About this course
The world is facing an unprecedented increase in population ageing. In the Netherlands, the rate of greying will even double in the next decades (CBS), whereby the pressure on healthcare systems continues to increase. To bend this trend into a more favourable direction knowledge is needed of the interplay between nutrition, other lifestyle factors and the ageing processes occurring throughout the human body.
In this course, students embark on a journey through the human body to encounter a sequence of biological events starting early in life (ageing) with a considerable inter-individual variation. Thereby, intermediate stops will be made at organs and tissues where both the ageing process and nutrition have a high impact. Here, optimal nutrition can make a difference in ageing healthfully and in preserving functionality. Stops include the gut, the circulation, the bone with its connective tissue, the skin, brains and muscle. Due attention will be given to the cross-talk between organs and tissues, to capture e.g, the gut-brain, the gut-muscle, the brain-bone axis and to nutrient interactions. Key to the course is to underline that optimal nutrition is of major importance for healthy ageing and the quality of life of older adults.
After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognize the key changes that occur during ageing at the level of the whole body, the gastrointestinal system, kidney and heart, the muscle, bone and joints, the skin and the brain;
- explain the major determinants of the ageing process and the interindividual differences;
- discuss the role that nutrition plays in the ageing process, acknowledging the cross-talk between organs and tissues;
- explain the impact of the key changes that occur during ageing on nutrient requirements, acknowledging interactions between nutrients;
- argue nutrition and lifestyle interventions that attenuate the causes and consequences of the ageing process;
- form opinions on integrated nutritional approaches and discuss them with physiologists, clinicians, health professionals and older adults;
- hypothesize how nutrients can benefit healthy ageing on whole body and organ level.
Bachelor level knowledge on Nutrition Science or equivalent (e.g. Biomedical Sciences), including the micro- and macronutrients, plus at master level HAP30306 (Nutritional Physiology).