical exercise) and to evaluate biochemical-molecular parameters for understanding the effects of exercise. On completing the course, students will possess a comprehensive overview of hormonal and biochemical-molecular effects of physical exercise and how to evaluate them.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
If it will be possible, lessons will be held in the classroom. They will recorded and shared using Ariel. If the situation will worsens, online syncronous lessons will be held using Microsoft Teams, following the planned timetable. They will be recorded and shared using Ariel. Moreover, because of the emergency, exams could be oral, online, on Microsoft Teams.
Course syllabus
Clinical biochemistry
Definition and utility of biochemical/molecular biomarkers for monitoring the effects of physical activity and to individualize training programs
Monitoring of the efficacy of physical activity in adults and older adults
- evaluation of sarcopenia
- evaluation of oxidative stress
- evaluation of inflammatory stress
- evaluation of satellite cells
- biochemical evaluation of cardiovascular status
Monitoring of the efficacy of physical activity for well-being in women
- biochemical evaluation of bone remodeling and osteoporosis; female athlete triad
- breast cancer and exercise
Monitoring of the efficacy of physical activity in chronic debilitating illnesses
- musculoskeletal diseases
- inflammatory diseases
Molecular biology, exercise, well-being
- recombinant proteins
- genetic doping
- exercise pills
Muscle biochemistry
Musculoskeletal differentiation: cellular modification and factors involved in its regulation
Muscle satellite cells: origin, characteristics, function
Biochemical and metabolic characteristics of muscle fiber
Organization of the skeletal muscle cell: the sarcomere, contractile, regulatory, and structural proteins
Muscle adaptation to physical exercise: biochemical aspects. Factors involved in modulation of muscle mass: muscle hypertrophy. Metabolic adaptations
Regeneration of skeletal muscle
Hormones, receptors, mechanisms of action
Pathophysiology of the hypothalamus-hypophysis-thyroid axis
Pathophysiology of the hypothalamus-hypophysis-adrenal axis
Pathophysiology of the hypothalamus-hypophysis-gonad axis
GH-IGF-I axis, growth hormone, and physical exercise
Glucose metabolism and energy substrates
Pathophysiology of adipose tissue
Obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and physical exercise
Bone metabolism and physical exercise
Prerequisites for admission
Previous knowledge of:
- elements of human anatomy
- elements of general biochemistry
Teaching methods
Frontal lectures, small group exercises
Teaching Resources
Lecture slides will be uploaded to the Ariel portal; scientific articles will be uploaded to the Ariel portal.
Core curriculum. Endocrinologia e Metabolismo, G.Faglia, P.Beck-Peccoz, 2014 McGraw-Hill ISBN 978883863979
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written exam with multiple choice questions. The test will be composed of 31 questions on clinical biochemistry, muscle biochemistry, and endocrinology (test duration: 30 minutes).
Evaluation: students will demonstrate: comprehension of hormonal mechanisms, exercise-related biochemical and molecular mechanisms, and the ability to evaluate the biochemical-molecular parameters best suited for monitoring the effects of physical activity.
Exam grading: 30/30.
Lessons: 54 hours
Educational website(s)
By appointment by mail/phone
via F.lli Cervi 93-LITA Segrate