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Wageningen University

Nutrition and Health: Human Microbiome

Wageningen University via edX


Your body is not only made up of human cells, but also by trillions of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Together they make up the human microbiome and have a tremendous impact on your health. For example, what you eat and drink impacts the gut microbes of the human gut microbiome.

In the MOOC Nutrition and Health: Human Microbiome, you will learn how the human microbiome plays an important role in maintaining normal gut function, digesting certain nutrients, early life development, behavior and disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), obesity and diabetes. You will learn how to distinguish fact from fiction about the role of the gut microbiota in health and disease.

Today, important research topics focused on nutrition, health and ageing lay within the study of microbiota composition, function and applicability. This course will help health care professionals gain a basic academic understanding of the human microbiome and the impact on human health. You'll discover the latest academic insights about food fibers, added bacteria, probiotics and microbiology. This knowledge can be applied by health care professionals in their daily practice because gut health is a hot topic, not only among researchers, but especially for health care professionals and consumers alike. Many patients with allergic issues struggle with gut health. Emerging research is connecting an imbalance of the microbiota in the gut microbiome to multiple disease states, including allergies. When finishing this course, you will know about the latest acdemic insights and how to apply them in your daily work.


Module 1: The human microbiome
This module includes topics like: how to study the microbiome, microbiota for health and the human microbiome

Module 2: Early life microbiota development
This module includes topics like: development of the microbiome, microbiome and health, life changing events, personal microbiota development

Module 3: Microbiota and Ageing
This module includes topics like: healthy ageing, including centenarians, diet and longevity; and ageing related diseases such as immunescene

Module 4: Microbiota diet and disease
Topics in this module include: nutrition, diet and genes and obesity

Module 5: Microbial therapies and diagnostics
This module includes topics like: microbial therapies, personalized therapies and diagnostics.

Module 6: Applicability and societal impact
This module includes topics like: applicability of the microbiome in medical therapy, pharmacy, nutritional companies, probiotic production and the food chain. We also go in to some examples of host microbiota interactions

Taught by

Clara Belzer


4.4 rating, based on 680 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Nutrition and Health: Human Microbiome

  • Anonymous
    Over the last months I’ve taken the verified track of the Microbiome course and successfully completed it with a certificate. Overall, it was an interesting course that added to my understanding of the human microbiome and it’s (possible) role in health...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Not the best course. The course feels sloppy, unacademic and lacks impact. Given Wageningen's reputation, I had expected better from them. Below an eleboration on my opinion: - Many small mistakes in the videos. In the videos about aging for example,...
  • A great class! It is meant for medical professionals and students. Still, it is very useful for anyone interested in understanding various facets of the human microbiome. It is a very important health topic and everyone will benefit from learning about...
  • Hi everyone,
    One of the masterpieces of Wageningen University, the information is interesting and of real value.
    Thank you, Dr. Clara Belzer and everyone who contributed to this wonderful course.
    Ibrahim Almatari
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed some of the content in this course, but it was not what I expected. I expected this course to have a more practical use, and to learn more about diet plans and other methodologies in order to improve your gut health. There are barely any opportunities...
  • Very informative, relevant, easy to understand and easily applicable to improve personal health by altering diet that support healthy gut microbiome.
  • This is an awesome MOOC! I've learned a lot about the human microbiome, including information on how to be healthier by making my microbiota happy. I would definitely recommend this MOOC to all the nutrition, health and biological sciences enthusiasts.
  • The microbiome course is a very insightful one that has really opened my eye. it was a new area to me but I am now knowledgeable in terms of its functions to the human body especially children who are born term, I also know the effects it has on women...
  • Interesting course about the microbiome in the gut; it's a new field of study and there is plenty more to learn about it in the future.
  • Anonymous
    Compared to the other MOOC's of the WUR, this MOOC was very superficial. It hardly contained detailed information how microbiota work in the gut, which microbiota live in the gut and it didn't tell in detail about the anatomy of the gut. Dr. Clara Belzer...
  • Anonymous
    When I first noticed this class I was surprised. I could not believe a course like this was available to me on the internet. Even though the course description was not full of details, in the beginning, I did like the university giving me the option...
  • Anonymous
    its good and very knowledgeable course i loved it This course is designed to help you create dynamic, interactive online courses through the use of multimedia tools, student collaboration opportunities, and formative assessment and feedback. Each week...
  • Anonymous
    I am happy that I completed the human microbiome course, and thank you to those in charge of it. The information was very important and of great scientific and health value.
    And I learned that nutrition plays a major role in the formation of the human microbiome, and after that the diseases that people get
    The environment, the method of birth, the affluent society, the way of eating... all have a role in creating a completely different microbiome

  • Anonymous
    Superb course.It’s a some sort of eye opening for me.Contents are great.But more emphasis should given on pronunciation.Flow of teaching seems to be interrupted due to improper pronunciation at some point of time.More emphasis would have given on GUT physiology.Due to lack of physiological explanation appreciation of GUT and its functions are not properly understood.More clinical studies might have been discussed,so that correlation can be easily made.
  • Anonymous
    comprehensive and informative program that explores the basics of human nutrition. The course is well-organized and structured, with clear and lectures, interactive quizzes, and a range of useful resources. The instructors are knowledgeable and experienced, making the content easy to understand and engaging. The course covers various topics, including the role of macronutrients and micronutrients in the body, the relationship between diet and health, and the impact of food processing on nutrients. The course is suitable for individuals interested in nutrition, health professionals, and students seeking to gain a deeper understanding of human nutrition.
  • Profile image for Sònia D.B.
    Sònia D.B.
    This is a great course if you want to discover how important is the microbiome in our health, and how important is to take care of it. Several factors contribute to and can significantly alter the composition of the gut microbiota, including genetics; the mode of delivery at birth; the method of infant feeding; the use of medications, especially antibiotics; and the diet. So, this course is a good way to learn about it.
  • Anonymous
    This MOOC is a general introduction to the topic of the human microbiome. The video lessons are well-designed to explain the topics to people who do not work directly in that scientific field. The videos are simple and well-presented, and they patiently summarize the main topics of the research on human microbiota. This is a divulgation course so it does not deep down on data analysis issues, but allows to understand many key points of research for people who are not aware of the topic yet. For people who are working on it, this is very simple, but has an interesting bibliography section at the end of each chapter that is quite useful.
  • Anonymous
    I took this course because I enrolled in a class about the human microbiome, and this was required study material. I thought the course was constructed well: it started with some more easy/basic subjects and slowly went more in depth with more complex subjects. The questions after every video also really help with retaining the knowledge obtained from the videos. It was nice that they had a transcript so I could read along and follow the videos better. The module tests are a great way to test your knowledge. The modules are a bit too long at times sometimes which makes it hard to finish them sometimes.
  • Anonymous
    Overall, I like the content of the course. It is easy to understand and it allowd to gain more knowledge on the microbiome.
    What could be better/different was that the woman speaking in the video's was not perfect in her English. Some words were pronounced wrong and somtimes she used a completely different word than was in the script. I know it is difficult to retake the video's, but for future descisions, it would be better to use someone that is more fluent and smooth with their English level. I know the WUR has a lot of internationals and high level English speakers available for this kind of task.
  • Anonymous
    This course was majorly interesting but very diverse. I would have thought a little less diversity and more examples would have worked better for me. Reading out the lessons without explaining what it is all about made it hard for me to comprehend and remember. I am a teacher and this is not really teaching. Please make mistakes and talk to us; discuss the material. I am sorry to say this. I do learn from this course. What I really like is the questions below the clips. Thank you for those and the right answers below so I can check even if I had the right answer!

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