Diet, the Gut, Food Allergy and Intolerance
This module will give a detailed examination of the interaction between the gastrointestinal tract and food, in both health and pathological states.
On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
- Explain the functioning of the healthy gut and the key role played by the intestinal microflora in health and disease
- Describe the relationship between the gut, the immune system, allergy and food intolerance
- Review the aetiology of colorectal cancer and discuss nutritional factors which may influence its development and progression
- Analyse the extent to which dietary manipulation can improve maldigestion, malabsorption and excessive gut permeability
- Evaluate the methods of assessment and treatment of food allergy and intolerance
- Relate the physiological influences of fibre to gut health
- Assess the evidence for the influence of nutritional factors on various pathological conditions of the intestine
- Critically appraise current treatments of food intolerance
- Apply theory critically to analyse own professional experience.
Indicative content includes, some or all of the following topics:
- The healthy gut and digestion and absorption of macronutrients
- Areas of the gut involved in the absorption of specific micronutrients
- Adaptation of intestinal transporters
- Role of the colon in human nutrition; non-starch polysaccharides; definition and content in foods; starch and resistant starch; fermentation
- Physiological influences of fibre; plasma cholesterol lowering; modification of the glycaemic response; large bowel function; nutrient availability
- Bacterial diversity in the GI tract; metabolic interactions; gas metabolism; proteolysis e.g. amine production; flora modulation by diet e.g. prebiotics and probiotics
- Acute and chronic gut infection; irritable bowel disease; colitis
- Nutritional management of coeliac disease; Crohn's disease; irritable bowel syndrome; ulcerative colitis
- Impaired digestion and its consequences; achlorhydria; hypochlorhydria
- Malabsorption syndromes; pathogenesis and management
- Approaches to treatment of food intolerance e.g. exclusion diets; use in rheumatoid arthritis etc.; liabilities of exclusion diets
- Increased intestinal permeability
- The gut and the immune system
- Food intolerance and allergy: definitions; diagnosis; symptoms, syndromes and disease in children and adults; lactose intolerance
- Allergy testing
- Colorectal cancer and diet.
Learning and teaching methods
The learning and teaching methods include:
- Journal club
- Class discussions.
Assessment for the module is optional for those taking it as a short course. Assessment is compulsory if it is being taken as part of an award programme. Please contact the Programme Director, Barbara Fielding, or the Programme Administrator, Jenny Moberly, for further details.
The summative assessment for this module consists of:
- Coursework: a range of subject areas will be assessed, demonstrating learning outcomes across the range for the module.
- You will be required to submit the coursework electronically on a set deadline two months following the module.
In order to complete the assessments you will, as a starting point, be required to demonstrate knowledge obtained from the course material and reading. The essays will also require you to discuss and reflect on the material. Coursework essays are expected to be well researched and referenced.
You will receive feedback electronically and module organisers will be available for further discussion if necessary.
You will be required to do some reading prior to the module starting, take a look at the reading list.
A minimum of a 2:1 UK honours degree in either a medical degree (MBBS, MBChB), Biology, Biological Sciences, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nutrition, Nutritional Science, Human Nutrition, Dietetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Medical Microbiology, Chemistry, Biomedical Science, Natural Sciences, Pharmacology, Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Sport and Exercise Science, Psychology, or a recognised equivalent international qualification.
Applications that do not meet these criteria will also be considered based on relevant experience.
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each component.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
Fees and funding
How to apply
Please download and fill in an application form.
Send your form back to us at the address or email included on the form.
Please ensure that you have completed all sections and answered all questions, uncompleted forms may result in delays and ultimately missing out on available places.
Terms and conditions
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This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.