cod. 1005715

Academic year 2020/21
5° year of course - First semester
- Antonio CARETTA
Academic discipline
Fisiologia (BIO/09)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
32 hours
of face-to-face activities
4 credits
course unit

Learning objectives

Students should know and should be able to understand (First Dublin Descriptor) the basic principles of Physiology of Nutrition. To this end, the course aims to provide the student with an adequate understanding:
1. of the basic functioning mechanisms of the gastro-intestinal system under physiological conditions,
2. of homeostatic mechanisms that allow to regulate and adapt the activity of the gastro-intestinal system to the environmental challenges.
Students should be able to learn the principles of Physiology of Nutrition (5th Dublin descriptor), to apply the knowledge acquired to the gastro-intestinal tract (2nd Dublin descriptor), to be able to independently assess simple problems related to digestion (3rd descriptor of Dublin), and to be able to communicate them (4th Dublin descriptor).


Having passed Biochemistry, Anatomy and Physiology exams in order to have acquired the relative knowledge.

Course unit content

Digestive tract physiology: functional anatomy and regulation.
Cephalic, oral, gastric and intestinal phases. Liver function.

Central regulation of feeding.
Water homeostasis.
Quantitative and qualitative needs.
Hormonal regulation of energy balance.
Lifestyle and nutrition.
Changes during lifetime.
Feeding-related pathologies: anorexia, metabolic syndrome.

See below the extended program.

Full programme

Gastric secretion
Gastric peristalsis
Exocrine panreatic secretion
Intestinal secretions
Peristalsis in the small intestine
Absorption in the small intestine
Peristalsis inthe colon
Olfaction and taste: principles of sensory analysis
Hypothalamic regulation of feeding and drinking
Qualitative and quantitative needs for physiologic nutrition
Nutrition in peculiar physiological conditions: pregnancy, early childhood, ageing, sport activity.
Nutrition in some diseases, like diabetes and malabsorption syndromes, anorexia and other eating disorders.


Monticelli, “Fisiologia”. CEA.
Berne-Levy, “Fisiologia”. CEA
Rhoades-Pflanzer, “Fisiologia generale ed umana”. Piccin.

Teaching methods

For the time being, lectures, depending on COVID-19 infection, will be in presence and/or in streaming. The teacher will be available at the end of each lesson for further discussion, or by appointment via e-mail. Lectures, during which the principles of the discipline will be exposed and the main themes will be addressed with appropriate practical examples. During the lectures, the display of slides will stimulate discussion and Students’ active participation. The slides will be made available on the Elly portal at the end of the course.

Assessment methods and criteria

The evaluation of the acquired knowledge, on the issues addressed during the course, will be made through an oral assessment in presence or online, depending on COVID-19 infection: further information will be provided before the due date for exams. The exam can be accomplished, upon registration online, in the days of the official exam calendar of the Department of Food and Drug Sciences. Students should demonstrate and have acquired the basic notions of Physiology of Nutrition and should be able: to understand the fundamental concepts of each addressed topic (1st Dublin descriptor), to apply them to examples done while lecturing and in textbooks (2nd Dublin descriptor), to analyse correctly and discuss them (3rd and 4th Dublin descriptor) in order to show the ability to learn (5th Dublin descriptor). The oral assessment will start with a general question, followed by in-depth questions, to evaluate the ability to use scientific terms, the ability to go deep into the topic and the communication skills.
In order to pass the exam , the minimum requirement is the ability to express in a critical way the topics of the lectures.
The results of the examination are published on ESSE3 site.

Other information

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