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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[50/23]  FOOD AND NUTRITION SCIENCES [23/00 - Ord. 2017]  PERCORSO COMUNE 8 64


Knowledge and understanding:
The course aims to provide a comprehensive knowledge on the biochemical-nutritional relevance of the main nutrients, the biochemical mechanisms that represent the bases of metabolism, the principal metabolic pathways and the control mechanisms of the metabolic pathways in normal and particular metabolic conditions (physical activity and fasting), with particular interest in the regulation and metabolic processes integration.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
Students will achieve skills on the molecular bases of the biochemical processes, of their regulation and integration that may be applied to different aspects that will be discussed in other courses, i.e. Applied Science in Dietetics, Physiology, Pharmacology, and Pathology.
Making judgments:
The student will be able to discern between fundamental and complementary topics, identifying the logical thread underlying the rational study of Biochemistry of nutrition, with interpretation and comparison of scientific data, avoiding the merely mnemonic acquisition of definitions, schemes, and biochemical reactions.
The student will be able to explain the course topics using formalism, language and vocabulary typical of the disciplines. The student will interact with the teacher arguing the salient points of course contents, with the necessary detail.
Learning skills:
The interaction with the teacher and colleagues, the interactive lessons and the teaching material will provide the student with the necessary tools for the fruitful, reasoned and non-mnemonic learning of the discipline and the possibility of independent consultation of the professional updating sources related to the discipline (databases, publications and information sources accredited at national and international level).


Knowledge of the basic principles of general, inorganic and organic chemistry, biochemistry.


Review of structural biochemistry: biomolecules (carbohydrate, lipids, aminoacids and proteins, nucleotides), enzyme (reaction mechanism, kinetics, activity regulation).
Biochemistry of macronutrients and micronutrients: structure, function and metabolism
- Carbohydrates: structure, digestion, absorption, metabolism (glucose transporters; glycolysis; gluconeogenesis; aerobic and anaerobic fate of pyruvate; glycogenolysis and glycogen synthesis; pentose phosphate pathway; metabolism of other carbohydrates). Regulation of carbohydrate metabolism.
- Lipids: structure, digestion, absorption, metabolism (oxidation of saturated, unsaturated fatty acids and with odd number of carbon atoms; synthesis of ketone bodies and their use; synthesis of fatty acids, triacylglycerols and glycerophospholipids; cholesterol metabolism; transport of lipids and cholesterol by plasma lipoproteins: chylomicrons, VLDL, LDL and HDL). Regulation of lipid and cholesterol metabolism.
- Proteins: structure, digestion, absorption, metabolism (general metabolism of amino acids; metabolic fate of keto acids and ammonium ion; special metabolism of amino acids). Regulation of protein metabolism.
- Nucleotides: structure, digestion, absorption, metabolism (catabolism and purine and pyrimidine bases; notes on the synthesis of nitrogenous bases).
- Metabolism of ethanol: alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase; microsomal system; metabolic alterations induced by ethanol on glucose and lipid metabolism.
- Heme metabolism: notes on the synthesis and degradation of heme.
- Production and conservation of metabolic energy: citric acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylation and phosphorylation at the substrate level.
- Integration and regulation of energy metabolism (specific organ and tissue metabolisms; metabolic changes in the diet-fasting cycle).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Methods
The course provided for 64 h of frontal lessons. The theoretical lessons are accompanied by supplementary didactic activities with theoretical exercises related to the critical reworking of the course contents, simulation of exams with analysis of questions and related answers. The lessons will be held in presence, integrated and "augmented" with online strategies.
Teacher will provide individual explanations during the reception schedule by appointment.
The slides of the lessons are provided as teaching support.

Verification of learning

Verification of learning
The final assessment is made on the basis of oral exam.
The course of biochemistry includes a mid-term assessment (written test: multiple choice questions and short open-ended questions). The written test will be assessed with a grade, and if accepted by the student, it will be considered for the final evaluation of the exam.

The student will demonstrated the knowledge acquired on the characteristics of the bio-molecules with nutritional interests, their molecular structures and the metabolic pathways in which are involved, including enzymes and coenzymes. The student should describe the metabolic modifications involved in different feeding conditions and during different physiological conditions.
The final grade is based on the evaluation of the following parameters:
- quality of the students’ knowledge, skills, competences and ability to apply knowledge and understanding (appropriateness, correctness and consistency)
- appropriate use of the specific language of the discipline, logical skills and inherent consequentiality in communicating, logic capacity and consequential of contents, ability to connect different subjects by finding the common points and establish a consistent overall design, i.e. taking care of structure, organization and logical connections of speech
- capacity of synthesis, ability to summarize also through the use of the graphic expression of notions and concepts for example in form of diagrams, graphs, formulas, schemes, equations.
- ability of self-evaluation, availability to exchange and interact with the teacher during interactive lessons and exam, critical thinking;
The score, expressed in thirtieths, can be:
Sufficient (from 18 to 20/30)
The candidate demonstrates little acquisition of theoretical knowledge, superficial level, many gaps. Modest communicative abilities, but still sufficient to support a coherent dialogue, logical capacity and consequentiality in fitting the subjects of elementary level; poor capacity of synthesis and rather stunted ability of graphical expression, scanty interaction with the teacher during the interview.
Moderate (21 to 23)
The applicant demonstrates a moderate acquisition of knowledge but lack of expatiation, a few gaps; communicative abilities more than sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; acceptable mastery of the scientific language, logical capacity and consequentiality in fitting the subjects of moderate complexity, good enough capacity of synthesis and acceptable ability of graphical expression.
Good (24 to 26)
The candidate demonstrates a rather large wealth of knowledge, moderate in-depth, with some gaps; satisfactory mastery of the communicative abilities and meaningful scientific language; dialogical ability and critical thinking well detectable, good capacity of synthesis and more than acceptable ability of graphical expression.
Outstanding (27 to 29)
The candidate demonstrates a very extensive wealth of notions, high in-depth, with marginal gaps; remarkable ability in communicating and high mastery of scientific language; remarkable dialogical capacity, good competence and relevant aptitude for logical synthesis, high capacity of synthesis and graphical expression.
Excellent (30)
The candidate demonstrates a wealth of very extensive and in-depth knowledge, no gaps, high capacity and high mastery in communicating through the scientific language; excellent dialogical ability and marked aptitude to make connections among different subjects, excellent ability to synthesize and very familiar with the graphical expression.
The praise is attributed to the candidates clearly above average without notional, expressive, conceptual, and logical limits.


DL Nelson, MM Cox - I principi di Biochimica di Lehninger - settima edizione – Zanichelli, 2018.
DR Ferrier - La basi della Biochimica - II edizione – Zanichelli, 2015
I. Cozzani, E. Dainese - Biochimica degli Alimenti e della Nutrizione – Piccin, 2006
U. Leuzzi, E. Bellocco, D.Barreca – Biochimica della nutrizione – Zanichelli, 2013
G.Arienti – Le basi molecolari della nutrizione – quarta edizione – Piccin, 2016
TM Devlin Biochimica con aspetti clinici, 5ed – Edises, 2016
Siliprandi & Tettamanti – Biochimica Medica – V edizione, 2018

More Information


Prof. Antonella Fais: Dep. of Enviroment and Life Science, Biomedical division, Cittadella Universitaria S.S 554 km 0.700 bivio per Sestu, 09042 Monserrato.
phone: 070-675-4506
For appointments, please contact the professor using the e-mail address, phone or Teams
LINK Teams “CdL SAN - Biochimica della Nutrizione - Ricevimento student”

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