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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

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4.5 rating, based on 491 reviews

Start your review of Nutrition and Health: Human Microbiome

  • 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,...
  • 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.
  • 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
    Very important and interesting subject, easy and and fun course. Unfortunately, some topics are not available to unverified track, but I just googled them.
  • Anonymous
    The courses i've taken so far are quite interesting. The videos contain a lot of important and interesting information and the transcription of the videos is very useful. However some of the videos are a bit tedious and not a lot of images are being used...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    This course was an overwhelming success in my mind. Coming from a background with little exposure to health, nutrition, and well science for that matter, I was a bit concerned when starting this course. I must say though, the way the course was structured...
  • Profile image for Samanthi Wathsala Pelpolage
    Samanthi Wathsala Pelpolage
    This course first attracted my attention as it is directly related to my field and being a relatively a young field of study, it is difficult to find a well-structured information base like this. I was completely learning through the published articles...
  • Cjc
    Great course! Extremely interesting! I would personally recommend to do before or in the same time, the Macronutrients and Overnutrition course from the same university (especially the first 3 chapters on study designs and carbohydrates) as I found it...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I enjoyed the knowledge aspect of this course and added to my basic level of understanding. I particularly enjoyed the aspect on early nutrition on gut microbiome development and its application to future overall health. The videos plus transcript...
  • Anonymous
    Great course! It is amazing to learn about the influence of the human microbiome in disease diagnosis, prevention, and how modifications on the diet can benefit the good bacteria to promote your gut health. The gut microbiota can be an important factor behind the incidence of several diseases, and modifications of the microbiome can improve quality of life on some patients. A lot of products aimed at promoting a healthy microbiota, some of which I never heard of before, are available in the market for people who may benefit from them. Overall, the course reveals the extent to which the human microbiome is involved in several aspects of our lives and how learning about its composition can improve our lifestyle and well-being.
  • Anonymous
    I am currently enjoying this Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at Wageningen University via edX. It is user-friendly in its delivery, and an excellent introduction to the field of Microbiology. A few short projects are integrated into the course to apply newly acquired knowledge on gut health, such as a reflection on your own gut microbiota, and that of two other persons, from birth to the present, and a short research on the nutritional content of two products from your local supermarket. By the end of the course, I will have an increased knowledge of the various nutritional factors likely to influence my gut microbiota, and consequently improve my own health, and that of my family and community.
  • Anonymous
    I have enjoyed the content included in each course, especially the involvment of the gut microbiota with the development and senescence of the immune system, and its association with the onset of GI, autoimmune and behavioural diseases. One remark that I want to make regards the preparation of the videos. In some cases, it seems that Clara prepared the recordings in a rush, as some parts of the transcripts were misread and later still uploaded. This in some cases pushed me to read more the texts rather than watching the videos. But overall, my experience was pleasant and you definitely got my attention and curiosity for the topic.
  • Anonymous
    I found this course very helpful. All I've learnt in this course will help me to live a better, healthier, and more stable life. As well as it is giving me the opportunity to help others by sharing the relevant information I learned from it.

    I think everybody should learn about the microbiome, as knowing this can help us to prevent a variety of diseases and live much better.

    All the points discussed in this course are well explained, which make it quite easy to understand. The exercises and discussions are also very helpful for further understanding.

    I am very glad with this course and I would totally recommend it to everyone else.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I had scant knowledge on this subject and I needed the basic information laid out in this course to build my understanding of the microbiome and the promising research coming out of this new field of study. With so much misinformation and sensationalized advertising about the human microbiome on social media, this course is providing important and timely information for me. I work with people living with type 2 diabetes and I hope the microbiome studies can lead to better outcomes. The last breakthrough in diabetes of all types was the discovery of insulin. I hope the microbiome studies lead us to the next big breakthrough.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    An excellent course, i gained insight into the most important aspects regarding the human mocrobiome. The videos illustrate in an totally understandable manner all issues the professor presents even for learners that do not have a background in health sciences but do have a basic undergraduate knowledge in biology and chemistry. The animation makes it more fun to learn. In total, the course material grasped my attention and I have the feeling that I can use the knowledge and extend the insights I gained in further exploring and understanding diagnosis therapy of eating disorders, which is my scientific field.
  • 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...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I only decided to take the free version of the class, so my review doesn't encompass the full aspects of the class, however I still learned a great deal. This was my first nutrition class I have taken and I highly enjoyed it. I posses a BS in Biological sciences so some of the material I already knew, but the things is did not know the course was able to explain very well. I highly recommend this class to anyone interested in Nutrition or gut health. The only thing I would have enjoyed more would have been more in depth information on the bacteria, however I understand this may be more of an introductory course. Thank you for providing this wonderful course for free for those of us who love to learn!
  • Anonymous
    The material in the class is endlessly fascinating and gave rise to more curiosity about the subject, in that, I sought out additional information and reading materials about the microbiome outside of what was offered in the modules. As a bilingual...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Explanation of topics is Excellent . I get more knowledge about Human microbiota and especially the role of Bifidobacteria in infants was my favorite one and learned more about role of probiotics , prebiotics and synbiotic. Some concept were new to me . I am pursuing undergraduate in Microbiology so this course tells me more about Human Microbiota and its infection/disease etc.
    Explanation through the animation video is easy to learn new things, new topics , new concepts .
    I am glad to completing this course and get a knowledge .
    I want thank you to everyone for making this Course.
  • Anonymous
    The videos are not being engaging makes it difficult to concentrate to the content. Basically the text is being read with a heavy accent without any input of different content. When it comes to test questions, they are not clear and even put together in a translated English format makes it difficult to understand what is being asked. In few questions the correct answers are extremely discussible and not getting any partial point makes it frustrating. Overall I benefited as it induced me to refresh my knowledge however I would not recommend it to anyone.

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