cod. 1006385

Academic year 2019/20
2° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Medicina interna (MED/09)
Type of training activity
28 hours
of face-to-face activities
4 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit


Learning objectives

- To know the role of diet-nutrition in wellbeing maintenance for athletes and general population
- To know the risks of an inbalanced diet, both in deficiency or excess of nutrients
- To know the role of diet in the onset and clinical course of the main chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, hypertension)
- To know the basic concepts of a healthy and appropriate diet in athletes
- To know the role and importance of a correct hydration in maintaining wellbeing in the general population and athletes
- To know risks and benefits of sport drink and dietary supplements in the general population and in athletes
- To know the role of exercise as a protective agent against chronic diseases and as a determinant of healthy active aging
- To know the therapeutical role of exercise in chronic diseases and aging
- To know the methods of thermal treatments, their present indications in medicine and their limitations
- To know the role of thermal treatments as methods for promoting health and wellbeing


General knowledge of biochemistry, physiology and human anatomy

Course unit content

The “Hydrology, Sport-Therapy and Nutrition” module has the main objective of providing students with fundamental notions on nutrition, physical exercise and thermal therapies as methods of health promotion and maintenance and as “wellbeing techniques”.
In the frontal lessons, the teacher will treat the basics of human nutrition (healthy diet and nutrition guidelines, role of macronutrients and micronutrients for maintenance of health status, role of inbalanced diets in the onset of chronic diseases), with particular focus on the role of diet and hydration in athletes. The role of physical exercise as a protective agent against chronic diseases and as a treatment for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, cancer, will be also treated. A particular focus will be given on the role of physical exercise in promoting healthy active aging. Finally, the role of water therapies and thermal treatments for wellbeing will be treated, and students will be also given some information on the main medical applications of thermal therapies.

Full programme

General principles of nutrition and dietetics. Basal metabolism and nutritional needs. Italian reference intervals for nutrient intake (LARN) and nutritional guidelines.
Macronutrients: proteins, lipids, carbohydrates. The risks of high-protein diets. The biological value of proteins. Simple and complex carbohydrates, fibers. Glycemic index of foods and glycemic load. General concepts on diabetes. Low- and high-carbohydrate diets. Saturated and unsaturated fats. Nutritional role of cholesterol. The risks of high-lipid diets. General concepts on obesity.
Micronutrients: nutritional and physiological role, correlation with health and diseases of each of the following: vitamin A, D, E, K, C, B-complex vitamins, sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iodine, iron, other trace elements. The risks high-salt diets. Low- and high-calcium diets.
Water as a nutrient. The importance of hydration in human physiology. Hydration in general population and in athletes. Classification of mineral waters and overview of their physiological effects.
Alcohol and alcoholic beverages: physiological effects, pathological acute and chronic effects. Alcohol as a risk factor for diseases.
Energy drinks and sport drinks: physiological effects and recommendations for their use in athletes.
Guidelines for a healthy diet in the general population. Guidelines for diet in athletes. Diet for athletes during training and competitions.
General principles of sport-therapy. Exercise as a tool for disease prevention and as therapy for chronic diseases. Role of exercise in prevention and therapy of hypertension, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cancer, dyslipidemia, diabetes.
Sport-therapy in the aging individual. Healthy active aging. The functional performance of older individuals and the tools for measuring it. Disability and frailty in older individuals. Sarcopenia. The prescription of exercise in aged people.
Classification of thermal waters and their methods of administration. Specific and non-specific effects of thermal treatments. Advantages and limitations of thermalism. Medical prescription of thermal treatments and its main indications. Thermalism as a tool for promoting health and wellbeing.


Educational material prepared by the teacher and downloadable from the institutional site (Elly Medicina).

Additional material:
- Società Italiana di Nutrizione Umana. LARN Livelli di assunzione di riferimento di nutrienti ed energia per la popolazione italiana. IV revisione. SICS 2014
- Bonetti A, Dall’Aglio E, Magnati GRR, Vanelli M. Argomenti di stili di vita e benessere. MUP Monte Università Parma Editore 2014
- Zeppilli P, Bianco M, Palmieri V, Santoriello V. Manuale di medicina dello sport con elementi di traumatologia e pronto soccorso per gli studenti di scienze motorie. CESI 2016
- Nappi G. Medicina e clinica termale. Selecta Medica 2001.

Teaching methods

Interactive frontal lessons

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination.

Other information

The teacher is available for any request from students, after contact by e-mail