NUTR08003 2019 Molecular Nutrition

General Details

Full Title
Molecular Nutrition
Transcript Title
Molecular Nutrition
N/A %
Subject Area
NUTR - Nutrition
LIFE - Life Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Eva Campion
Programme Membership
SG_SHUMA_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Human Nutrition

This module explores the molecular and genetic basis of nutrients in health and disease and aims to equip students with  the fundamentals of molecular biology and how this is applied to current research and understanding in nutrition. Key cellular processes and the genome wide influences of diet and nutrition will be addressed.  The common laboratory methods used in the studying the effects of nutrients on the genome will also be explored. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Explain the fundamentals of molecular biology and some of the key cellular processes important in molecular nutrition.


Investigate and discuss the processes involved in gene expression and regulation.


Describe and appraise the molecular mechanisms by which nutrients and diet influence gene expression and the potential impact on health and disease.


Describe and evaluate nutritional metabolomics.


Analyse, understand, evaluate and debate peer-reviewed relevant research articles.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full time and the primary mode of dissemination will be lecture delivery. This format will be augmented by both independent and directed learning strategies. Small‑group teaching techniques will be employed throughout the module to ensure that each student will be able to contribute to the learning of the class as a whole. A learning platform (such as moodle) will be used as a repository of educational resources (e.g. journals, online resource information) and also as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading of assignments etc.)


Module Assessment Strategies

This module will be assessed using a combination of end of semester final exam (60%) and continuous assessment (40%).  As part of the course work for this module a project will be undertaken by the students working together in collaborative learning groups. This project will involve the preparation of a scientific poster presentation on a current, relevant topic. To support this assessment the students will participate individually in a structured journal club activity. This will afford the students the opportunity to become competent in evidence based discussion and develop critical appraisal skills as well as contributing to open discussions with peers. The project may also include an oral examination with both presentation and viva elements. The remainder of the grade for this module will be achieved through an in-class closed book exam. Self assessment tests and other forms of formative assessment will be provided to students to check their own progress towards achieving the learning outcomes of the module and to motivate learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs, promoting critical thinking and evaluation skills. 


Repeat Assessments

Reassessment of this module will consist of continuous assessment(s) and/or repeat final exam.

Module Dependencies


Indicative Syllabus

Explain the fundamentals of molecular biology and some of the key cellular processes important in molecular nutrition.

  • Nucleic acids structure and function 
  • Replication 
  • Transcription & translation
  • Apoptosis, autophagy

Investigate and discuss the processes involved in gene expression and regulation.

  • Gene expression and regulation
  • Methods of transcriptional control
  • Methods of translational control
  • Epigenetic regulation of gene expression
  • Metabolic Imprinting (role of maternal nutrition on foetal gene expression)

Describe and appraise the molecular mechanisms by which nutrients and diet influence gene expression and the potential impact on health and disease.

  • Bioactive foods
  • Gene-nutrient interactions (Nutritional Genomics)
  • Nutrient Sensing
  • Genetic variation & individual nutritional requirements (Nutritional Genetics)
  • Nutritional Genomic technologies
  • Genetic basis of chronic diseases

Describe and evaluate nutritional metabolomics

  • Metabolic networks
  • Regulation by nutrients
  • Application of metabolomics in nutrition research
  • Limitations of nutritional metabolomics
  • Advances in nutritional metabolomics

Analyse, understand, evaluate and debate peer-reviewed relevant research articles.

  • Journal club
  • Scientific poster presentation
  • Structured discussion activities (buzz groups, controlled discussion, informal debate etc.)

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
40 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
60 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Scientific Poster & Journal Club Continuous Assessment Group Project 30 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5
2 Written Assessment Continuous Assessment Closed Book Exam 10 % Week 4 1,2
3 Self Assessment Formative Multiple Choice - % OnGoing 1,2,3,4

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam Final Exam Closed Book Exam 60 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Lectures 2 Weekly 2.00
Workshop Flat Classroom Workshop 1 Weekly 1.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent Learning 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2012-04-13 Biochemical, Physiological, and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition, 3e Saunders
ISBN 1437709591 ISBN-13 9781437709599

Covering advanced nutrition with a comprehensive, easy-to-understand approach, Biochemical, Physiological, and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition, 3rd Edition focuses on the biology of human nutrition at the molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole-body levels. It addresses nutrients by classification, and describes macronutrient function from digestion to metabolism. This edition includes the new MyPlate dietary guide and recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, plus coverage of the historical evolution of nutrition and information on a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other food components. In Biochemical, Physiological, and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition, lead authors Martha H. Stipanuk and Marie A. Caudill are joined by a team of nutrition experts in providing clear, concise, coverage of advanced nutrition.

