BIOCHEMISTRY, NUTRITION AND METABOLISM IN SPORT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The aim of the course is to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that explain the answers
metabolic and the adaptation of the organism to intense and short-term physical exercise, to prolonged and constant exercise and to training, the
muscle metabolism and biochemistry of training. Furthermore the aim of the course is to provide students with recommendations for one
optimal diet for athletes of various disciplines, highlighting the close link between nutrition, energy metabolism and physical response to exercise. The student is asked to gain knowledge on the physiology of the endocrine system (hypothalamus-pituitary axis and feedback mechanisms) and on the main endocrine disorders, and regarding the main endocrine adaptations during physical activity .
Attendance at the course will allow the student to acquire adequate skills to be able to describe, communicate effectively and
comment the most important topics of the program.
The students will have to fulfill the prerequisites previously established in the CdS.
Physiology, general pathology, basic knowledge in Endocrinology.
Course contents summary
The first part of the course introduces the student to the molecular structure of the sarcomere describing the molecular mechanism of contraction.
Metabolic interrelations in tissues and organs: carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism. Metabolism after eating, fasting,
in stress. Skeletal Muscle and Contraction. Sarcomere and myofibrillar proteins. Mechanism of impulse and muscle contraction. Energetics of muscle contraction. Classification, properties and metabolism of muscle fibers. Distribution of various types of fibers. The course continues with the description of energy substrates and their functions in different types of physical exercise, describing the molecular determinants of physical fatigue. Sources of energy in the muscle. Energy substrates present in the muscle fibers. Aerobic and anaerobic metabolism: aerobic, anaerobic a-lactate
and anaerobic lactate. Effects of physical exercise on glucose transport systems and the effect of training. Carbohydrate metabolism during
exercise. Lipid metabolism during exercise. Amino acid and protein metabolism during exercise. Molecular signals and regulators of muscle
Basal metabolism and metabolic balance. Nutrient principles and evaluation of energy and nutritional needs in physiological conditions and
for the athlete. Healthy eating habits and eating patterns. Diet and exercise.
Endocrine system: endocrine glands and functions; Hypothalamo-Pituitary Axis. Pituitary adenomas; Pathophysiology of the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Thyroid axis and main thyroid disorders; Athletic amenorrhea; GH-IGF-1 axis and GH excess; Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal axis: pathophysiology and glucocorticoid deficiency and excess disorders;- Hypothalamo-Pituitary- gonadal axis and exercise;- hormonal changes during exercise.
Metabolic interrelationships in tissues and organs: metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. Metabolism during feeding, fasting
and stress. The Skeletal Muscle, sarcomere and myofibrillar proteins: structural organization, Molecular mechanisms of nerve impulse
conduction and muscle contraction. Energy for muscle contraction. Classification, properties and metabolism of muscle fibers. Distribution of
the various types of fibers. Sources of energy in the muscle. Energy substrates present in the muscle fibers. Aerobic and anaerobic
metabolism: aerobic, anaerobic a-lactate and anaerobic lactate. Effects of physical exercise on glucose transport systems and the effect of training.
Carbohydrate metabolism during exercise. Lipid metabolism during exercise. Amino acid and protein metabolism during exercise. Molecular
signals and regulators of muscle fatigue. Training. Role of hormones in regulating the different metabolic activities and their variations in
relation to activity and sport. Biochemistry of the endocrine system and its regulation. Structure and classification of hormones. Receptors and
mechanism of action of hormones. Second messengers. Metabolic role of hormones.
Energy and nutritional requirements of healthy subjects and in sports activities. Macro- and micronutrients. The balanced diet. Diet and sports
performance. Pre-, intra- and post-competitive diet.
Endocrine system: endocrine glands and functions; Hypothalamo-Pituitary Axis; pituitary adenomas; Pathophysiology of the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-thyroid axis and main thyroid disorders; Athletic amenorrhea;GH-IGF-1 axis and GH excess; Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal axis: pathophysiologya and glucocorticoid deficiency and excess disorders; Hypothalamo-Pituitary- gonadal axis and exercise; hormonal changes during exercise.
Recommended text and bibliographic sources:
Nelson DL, Cox MM: I principi di Biochimica di Lehninger, Zanichelli,Bologna.
Caldarera CM, BIOCHIMICA SISTEMATICA UMANA, 2003, Clueb
G. Federici,: Medicina di laboratorio – Ed. McGraw - Hill (ultima edizione)
Di Giulio A., Fiorilli A., Stefanelli C.: BIOCHIMICA PER LE SCIENZE MOTORIE, Editore CEA
Mougios V.: EXERCISE BIOCHEMISTRY, Human Kinetics
Nutrizione per lo sport 1: Principi di nutrizione. Biagi, Di Giulio, Fiorilli, Lorenzini, Editrice Ambrosiana
Nutrizione per lo sport 2: Alimentazione per lo sport e la salute. Biagi, Di Giulio, Fiorilli, Lorenzini, Editrice Ambrosiana
Sito della Società Italiana di Nutrizione Umana: www.sinu.it/
Sito dell’Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione:www.inran.it
Fondamenti di Nutrizione Umana. Di A Mariani Costantini, C Cannella e G Tomassi. Il Pensiero Scientifico Ed. Roma, 1999.
Authors: Andrea Lenzi, Gaetano Lombardi, Enio Martino, Francesco Trimarchi.
"Endocrinologia ed attività motorie". Edizione Elsevier Masson 2008.
The course will be held with oral lectures and seminars to deep single issues, and will make use of multimedia systems. During the lessons,
students will have the opportunity to discuss the key aspects of the course. Teachers will be available throughout the duration of the course
to answer questions and support students during their training with individual meetings by appointment.
Assessment methods and criteria
The course includes a written test in itinere managed by the teacher of Endocrinology. Each student will have to answer one open question about a lesson topic. Passing the written test will allow access to the final exam which consists of an oral test conducted with a traditional approach (oral question) in front of the examination committee consisting of the course teachers. The commission, taking into account all the evaluation elements acquired, will then formulate the final grade.
The summative judgment will be expressed with a final mark out of thirty (on a scale of 0-30).