BMS243 Metabolic Biochemistry in Health and Disease (8)

In this subject, students examine the biochemistry of metabolism pertinent to the study of nutrition. The subject relies on a sound understanding of human metabolic pathways and extends students' understanding of the pathogenesis of various common diseases in biochemical detail.


Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BMS243. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Biomedical Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

BCM210 (or BMS205 or BCM211) and BMS240

It is assumed that students have either completed or are concurrently studying BMS208 Human Nutrition.

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the underlying principles of inherited metabolic disorders, with special reference to galactosaemia, phenylketonuria and fatty acid oxidation disorders;
  • be able to give examples of the role of metabolic aberrations on the pathogenesis of common human diseases;
  • be able to integrate metabolic knowledge from earlier biochemistry subjects to describe the metabolic adaptations (and their underlying regulation) to a range of physiological states;
  • be able to describe the influence of dietary factors on the development of common diseases such as liver disease, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease;
  • be able to state the influences of reactive oxygen species and antioxidants on the pathogenesis of common human diseases;
  • be able to explain how the metabolic changes in nutritional diseases such as anorexia, marasmus and kwashiorkor result in the observed clinical symptoms for these diseases;
  • be able to specify how metabolic changes in both physiological and pathological states may affect human nutritional requirements; and
  • be able to acquire and analyse information from relevant scientific literature and present a synthesis of findings on a given topic relevant to nutrition, metabolism and health.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Overview of the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids, and an introduction to the metabolism of fructose;
  • Inherited metabolic disorders of carbohydrate, lipid and amino acid metabolism, with special reference to the metabolic lesions resulting in galactosaemia, phenylketonuria and fatty acid oxidation disorders - together with their nutritional implications;
  • The role of hormones as metabolic regulators during adaptations to the post-prandial and starvation states;
  • Liver function (metabolism of alcohol, detoxification, nutrient reserves, bile production, excretion);
  • Liver pathology (pathological effects of alcohol, jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis);
  • Endocrine control of blood glucose levels, with special reference to the diabetes mellitus (its pathogenesis, diagnosis, control and monitoring);
  • The pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease, with special reference to the dietary influences on risk factors;
  • The biochemistry of free radicals, reactive oxygen species and antioxidants;
  • The metabolic syndrome - its development, diagnosis and use as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus;
  • Metabolic adaptations to stress, especially in severely ill people - nutritional implications;
  • Metabolic changes in severe nutritional deficiency diseases such as anorexia, marasmus and kwashiorkor - nutritional implications; and
  • Metabolic changes in cancer cachexia - nutritional implications.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of BMS243 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Topic minitests
Essay: chosen topic in metabolic biochemistry
Final exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.