Nutrition and Health Through the Life Stages – Online short course

The course Nutrition and Health Through the Life Stages is for those with an interest in nutrition and the application of nutrition for health. It is aimed at those with a background in either clinical or biological science and is aimed at either health professionals, those working in a Healthcare setting, those working in a health and fitness setting, and those working in the food industry who may be interested in formulating new and healthy products. It is relevant because our nutritional requirements change as we grow older. The nursing mother has a very different nutritional requirement to her baby and the baby has a very different nutritional requirement to the growing child, and so on through to the grown adult and indeed to the frail elderly in a clinical setting. The course is divided into units which cover the various stages of life. Starting at the very beginning from conception, through pregnancy and into childhood, and all through adolescence, then focusing on adult life before a final section looking at old age and the nutritional requirements of the elderly. The aim is to understand the relationship between nutrition and health and how nutrition can help stave off the adverse effects of disease. We’re particularly interested in how early life experiences tend to influence the risk of developing disease later in life and a feature will be to concentrate on the life course approach in terms of understanding the role of nutrients throughout life. We start life growing very, very rapidly; the first stages have some of the fastest rates of cell division but then as we go on through life the rate of cell growth slows until we reach a point where we’re really concerned about maintaining homeostasis, before we then go on to reach a point where we need to actually continue cell growth simply to stave off the effects of frailty and old age. The course will look at nutritional requirements in each of these stages: to understand what nutrients are required, how they are used by the body, and what the products will be. Modern research comes in a variety of areas for people, from studying cohorts of individuals and following their health through time, to complex modern metabolic studies or cell biology studies carried out in a petri dish in a laboratory. The course will provide the best current knowledge of nutritional science but as well as that train you to be able to critically appraise the literature, to actually be able to understand scientific reports and to be able to make your own judgement as to how to apply that information.

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