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Wageningen University

Nutrition and Health: Micronutrients and Malnutrition

Wageningen University via edX


There is an overload of information about nutrition and health, but what is the truth and what can you do to improve the health of your patients? Learn more about nutrition and how our diet profoundly impacts our current and future health. This course addresses the relationship between nutrition and human health, with a focus on health problems related to malnutrition.

In this course, Professor Sander Kersten from Wageningen University & Research will explain about the micronutrient (vitamins, minerals, and trace elements) content of foods. You will learn about their role in the body and their impact on our health. Moreover, this course will discuss how suboptimal nutrition may affect human health, with particular attention to malnutrition and global hunger. You will learn about strategies to improve and combat these problems of malnutrition. Finally, the course will make you familiar with nutritional research and research methodologies.

For whom?

This MOOC is especially useful for health care professionals and people working in the food industry with a non-nutrition background. You will develop a critical mind set by learning to better weigh and interpret information about food, nutrition and health. to improve overall health

This course, is part of the Food, Nutrition and Health Professional Certificate Program of Wageningen University & Research. Did you already complete Nutrition and Health: Macronutrients and Overnutrition? That is the first course in the Food, Nutrition and Health Professional Certificate Program. To explore other learning opportunities about nutrition, have a look at the courses

  • Food Risks
  • Human Microbiome
  • Nutrition and Cancer
  • Nutrition, Heart Disease and Diabetes


Module 1: Basic Principles of micronutrients
Start the course by learning about the general principles that apply to vitamins
and minerals.

Module 2: Water, minerals, trace elements
In this module you will look at the health effects of water, and will cover the various
dietary minerals.

Module 3: Fat soluble vitamins and health
Learn about the fat soluble vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E.

Module 4: Water soluble vitamins and health
For this module, you'll shift your focus to a few of the water soluble vitamins: vitamin C, folate and vitamin B12.

Module 5: The global burden of micronutrient malnutrition
Discuss the prevalence and trends of micronutrient deficiencies
and their geographical distribution. We will also talk about the double burden of

Module 6: Global solutions to micronutrient deficiencies
This module will outline the available strategies to alleviate micronutrient

Module 7: Insight in the future of Nutritional Science (verified learners only)
In this module you will get to see some of the exciting research that is currently being
done in the field of Nutritional Science.

Taught by

Sander Kersten

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4.7 rating, based on 161 reviews

Start your review of Nutrition and Health: Micronutrients and Malnutrition

  • Anonymous
    I thoroughly enjoyed the course on Micronutrients and Malnutrition especially all the interviews presented by professionals in the field of Nutrition. I liked listening to the the experiences from different Professors who spent years out in the field doing research studies of Micronutrients in countries like Ghana, Guatemala and Bangladesh. This course opened my eyes to the challenge of preventing malnutrition on a global scale. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in helping others to improve their health and how to better interpret information released on social media sites about health, nutrition and types of food.
  • Anonymous
    It has allowed me to update and review my knowledge on nutrition as the same time that I am working full time in topics related to fortification and amino acids
  • Anonymous
    Interesting, educational, I loved this experience and can't wait to finish and take a certificate so that I will register in course 2
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    Great job! I found the course very informative. It's also very well structured. I personally hold a degree in Linguistics and Management and I'm passionate about Nutrition Science. I was really concerned if I should take the courses on Macro and Micronutrients...
  • Profile image for Lilian Mkrtoumian
    Lilian Mkrtoumian
    This course was truly extremely beneficial and very manageable. It is the type of class that allows you to work on your own pace and at your own time, which was extremely important to me considering that I am a high school student and also work as a rhythmic...
  • Anonymous
    The cours Nutrition and Health, "Micronutrients and Malnutrition" was very interesting and informative for me. I received so many valuable information to include in my personal Plantbased Lifestyle and the work with my clients.

    Also the online classes were a great learning experience, the instructors were clear and knowledgeable. I will definitely recommend this cours to others.

    Iam enthousiast and looking forward to start with the next cours "Macronutrients and Overnutrition"

    Keep up the good work!

    Monica Meye
  • Anonymous
    I took this course along with there sister course in the professional certificate program. This course is very well laid out and includes multiple choice exams along assignments you have accomplish in a certain amount of time. Great course for expanding knowledge on nutrition and way more information was given than I was expected. I should note that this is not easy peasy either, if you want the certificate at the end I suggest putting in the time and really using the information given to heart

    Thanks for the course
  • Anonymous
    I am a ordinary woman from Brazil, without any further information about malnutrition and the needs of people around the world.

