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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 615 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...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Very informative, relevant, easy to understand and easily applicable to improve personal health by altering diet that support healthy gut microbiome.
  • 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 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...
  • Anonymous
    I found all the information presented in this course to be very helpful, the only thing that I would change is the woman talking, her accent and sometimes her bad pronunciation of some words makes it difficult to understand what is she saying. And in some videos it looked like she was not even prepared or read the information ahead of time and was having a hard time reading through it.

    Otherwise, I really enjoyed this course.
  • Anonymous
    Very well prepared, clear and you can follow your own pace which is very good option. However, questions in graded sections are sometimes a bit confusing. For example, normal stool by the Bristol stool scale. On the other hand, I liked the data collection about pre- and pro- biotics content. These kind of assignments are very interesting (like a little explorer) and I would like to find out the results if you had analyzed such data.
  • Anonymous
    This was a good course. I learned a lot and htis will be useful when I teach different courses. However, I think, the exams should be worked on. For example, if there is question that has multiple answers, you get credit only if you get all options right, there is no partial credit. Haaving partial credit boosts the confidence of students. Also, I would have loved to see more on Microbiota and cancer.
  • Anonymous
    Helpful with a good information about the microbiota that cover many parts of this subjects
    needs more information about the techniques that's related to culture the microorganism conventionally and if can include practical part about the culture media for each type of oxygen requirements microorganism since we have many bacteria in the human body needs anaerobic conditions.
  • Profile image for Shaune Ralph
    Shaune Ralph
    This course has been very helpful in expanding my understanding of how the microbiome develops and how it plays a role in health, development and aging. The discussions on using the composition of the microbiome to understand illness, adjust diet, and develop therapies provide even more information than I expected. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in food as therapy.
  • 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
    Very interesting topic. I only knew a little about microbiota before taking this class, and now I feel I understand it so much better. The lecturer does a great job. The course material explained very clearly and simply for a layperson but it also provides important details for anyone interested in these details (as I am!). I highly recommend this course.

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