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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 599 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...
  • 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.
  • Very informative, relevant, easy to understand and easily applicable to improve personal health by altering diet that support healthy gut microbiome.
  • 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...
  • 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
    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
    I expected something completely different. I was very enthusiastic at the beginning, yet the speaker made it almost impossible to keep throughout the course. This is my second verified certificate, having made the Food Fermentation with HarvardX, which...
  • 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
    The course on the Human Microbiome is very interesting in terms of its contents and how motivating the information can be in everyday life to eat healthier. Understanding what is happening scientifically. Discovering that there is a whole world of...
  • Anonymous
    The course on the Human Microbiome is very interesting in terms of its contents and how motivating the information can be in everyday life to eat healthier. Understanding what is happening scientifically. Discovering that there is a whole world of...
  • Anonymous
    The Nutrition and Health: Human Microbiome course was fantastic. It provides you with wide knowledge about the human intestinal bacteria, their relation with host health, and practical applications of this topic. The course is very well structured and...
  • Anonymous
    Its a reasonably good overview of the basics of the human microbiome but i found it repetitive and fairly basic. For examples, I wished it had gone into more depth on the interaction of the various bacteria and food - as that is the most important...
  • Anonymous
    I learned a great deal in the Human Microbiome class. The material is well organized and presented. The class material is neither too difficult nor too simple. At the end of each of the six modules, there is a list of references that relate to the material...
  • Anonymous
    This course is excellent. This was my first course online on health and I did not know what to expect. But it went on just fine ; enjoyed the course and I intend to do more courses on health. The course was very well structured and very informative....
  • Anonymous
    Good quality course! You can achieve a general knowledge about human microbiome and go trough every stage of your life and thus understand better aging process. You can get overall perspective on importance of healthy nutrition since birth because...
  • 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
    As a class auditor and someone who works with microbiome topics professionally, this has given me a thorough understanding of the ins and outs of microbiome science. At first I thought I would be looking at a microbiology class, but this was much more specific. The bacteria that live in our gut are so important, I am surprised this subject isn't required or at least an elective at many colleges. The presentation style was very thorough and repetitious in a good way--it allowed layers of understanding to occur in a much more comfortable manner than many of the courses I have found on EDX. I kind of wish I had the certificate after all this, but I think I will be fine just auditing.
  • 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...

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