  • 55 expert contributors provide the latest information on all areas of the nutrition sciences.
  • Nutrition Insight boxes discuss hot topics and take a closer look at basic science and everyday nutrition.
  • Clinical Correlation boxes show the connection between nutrition-related problems and their effects on normal metabolism.
  • Food Sources boxes summarize and simplify data from the USDA National Nutrient Database on the amount and types of foods needed to reach the recommended daily allowances for vitamins and minerals.
  • DRIs Across the Life Cycle boxes highlight the latest data from the Institute of Medicine on dietary reference intakes for vitamins and minerals, including coverage of infants, children, adult males and females, and pregnant and lactating women.
  • Life Cycle Considerations boxes highlight nutritional processes or concepts applicable to individuals of various ages and in various stages of the life span.
  • Thinking Critically sections within boxes and at the end of chapters help in applying scientific knowledge to "real-life" situations.
  • Lists of common abbreviations provide an overview of each chapter's content at a glance.
  • Comprehensive cross-referencing by chapters and illustrations is used throughout.
  • Current references and recommended readings connect you to nutrition-related literature and provide additional tools for research.
  • Coverage of the USDA's MyPlate dietary guide reflects today's new approach to diet and nutrition.
  • Recommendations outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 are incorporated throughout the book.

  • Updated format features more subheadings, tables, and bullets, making it easier to learn and recall key points.
  • Updates of key chapters and boxes reflect significant changes within the fields of nutrition, biology, molecular biology, and chemistry.

  • NEW illustrations simplify complex biochemical, physiological, and molecular processes and concepts.

Recommended Reading
2016-06-11 Nutrigenomics Springer
ISBN 9783319304151 ISBN-13 3319304151

The fascinating area of Nutrigenomics describes this daily communication between diet, food and nutrients, their metabolites and our genome. This book describes how nutrition shapes human evolution and demonstrates its consequences for our susceptibility to diseases, such as diabetes and atherosclerosis. Inappropriate diet can yield stress for our cells, tissues and organs and then it is often associated with low-grade chronic inflammation. Overnutrition paired with physical inactivity leads to overweight and obesity and results in increased burden for a body that originally was adapted for a life in the savannas of East Africa. Therefore, this textbook does not discuss a theoretical topic in science, but it talks about real life, and our life-long chat with diet. We are all food consumers, thus each of us is concerned by the topic of this book and should be aware of its mechanisms. The purpose of this book is to provide an overview on the principles of nutrigenomics and their relation to health or disease. We are not aiming to compete with more comprehensive textbooks on molecular nutrition, evolutionary biology, genomics, gene regulation or metabolic diseases, but rather will focus on the essentials and will combine, in a compact form, elements from different disciplines. In order to facilitate the latter, we favor a high figure-to-text ratio following the rule a picture tells more than thousand words. The content of this book is based on the lecture course Nutrigenomics, which is held since 2003 once per year by Prof. Carlberg at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. The book is subdivided into three sections and twelve chapters. Following the "Introduction" there are sections on the "Molecular genetic basis" and the "Links to disease", which take a view on nutrigenomics from the perspective of molecular mechanisms or from the causes of metabolic diseases, respectively. Besides its value as a textbook, Nutrigenomics will be a usefull reference for individuals working in biomedicine.

Recommended Reading
2015-10-19 Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics in Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 9781118930427 ISBN-13 1118930428

Functional foods and nutraceuticals have received considerable interest in the past decade, largely due to increasing consumer awareness of the health benefits associated with food. Diet in human health is no longer a matter of simple nutrition: consumers are more proactive and increasingly interested in the health benefits of functional foods and their role in the prevention of illness and chronic conditions. This, combined with an aging population that focuses not only on longevity but also quality of life, has created a market for functional foods and nutraceuticals. A fully updated and revised second edition, "Genomics, Proteomics and Metabolomics in Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods" reflects the recent upsurge in "omics" technologies and features 48 chapters that cover topics including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, epigenetics, peptidomics, nutrigenomics and human health, transcriptomics, nutri-ethics, and nanotechnology. This cutting-edge volume, written by a panel of experts from around the globe, reviews the latest developments in the field with an emphasis on the application of these novel technologies to functional foods and nutraceuticals. About the editorsDebasis Bagchi, Ph.D., MACN, CNS, MAIChEUniversity of Houston College of Pharmacy, Houston, TX, USA Anand Swaroop, Ph.D.Cepham Inc., Piscataway, NJ, USA Manashi Bagchi, Ph.D., FACNCepham Inc., Piscataway, NJ, USA Also available from Wiley "Bio-Nanotechnology: A Revolution in Food, Biomedical and Health Sciences"Edited by Debasis Bagchi, Manashi Bagchi, Hiroyoshi Moriyama, Fereidoon ShahidiISBN: 978-0-470-67037-8 "Antioxidants and Functional Components in Aquatic Foods"Edited by Hordur G. KristinssonISBN: 978-0-8138-1367-7 "Nanotechnology and Functional Foods: Effective Delivery of Bioactive Ingredients"Edited by Cristina Sabliov, Hongda Chen, Rickey YadaISBN: 978-1-118-46220-1

Recommended Reading
2016 Molecular Cell Biology
ISBN 1319101577 ISBN-13 9781319101572

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

See book list

Journal Resources

Relevant, up-to-date publications will be made available via the online learning platform.

URL Resources

Relevant, up-to-date links will be made available via the online learning platform.

Other Resources

Relevant, up-to-date resources will be made available via the online learning platform.