Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2021/2022 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Laura Chiarantini
Teaching in foreign languages
Course partially taught in a foreign language English
This course is taught partially in Italian and partially in a foreign language. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Sanitary Nutritional and Environmental Biology (LM-6)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location


1) Food and nutrition. Use and meaning of terms. Nutritional principles. Nutritional standards and food guidelines. LARN, safety intervals and food intake adequacy, and food pyramid. Definition of food and food classes. Macronutrients and micronutrients.

2) Digestive System. Mouth, Saliva, Stomach, Gastric Juice, Gastrointestinal Hormones, Small Intestine, Exocrine Pancreas, Pancreatic Juice, Pancreatic Enzymes, Gallbladder, Bile, Intestinal Villi, Stool Formations

3) Carbohydrates. Biochemical and nutritional classification of carbohydrates; main carbohydrates introduced with the diet and their energy value; Digestion and absorption. Carbohydrate metabolism. Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load and their biochemical significance. Insulin, Glucagon and Adrenaline. Sweeteners. Role of available carbohydrates. Starch retrogradation. Dietary fiber. Solubility, viscosity and fermentability of dietary fibers. Beneficial and negative effects of fiber. Recommended intake levels. Food sources. Dietary fiber and health.

4) Lipids. Classification and chemical composition. Main lipids introduced with the diet and energy value. Fatty acids of nutritional interest: saturated and unsaturated, essential fatty acids, trans fatty acids. Lipid requirement. Mobilization of triacylglycerol reserves. Dietary cholesterol and endogenous cholesterol: cholesterol balance in the body. Digestion and absorption. Transport of cholesterol and other lipids by plasma lipoproteins. Non-pharmacological control of cholesterolemia. Thermogenesis. Regulation of gene expression of lipogenic enzymes induced by a diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids.

5) Protides. Nutritional significance and energy value. Amino acids: functional, nutritional and metabolic classification. Metabolic fates of amino acids: glucogenic, ketogenic and mixed amino acids. Protein turnover. Nutritional value of proteins and regulation of the nitrogen balance. Complementation of dietary proteins. Protein requirement. Phenylketonuria. Celiac disease.

6) Water. Exogenous water and endogenous water. Water requirement. Total water content of the organism. Water losses of the organism. Alterations of water balance. Water as a food. 7) Ethyl alcohol. Alcoholic beverages. Absorption and distribution of ethanol. Metabolism of ethanol: alcohol dehydrogenase, aldehyde dehydrogenase, microsomal system, catalase. Metabolic alterations induced by ethanol on glucose and lipid metabolism. Alcohol and pregnancy. Methanol.

8) Metabolic regulation. Distribution of energy reserves. Metabolic regulation in the liver. Muscle, heart, kidney, brain, adipose tissue. Hormonal regulation. Metabolic adaptations in calorie restriction and fasting. Hormonal regulation in fasting.

9) Diet-genome interaction. Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics. Chemical modifications of histones and DNA. Epigenetics, Gene polymorphism. Omiche. Iron metabolism. Favism, Polymorphisms, Caffeine, Lactose intolerance and its diagnosis, Celiac disease and its diagnosis. Oxidative stress, Vitamin D.

10) Food toxicity. Xenobiotics and their metabolism. Detoxification mechanisms. Cytochrome P450. Compounds with negative effects. Antinutrients and toxic molecules in natural foods.

11) Drug Food Interaction. Dosage. Absorption of drugs. Meals rich in lipids, proteins, fibers and ethyl alcohol role in the absorption of drugs. Pathological factors.

12) Intestinal microbiota

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)


In order to pass this course, the student must demonstrate that he has acquired knowledge about:

-composition, nutritional value and biochemical significance of foods;

-interactions between food components major and minor (macronutrients, vitamins, phytochemicals, oligonutrients, fibers, etc.);

-relationship between diet, nutrition and health, based on an understanding of the specific metabolic role of the different classes of nutrients and bioactive compounds present in foods.


The student must demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and theories provided by the course.


The student must demonstrate that he must be able to:

-transfer to scientific contexts the theoretical information acquired in the course, in order to get useful goods and services;

-valorize food containing bioactive compounds designed to prevent diseases of high social impact typical of industrialized countries;

-analyze, discuss and perform simple correlations of data or assumptions.


In order to play a proper nutritional information the student must demonstrate the ability to:

-use a proper and specific language and also the knowledge to support interdisciplinary arguments

-discuss and communicate the effects of metabolic factors on food quality and safety and their impact on health.


The student must be able to consult and understand scientific texts, bibliographic updates, current normative, in order to employ them in unusual contexts for the profession and for research. 

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Oral lessons with PC and overhead projector for Power Point presentations

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


The assessment provides a single final exam, consisting in an oral test

Disability and Specific Learning Disorders (SLD)

Students who have registered their disability certification or SLD certification with the Inclusion and Right to Study Office can request to use conceptual maps (for keywords) during exams.

To this end, it is necessary to send the maps, two weeks before the exam date, to the course instructor, who will verify their compliance with the university guidelines and may request modifications.

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