Aim of the course is to provide the biological bases that link eating habits to a person's health conditions and how different eating habits and life styles specifically affect the different phases of the human life cycle.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students should have acquired a deep understanding of the nutrition/health relationships, with particular reference to the underlying mechanisms at the cellular and molecular levels.
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
I module: Embryo development and growth: morphological basis, principles and mechanisms. Placenta and development. Development alterations: diet and teratogenic effects. Ipo- and ipervitaminosis during pregnancy. Micronutrients. Oxidative stress, apoptosis and congenital malformations. Pathological status and alimentary disorders during gestation and developmental defects.
II module: Endocrine control of growth and aging. Growth, development, puberty, menopause. Nutrition in pregnancy, in the first year of life, in childhood and adolescence. Hormonal variations during aging. Aging and calcium metabolism. Free radicals, oxidative stress, antioxidants and aging. Nutrition in old age.
Prerequisites for admission
No specific knowledge requested even if a good comprehension of the basic scientific language is essential.
Lectures, practical exercises, moments of discussion on topical issues.
E. Carbone, F. Cicirata, G. Aicardi Fisiologia: dalle molecole ai sistemi ed. Ermes E.D'angelo, A. Peres Fisiologia. Molecole , cellule e sistemi ed. Ermes Gilbert- Barresi. Developmental Biology, Sinauer. Paoletti e al.: Tossicologia molecolare e cellulare- Utet (Cap. 10). Numerous articles related to the various topics will also be proposed.
Assessment methods and Criteria
For module I, the examination consists in an oral test that will evaluate the ability to connect different topics, the appropriateness of scientific language and the ability to synthesize the various topics covered in class. The student will be asked to prepare at least three scientific articles among those proposed by the teacher (and published on the Ariel platform) or agreed with the teacher. Of the three articles, at the the oral exam the teacher will select one to be the presented and discussed. The mark is expressed in thirtieths. The minimum sufficient mark is 18/30. For module II of the course there is a written exam (duration 2 hours) with an open-ended written test. The written exam may be shifted in an oral examination for emergency security items. The test consists of 3 questions, one of which is rather detailed in order to evaluate the accuracy of the study. Also for module II, the examination will evaluate the ability to connect different topics, the appropriateness of scientific language and the ability to synthesize the various topics covered in class. The mark is expressed in thirtieths. The minimum mark to pass the test is 18/30. The final mark will be given by the average of the marks obtained for the two modules.