NUT2104 - Nutritional biochemistry - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Maxine Bonham


Associate Professor Maxine Bonham
Dr Nirma Samarawickrema

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Must have passed NUT1010, NUT1101, and NUT1103


Must be enrolled in course code M2001


This unit aims to provide an in depth understanding of the metabolism of macro and micronutrients and of the role of nutrition in influencing cell growth, cancer development, blood formation and gene function.

Emphasis will be on clinical relevance, the integration of biochemical pathways and how this is modulated by dietary change, and on techniques used to assess both normal dietary requirements and nutrient deficiencies.

Students will be introduced to biochemical mechanisms of energy expenditure and storage, including metabolic adaptation to periods of fasting or food intake.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the combined role of macronutrients and micronutrients in maintaining health and the prevention of disease.
  2. Explain carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism in the context of the fed and fasting state, hyperglycaemia and alcohol consumption.
  3. Critique the role of micronutrients in the maintenance of blood health, bone health, as an antioxidant and in excitable nerve cells.
  4. Describe the nutritional influences on cell growth, differentiation, programmed cell death and the development of the cancerous cell.
  5. Demonstrate problem based learning skills and the ability to communicate and apply scientific knowledge in relation to nutrition-related scenarios.
  6. Apply the main biochemical, clinical and physical measures for assessing and interpreting the signs and symptoms of nutrient inadequacy and/or deficiency.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

  • 3 x Laboratory practicals (500 words each) (20%)
  • Group case study presentation (20 mins) and wiki resource (2,000 words) (30%)
  • Final examination (2 hours) (50%) (hurdle)

Workload requirements

2 x 1 hour lectures

2 x 1 hour tutorial every week,

1 x 3 hour practical on 2 occasions

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study