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HUNT241 Fundamentals of Nutrients and Health

Study of the biological basis of nutrition and the mechanisms by which diet can influence health. Includes a solid understanding of macro- and micronutrients with a specific emphasis on requirements for human health.

It is essential to understand the biological basis of nutrition if you want to understand how diet influences health. This paper investigates the nutrients involved in the key metabolic processes in the human body – and explores their central role in human health.

Paper title Fundamentals of Nutrients and Health
Paper code HUNT241
Subject Human Nutrition
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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(BIOC 111 or BIOC 192) and (CHEM 112 or CHEM 191) and ((HUBS 191 and HUBS 192) or (BIOL 115 or (ANAT 101 and PHSL 101))
Pre or Corequisite
HUNT 141
BIOC 230, HUNT 221
Schedule C

Teaching staff

Associate Professor Anne-Louise Heath

Paper Structure

This paper consists of two blocks:

  1. The first block of lectures extends students’ understanding of the basic concepts of metabolism, particularly energy metabolism, and the impact of fed, fasted, and disease states on the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins
  2. The second block of lectures extends students’ understanding of vitamins and minerals, with a particular emphasis on the biochemistry and physiology of key nutrients in the diets of New Zealanders, as well as their food sources, and roles in human health and disease
Teaching Arrangements

Two 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour practical session per week.


Recommended textbooks:

  • Campbell MK, Farrell SO, McDougal OM. Biochemistry (9th edition). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2016.
  • Whitney E, Rolfes SR, Crowe T, Cameron-Smith D, Walsh A. Understanding Nutrition. 4th Australian and New Zealand edition. Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia, 2019.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of HUNT241 students will be able to:

  • Describe the metabolism of the macronutrients and key vitamins and minerals, including the mechanisms by which pathways are controlled
  • Propose likely impacts of a change in nutritional status on the metabolism of a range of macronutrients and micronutrients
  • Discuss the impact of disruptions of nutrient metabolism on human health
  • Carry out common and currently used laboratory techniques for measuring nutrients, metabolites and enzyme activity in blood and urine samples
  • Analyse and interpret group data
  • Demonstrate effective written communication skills
  • Describe the key phases of an observational nutrition research study
  • Work more effectively in a group setting
  • Introduce themselves briefly in te reo Māori, and greet someone in Samoan and Tongan
  • List culturally important food sources of nutrients for Māori and Pacific peoples

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Thursday 08:00-08:50 9-14, 16-22
Friday 08:00-08:50 9-13, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Thursday 10:00-11:50 16-22
A2 Thursday 14:00-15:50 16-22
AND one stream from
B1 Monday 14:00-16:50 9-14
B2 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 9-14