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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


4.5 rating, based on 763 Class Central reviews

4.3 rating at edX based on 12 ratings

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 he…
  • 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 a…
  • Anonymous
    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 exampl…
  • Very informative, relevant, easy to understand and easily applicable to improve personal health by altering diet that support healthy gut microbiome.
  • i learned alot through this course. I gained new insight about the importance of keeping the gut microbiota "healthy". This healthy condition apparently can be manipulated by certain type of diets e.g probiotic, prebiotics, synbiotic, and even post biotic.
  • Anonymous
    Sure, I can give you a review of nutrition and health microbiota. Microbiota refers to the trillions of microorganisms that live in and on our bodies, particularly in our digestive system. These microorganisms play a crucial role in our overall heal…
  • Anonymous
    My experiencewith the course was truly outstanding. It provided an excellent overview of the topics covered, ensuring a clear understanding from start to finish. What set it apart were the vivid examples used throughout, which made complex concepts…
  • 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 o…
  • 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 wom…
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
    I have given this course a four-star review as an audit track learner. Even though plenty of the course content was only reserved for verified learners, I could still get a substantial understanding of how the microbiome impacts our health. I would recommend this course to all curious minds.
    Having a background in Nutrition, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that our microbiota can be modulated to boost our well-being through the food we eat. This can also be achieved by incorporating probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics into the diet. Familiarizing with the concept of post-biotics was eye-opening. Discovering the relationship between the gut microbiome and longevity in human beings was also a wonderful discovery.
  • Anonymous
    I had an amazing time doing this MOOC, It perfectly blended in with what I needed and I found myself really interested in all the topics.
    Topics are clearly and nicely explained, with videos that perfectly demonstrate the topic and help to give the viewers a better understanding of the subject. After that, using the self-test questions really helps to really remember the material, by asking you to repeat what you just learned. All in all, I think this course was really enjoyable and well-done and I would recommend it to everyone that is interested in microbiology and health!
  • Anonymous
    The content of the course itself is very satisfying. The videos are clear, concise, and straight to the point, perfect for those with almost no free time to study.

    That said, I have a criticism to make, and I hope that it is taken lightly by the staff: The questions after the videos are, sometimes, not good. Sometimes, the answer is clear, but sometimes the options are dubious and can lead to mistakes. In some cases, there is clearly an option that can be considered correct but is marked as wrong.

    Keep up the good work, I will surely try another course in the future.
  • Anonymous
    The course on the human microbiome and found it to be a truly enlightening experience. The content was comprehensive, covering everything from the basics of microbial ecology to the latest research on the role of the microbiome in human health and disease.

    One aspect of the course that stood out was its interdisciplinary approach. The instructors seamlessly integrated knowledge from fields such as biology, genetics, immunology, and even bioinformatics to provide a holistic understanding of the microbiome and its significance.

  • 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 B…
  • Anonymous
    This is an engaging and accessible MOOC for those interested in deeping their understanding of the human microbiome. It provides a solid foundation on how it shapes our health and wellbeing across all life stages. This MOOC can serve as an essential starting point for exploring potential future strategies on how to manage and thrive in an increasingly uncertain world. I found this to be a good investment of my time and encourage others to start their journey today.
  • Anonymous
    Good beginner's course on the microbiome. Gives a good overview of the topic without going into too much detail or science, but presents the state of the current scientific knowledge on the subject, including e.g. on therapeutic uses of probiotics. The information is presented in a clear, easy to follow, and well-structured manner.
    If you already know the basics of the topic, this course may be too general for you.
  • Anonymous
    Very comprehensive review of the human microbiome with discussions from birth to elderly population. Thank you for the insight and information. I would love to learn if this could be utilized for CEUs for Registered Dietitians but at this point I do not believe that it is. Because of the complex information shared I do feel it is geared toward more advanced learners with background in the industry or education.

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