Pharmacology and Nutrition

4 ECTS / Semester / Portuguese

Objectives and competences

 This curricular unit aims to:

  • understand the principles of Pharmacology, as well as the basis of therapeutics applied to Nutrition;
  • build knowledge on the basic principles of pharmacodynamics, drug actions in the body, the actions of pharmacologically active components in foods in the body, the main known and potential interactions between drugs and foods in order to understand the principles of clinical antagonism and adverse effects as well as the clinical relevance of the interactions studied.

Skills to acquire:

  • Ability to identify the main groups of drugs studied, main therapeutic action and associated mechanism of action.
  • Ability to define the type of interaction based on the mechanism of action of the drug and the nutrients/components in the foods where the interaction takes place.
  • Acquire the ability to analyze the Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics supporting drug-food interactions;
  • Ability to formulate clinical reasoning aimed at assessing the patient's health status.


Teaching Methodologies

The syllabus is presented as lectures, illustrated with examples relevant to Nutrition Sciences. Student participation is continuously encouraged. Research papers distributed at the beginning of the semester are presented in a seminar format. Each seminar includes a period of public discussion and debate.

The course is divided into theoretical (T) and theoretical-practical (TP) classes.
The methodology to be privileged in theoretical classes is the exposition of the syllabus using power-point presentations, simulation models and articles for discussion, thus stimulating the understanding and integration of knowledge. Whenever possible, a space is created to launch questions relating to the interconnection of subjects so that the student can participate in a dynamic and interactive way.

TP classes aim to develop learning through the problem analysis method. The Teacher/Student relationship is encouraged in all methodologies.



Theoretical classes:

Principles of General Pharmacology.
Principles of Pharmacokinetics
Principles of Pharmacodynamics
Pharmacological and nutritional interactions in the autonomic nervous system
Pharmacological and nutritional interactions in the central nervous system
Pharmacological and nutritional interactions in the digestive system
Drugs that interfere with appetite and nutrition
Drugs that affect the bioavailability of macro and micronutrients
Foods that modify drug action
Pharmacological and nutritional interactions in the endocrine system; respiratory system; urinary system; antimicrobials
Insulin and oral antidiabetics
Nutrition and alcohol

Theoretical-Practical Classes:

Resolution of Exercise Sheets on principles of pharmacokinetics and drug-receptor interaction.
Interpretation of clinical cases and implications for the nutritional status of drug-food interactions.


Associate Professor
With a PhD in Biotechnology from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, and a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Coimbra, Ana Maria Gomes…
Associate Professor
Got his Ph.D., in 1990, in Nat. Sci. from the Univ. of Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany. B.Sc. in Pharm. Sci. from the Univ. of Porto, Portugal, in 1985. He is…