    Of course I had the idea, but knowing in fact that there are so many people suffering from desease that could be easily treated, it broke me apart.

    How to work in a way to do my part? Knowledge is power right? So, with this mooc I received my power, and this is the most valuable gain to me.

    Now I am looking to iniciate my degree in Nutrition and start to fight with all my strength.
  • Anonymous
    The course is well combined. Theoretical materials plus videoes that contain interviews with people who every day deal with the problem of micronutrients defficiencies is well balanced. I believe that we should improve our diets starting at our homes therefore it was very useful to get the idea of 7 groups of products which we should cover (at least 4 really) to make our diet more diverse. This is something I have implemented at my and my family diet because of this course. Thank you!
  • Anonymous
    Class is taught by professionals and educators who span a number of positions globally in the field. For someone beginning their educational quest, I felt the data was challenging but that the instructors were able to make it understandable. Having this quality of program available to learners is an amazing gift. The quality of staff and materials make this a go to class for anyone wanting to improve their knowledge of nutrition and it’s global impacts.
  • Anonymous
    this course has given me lots of new knowledge that I do not get from school. Some other informations also give the detailed explanation of the material I gained from school. The lecturers explain every material perfectly and the reading as well as the assignments sections are also amazing. This course is completely worth the time, especially during this school break. Everyone who is interested in learning about nutrition should definitely enroll to this course.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    Found the course content to be of the right balance between sharing knowledge about the basics and functions of micronutrients, and the biochemical processes involved. Particularly love the video lectures in which the course facilitators share their knowledge relating to the micronutrients. Also, the reading material and references provided are useful for me to learn more about the respective minerals and vitamins. Overall, the course has stimulated my interest to apply what I have learned to carefully plan my dietary intake to get a good mix of the micronutrients rather than through supplementation.
  • Anonymous
    This course encompasses a good round up information about micronutrients and their impact on health. The material is easy to understand and delivered in a very digestible format (no pun intended). I recommend this course broadly

    It is also worth taking the Macronutrients and Overnutrition course, which is part of the Professional Certificate, to have a more complete knowledge about nutrition in general.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Wageningen University

    The course taught me so much regarding Vitamins, Minerals, Biodiversity.
    I I took the suggestion and set time in the morning to study and this worked well.
    The test at the end of the week was great. Everything worked well to make the class and time so worth it.

    I am reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and I needed to find out more about the science of food.
    It's hard to understand how 59 Elements can interact to make a HUMAN.

    Life is an endless chemical reaction
    Steve Jones, British academic

    Stephen Wilhelm
  • Anonymous
    Very relevant, even if slightly outdated course. I am passionate about nutrition and learned a lot I did not know about the roles and functions of various micronutrients in our body. I would highly recommend this course to anybody who wants to learn more in the field of nutrition without being faced with too much science. The knowledge is directly applicable to daily life.
  • Anonymous
    This course was a great help to me to understand and learn more about the world of micronutrients. My focus had been more on macronutrients but I now know the importance of both. The global view on malnutrition was an eye-opener to me and it was good to learn more on international programmes and their efforts to fight malnutrition.
  • Anonymous
    I entered this course mainly because of an individual and personal interest in (mal)nutrition. The course met my expectation but it also widened my view on the issues of global (mal)nutrition and what is presently being done to improve this situation. A good eye opener and I can take my own knowledge on nutrition to a higher level.
  • Anonymous
    Nutrient is important and must for all human beings and to be taken on regular basis. All should have healthy and nutritious food on day to day people should help poor people to get their daily food requirements. this course tells us the importance of nutrients in our daily diet and its benefits in human body
  • Anonymous
    A fantastic course, well laid out, great subject matter and enjoyable to take part in. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in nutrition from a personal interest point of view or the beginnings of a career in nutrition. This course has encouraged my interest in this field and I am excited to learn more!
  • Anonymous
    Even though i did not participate in the Verified version, I would suggest having more question after each module, to secure more challenges. I gained much knowledge, and the presenters were enjoyable. My plan is to expand my knowledge of Nutrition with other courses offered through Edx.

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