Nutrition and Metabolism


In this CU it is intended that students stay familiarized with a Food and Human Nutrition language, know the detailed metabolism of main biomolecules of the human organism and understand the metabolism in an integrated, global manner. The relationship of food with disease prevention, in particular the metabolic disease, should not be understood merely in the sphere of the epidemiological findings, but sustained on the evidence of relationship to disease mechanisms. Understand the metabolism of macro and micronutrients, in an integrated manner, with clinical application, but also in the role of non-nutrients (phytochemicals and xenobiotics, toxic, additives or drugs) in the general metabolism and in particular, in nutrient metabolism.
The understanding of the disease mechanism, but also the relationship with, for example, the kinetics of drugs or toxic, helps the physician to be able to integrate knowledge and concepts/relationships.
It is intended to stimulate the student to a scientific methodology and will be valued the critical view.
Transferring skills: identifying the main categories of food matrix components and nutrients, foods and non-nutrients; methodologies for calculation of the nutritional and energy needs; knowledge of the major metabolic pathways of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins; the clarification of the relationship between metabolic knowledge with nutritional recommendations; role of vitamins in metabolic regulation and their relationship with disease; knowledge of diet role in microbiota modulation; diet as a tool in correction of dysbiosis; knowledge of the role of diet in epigenetic regulation; the knowledge of the relevance of chronobiology in metabolic regulation.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Profª. Doutora Conceição Calhau


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Main Bibliography

• 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.
• Coulston A., Boushey C: Nutrition in the prevention and treatment of disease. 2nd Ed., Elsevier Academic Press. SanDiego, California, 2008. 
• David H. Alpers, William F Stenson, Beth Taylor, Dennis M Bier: Manual of Nutritional Therapeutics. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Fifth Ed. 2008.
• Frayn KN. Regulação metabólica. 3rd ed. U. Porto Editorial. Porto. 2012.
• de Victor W. Rodwell, David Bender, Kathleen M. Botham, Peter J. Kennelly, P. Anthony Weil: Harper's Illustrated Biochemistry. 31st ed. McGraw-Hill Medical. Londres. 2018.
• Nelson DL, Cox MM: Lehningher Principles of Biochemistry. 6th ed. W.H. Freeman and Company, Nova Iorque. 2013.
• Stipanuk MH: Biochemical, Physiological & Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition. 2nd ed. Elsevier Science. St. Louis. 2006.
• Voet D et al: Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level. 2nd edition. Wiley Publishers. New York. 2006.

Teaching method

• lectures and seminars
• theoretical and pratical classes

Evaluation method


Subject matter

General notions of human food and Nutrition
General notions of organic chemistry
Structure and biological role of macronutrientes
Metabolic gastrointestinal and motility relevance
Metabolism function: secretions
Regulation of motility and secretions level of digestive tract
Histology of digestive tract
Histology of the glands
Food digestion and assimilation of nutrientes
Glucose Metabolism
Protein metabolism and lipid metabolism
Metabolism of Purine and Pyrimidine Nucleotides
Cholesterol and bile acids; diet, cholesterol and hypertension
Metabolic integration
Macronutrients and cell signalling molecules
Diet and metabolism of xenobiotics
Micronutrients and metabolic diseases
Polyphenols and metabolic disease
Carcinogens in the diet: culinary processing
Nutrients and intrauterine ontogénese (epigenetic regulation of gene expression)
Metabolism and regulating appetite
Chronobiology, food and metabolism


Programs where the course is taught: