This unit will introduce the relationships between gastrointestinal function, nutrition, metabolism and human health. The unit covers the gastrointestinal structure and function, the neural regulation of gastrointestinal functions; chemical nature of the nutrients, their roles in body structure and function, and their handling by the gastrointestinal system, the body as a whole and their metabolism. It extends this physiological knowledge by examining the energy intake and regulation; dietary guidelines; and the role of nutrition in maintaining good health. This unit will also examine the role of diet in chronic diseases.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


RBM1528 - Human Physiology 2

RBM1174 - Human Physiology

RBM1103 - Bioscience 1: Body Structure & Function

RBM1202 - Bioscience 2: Body Structure & Function

SCL1002 - Exercise Physiology

RBM1528 applies to HBBM students RBM1103 and RBM1202 applies to HBHL students. RBM1174 and SCL1002 applies to students in ABHF, ABHG, SBSA, SBFI, SBHS.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the structure and function of digestive system;  
  2. Explain the role of the enteric nervous system in the regulation of digestion;  
  3. Assess the different macro and micronutrients, their role within the body and commonly used laboratory approaches;  
  4. Evaluate the importance of digestion, metabolism, nutrition and energy balance to the wellbeing of an individual;  
  5. Analyse the role of diet in the development of common chronic disease states;  
  6. Apply knowledge to solve problems both independently and collaboratively.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Two (2) Topic Tests (25 minutes each) 20%
Report Two (2) Laboratory Reports (600 words each) 20%
Examination Theory Examination - MCQ, short & essay questions (2.5 hours) 60%

Required reading

Understanding Nutrition Australian and New Zealand Edition 2
Whitney, E., Rolfes, S.R., Crowe, T., Cameron-Smith, D., & Walsh, A. (2013)
Cengage Learning

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