Insights on Molecular, Biochemical and Physiological Nutrition


This UC is intended that students know in depth the biochemistry, the physiology and the molecular processes in nutrition. This CU has the following goals:

(a) to know the macronutrients structure and properties;
(b) to understand the physiology of the digestive process;
(c) to understand the metabolism of the main biomolecules of the human body;
(d) to understand the energy requirements at cellular level.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Profª Doutora Conceição Calhau


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





·        Martha Stipanuk Marie Caudil. (2012) Biochemical, Physiological, and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition. Saunders

·        Baynes JW, Dominiczak MH: Medical Biochemistry. 3rd ed. Elsevier Mosby. Nova Iorque. 2009

·        Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L: Biochemistry. 7th ed. International Edition. W.H. Freeman and Company. Nova Iorque. 2012

·        Brody T.: Nutritional Biochemistry. 2nd. Ed. Academic Press. San Diego. 1999.

·        Murray RK, Granner DK, Mayes PA, Rodwell VW: Harper's Illustrated Biochemistry. 29th ed. McGraw-Hill Medical. Londres. 2012

·        Voet D et al: Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level. 2nd edition. Wiley Publishers. New York. 2006

Teaching method

The teaching methodologies are consistent with the learning objectives. Lectures deliver a complete and detailed exposition of the syllabus. The theoretical classes offer a detailed and complete exposition of the programmatic contents and broaden the critical spirit of the student in relation to the subjects presented. The final exam aims to evaluate all the knowledge acquired in the theoretical classes, which are very important basic knowledge for learning many topics that will be developed during the Masters in Human Nutrition and Metabolism.

Theoretical training provides the acquisition and theorical application of knowledge, development of skills and motivation necessary to fulfill the educational goals of the course. The evaluation of learning and teaching are implemented to enable the identification of strengths and weaknesses of the course as an important gauging tool with the aim of continuous improvement.

Evaluation method

Main lectures with exposure of the contents of the course.

The evaluation will be made taking into account the following parameters: Exam (100%). Students with a grade equal to or greater than 10 (0 - 20) values

Subject matter

1. Nutrients: Essential and Nonessential

Nutrients: History and Definitions

Nonessential Food Components with Health Benefits


2. Structure and Properties of the Macronutrients

Structure, Nomenclature, and Properties of Carbohydrates

Structure and Properties of Proteins and Amino Acids

Lipid Structure, Nomenclature, and Chemical Properties


3.  Digestion and Absorption of the Macronutrients

Carbohydrate Digestion and Absorption

Digestion and Absorption of Protein

Digestion and Absorption of Lipids

Dietary Fiber


4. Metabolism of the Macronutrients and Micronutrients

Carbohydrate Metabolism: Synthesis and Oxidation

Protein Synthesis and Degradation

Amino Acid Metabolism

Metabolism of Fatty Acids, Acylglycerols, and Sphingolipids

Cholesterol and Lipoproteins: Synthesis, Transport, and Metabolism

Lipid Metabolism: Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

Vitamins, Minerals and Water


5. Energy

Cellular and Whole-Animal Energetics

Control of Energy Balance
Disturbances of Energy Balance


Programs where the course is taught: