Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

Module Information
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BGZ2024  - Food for Life

Period 4: from 19-2-2024 to 5-4-2024
Coordinator: Meex, R.
ECTS credits: 9
Language of instruction: English

Publication dates timetable/results in the Student Portal

Deadline publication timetable
The date on which the timetable of this module is available: 19-1-2024

Deadline publication final result
The date on which the final grade of this module is available: 26-4-2024

Resit booking

Exam booking for a test in current academic year (resit)
You will be booked automatically for the resit in one of our resit periods. You may check our calenders to find out which modules can be retaken and when: https://intranet.maastrichtuniversity.nl/nl/fhml-studenten/studieverloop/wanneer-wat
As of one week before the resit test takes place, you can check in Student Portal if you are booked correctly: Student Portal > My Courses > More actions. The test will also be visible in your time table.

Exam booking for a test from a previous academic year (exam only)
All students who have not passed the test for this module in a previous academic year, will be booked automatically for the test during the regular block period. You will be enrolled in the new course in Canvas but not scheduled for a tutorial group and other educational activities. If you do not wish to participate in this test at the end of the regular block period please de-register via askFHML.

Resit date: 9-7-2024

Though great care has been taken to assure the accuracy of the information on fhmlweb, the FHML cannot be held responsible for possible printing errors, incomplete information, or misinterpretations. Additionally, the FHML reserves the right to make changes to this information.

Course information

Description: EN:

A healthy diet is a diet with a nutrient composition that results in an optimal health, both with respect to macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). A balanced diet will prevent deficiency diseases like rachitis and osteoporosis. An unhealthy diet is an important risk factor for the development of chronic metabolic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer. Due to the increasing prevalence of these diseases the topic of nutrition has become an essential part of the bachelor degree health sciences, providing relevant knowledge for a later career in several public and private settings like public health, industry, research and hospitals.

This module focuses on nutrition, and nutrient digestion, how food is converted into energy within our body and how this energy is stored in the form of chemical bounds. An excess or altered intake of the major macronutrients, carbohydrates, fat and proteins may play a role in the development of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, diseases that are currently reaching epidemic proportions worldwide. It will be discussed how modulation of dietary carbohydrate, fat and protein intake may affect our health and may prevent the development of these chronic metabolic diseases. For an effective and targeted prevention and treatment of disease it is very important to have adequate biomarkers, reflecting either dietary intake and/or risk for the development of disease. In this context, biomarkers of macronutrient intake and disease risk will be discussed.

Goals: EN:

Key competencies:

After this module the student is able to:

1.    To describe basic aspects on nutrition, nutrient absorption, transport and storage into energy as well as the involved tissues and pathways.

2.    To be able to explain the basic metabolic pathways of nutrient handling.

3.    To integrate disturbances in nutrient handling in the etiology of chronic metabolic diseases and to understand the concept of biomarkers of disease risk.

4.    To present a self-designed experiment on the relation between diet, energy expenditure and substrate oxidation.


Knowledge and insight in:

After this module the student has knowledge and insight in:

        · Nutrition (macro and-micronutrients), emphasis on macronutrient metabolism, but role of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) will also be addressed:

1.    Different types of carbohydrates (monosacharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides, available and indigestible carbohydrates), fats (simple lipid, compound and derived lipids, unsaturated and saturated fatty acids).

2.    Chemical composition, food sources and list the general functions of macronutrients within the body.

3.    What dietary macronutrient composition is and what the recommendations are.

4.    General classification of vitamins in water soluble and fat soluble.

5.    Knowledge of the function of water and fat soluble vitamins and the broad role of minerals in macronutrient catabolism and anabolism.

        · Physiology and anatomy of the gastro-intestinal tract;

        · Nutrient absorption, transport and storage into energy as well as the involved tissues and metabolic pathways:

1.    Carbohydrate digestion and absorption, transport from in the blood, storage and metabolic pathways (involved in transport, oxidation and storage).

2.    Role of carbohydrate as energy source, protein sparer and central nervous system fuel.

3.    Blood glucose regulation.

4.    Fat digestion and transport (dietary fats and endogenous fats), fat storage and involved metabolic pathways.

5.    Protein digestion and absorption, transport and the involved metabolic pathways, protein turnover, deamination and transanimation, nitrogen balance, urea cycle.

6.    Integrative view of regulation carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism during fasting and postprandial conditions.

        · Disturbances in macronutrient handling in the etiology of chronic metabolic disease (obesity and obesity-associated insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease):

  1. Disturbed blood glucose regulation, hyperglycemia and diabetes.
  2. Disturbed lipoprotein metabolism in cardiovascular disease.
  3. Disturbed adipose tissue, liver and muscle fat storage in insulin resistance and chronic metabolic diseases.

       · The application of biomarkers in epidemiological research, biomarkers of disease risk;

       · Basic principles of the measurement of dietary intake and dietary status;

       · Insight in the design and most important component of dietary intervention research.


Application of knowledge and insight:

After this module the student is able to:

       · Understand the process of carbohydrate, fat and protein digestion transport and further metabolism and the interaction with diet and bioactive substances;

       · Understand the relationship between disturbances in blood glucose regulation, lipoprotein metabolism and fat storage in the etiology of chronic metabolic disease;

       · Understand the use of biomarkers , the sources of variation and the application of biomarkers in epidemiological research;

       · Understand the design and relevant factors for a dietary intervention study.


Forming opinions:

After this module the student is able to form an opinion on:

       · The importance of food, and nutrient handling in health and disease.



After this module the student can express knowledge and insight:

       · With respect to giving an overview of the metabolic pathways involved in substrate handling and storage and is able to make an animation/movie to explain one of the metabolic pathways in more detail.


Learning skills:

After this module the student has skills to:

        · Find arguments, using the recommended literature, to support a certain point of view;

        · Combine and integrate knowledge from different metabolic pathways in relation to diet and apply this knowledge towards relevance for chronic metabolic diseases and related preventive strategies.

Key words: EN:
macronutrients, micronutrient, healthy diet, digestion, energy storage and utilisation, obesity, insulin resistance, chronic metabolic diseases, microbiota, biomarkers, preventive strategies
Literature: This is the link to Keylinks, our online reference list.  
Teaching methods:
  • Assignment(s)
  • Lecture(s)
  • Problem Based Learning
  • Presentation(s)
  • Skills
Assessments methods:
  • Assignment
  • Attendance
  • Final paper
  • Presentation
  • Written exam

This page was last modified on:8-4-2024
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