Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Nutrition Physiology, 15 cr


Note: The course is offered for the last time autumn 2016

Course description

Why study nutrition physiology?

Nutrition plays a crucial role in our life, even from before birth, and it will continue to affect us lifelong in major ways, depending on the diet we select. The importance of nutrition during growth, development, and ageing is appreciated both in animal husbandry and in human medicine. Moreover it has become increasingly apparent that the health of the body depends on a healthy and functional gut and that many of today's common diseases, such as heart failure, stroke, cancer and diabetes, are related to gut function and to the diet.

The course in nutrition physiology deals with how the body extracts the nutrients from the food, how we obtain the needed energy, how we utilize nutrients and how all this is related to health and disease.

Who should take the course?

The aim is to give an in-depth knowledge in nutrition physiology and insights into and training in the methods used in the field. This will be valuable for all biomedical students, in particular for those with interest in animal or human physiology and for those with interest in clinical disorders related to the gut. The course is optional in a Master's degree in Science with a major in Biology or in Molecular Biology and is a valuable basis for further post-graduate studies or a profession within biomedicine and nutrition.

Course content

Training in methods used in nutrition physiology and general laboratory skills is an important part of the course. This includes practicals using different animal models, both the more common laboratory animal models but also large animal models.

The theoretical parts are treated both in lectures given by experts within different fields of nutrition physiology and in problem-solving seminars. The first part of the course will give an integrated view of gastro-intestinal anatomy, physiology and regulation as well as how the gut extracts and utilizes the nutrients in the diet. Moreover, the development of the gut function and the dependence on mother's milk in mammals as well as comparative aspects are dealt with. In addition to these classical aspects more contemporary topics are included such as the importance of the gut microflora and its interaction with the gut immune system, appetite regulation and the problems with overeating and obesity.

Finally, you learn about the pathophysiological aspects of gut function and different nutrients of clinical relevance for the induction of disease.

As part of the training there is a literature task that is performed as a group work. The groups should extract up-to-date information about an interesting nutrition theme and then present the results in the form of a written report as well as a brief oral presentation.


A written exam is given at the end of the course. In addition, the requirements include laboratory reports, attendance at seminars and a literature project presented both in written and oral form.

Where do you go after this?

Suitable courses for further studies related nutrition physiology are e.g. Pharmacology, Immunology, Toxicology, courses within the Biomedicine programs and of course a Degree project within this area and future work or research could be within e.g. physiology, nutrition or medical biology.

Course content (pdf; 130 kB)

Page Manager:

Study coordinator

Christina Ledje
Study advisor
Education office, Ecology building

Telephone: +46 46-222 73 16
E-mail: Christina [dot] Ledje [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Course coordinator

Björn Weström
Functional zoology

Telephone: +46 46-222 97 33
E-mail: Bjorn [dot] Westrom [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Stefan Pierzynowski
Functional zoology

Telephone: +46 46-222 43 81
E-mail: Stefan [dot] Pierzynowski [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Course literature

Autumn 2016

Kim E Barrett; "Gastrointestinal Physiology", 2nd Ed., Lange/McGraw Hill, 2014

Course period

The course is offered during the second period of the autumn semester.The language of instruction is English.


Resit exam occasions

Resit exams