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The Human Microbiome

Discover what the microbiome is, how it changes throughout your life, and the role it plays in good human health.

10,641 enrolled on this course

a drawing of a women with her internal organs drawn on top of her body, surrounded by drawings of microbes

The Human Microbiome

10,641 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Accreditation available

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Learn how a healthy microbiome can combat disease

Please note this course runs without facilitation. A Spanish version of the course can be found here, and a version in French here.

The microbiome – the microbes that live within the human body – can have a huge impact on human health. As such, it’s vital to understand the complexity of the microbiome, and how it can impact on disease and wellbeing.

On this course, you’ll go on a fascinating journey into the human body – down to the gut – where the ecology and roles of the human microbiome will be narrated.

You’ll explore how your microbiome changes throughout your life, reflect on the role of food in its modulation, and explain the functions the microbiome has in the gastrointestinal tract in daily life.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds This course focuses on the human microbiome with the focus on the gut microbiome. That is all the microbes that live between our stomach and colon and how they interact with our health.

Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds In the first week, you will be introduced to this fascinating world of the human microbiome and how it interacts and impacts our health and well-being. In week two, you will learn about the journey of food, how our body absorbs nutrients, and how our microbiota is influenced by our diet. And in week three, we’ll explain how your gut microbiota and cells communicate and why it’s so important to feed your gut microbiota appropriately as a means to care for your health. By the end of this course, you’ll have a good understanding of the human microbiome, our gut microbiota, and how our diet impacts and can benefit our health and well-being.


  • Week 1

    The Journey of Life

    • Welcome to the course

      A warm welcome to the course by the Lead Educator

    • The composition of human microbiota

      The human microbiota consists of a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other single-celled animals that live in the body. A brief presentation of the course, topics, experts. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

    • The functions of the gut microbiota

      In your opinion would our health be adversely affected if we didn’t have a gut microbiota?

    • Physiological changes during the life-span

      In this activity, we will delve into the gut microbiota at different stages of life, and the many factors that play a role in shaping its composition (and subsequent function).

    • How to determine our gut microbiota

      In this activity, we will discuss the different technologies available for the analysis of the microbiota/microbiome.

    • Reflect on the week

      Share with us your thoughts about week 1

  • Week 2

    The Journey of Food

    • The link between food and microbiome

      What do you know about the link between food and the microbiome? During this activity, you will get the chance to improve your knowledge of this!

    • Foods as vectors of microorganisms (fermented foods)

      Fermented foods are produced to exploit the metabolic activities of microorganisms and for this reason, some of them contain a high number of bacteria, yeasts, and filamentous fungi.

    • Food meets your gut microbiota

      Learn about the digestion in the upper gut and how food structure affects this, particularly, fibre and resistant starch.

    • Influence of different bioactive food components on gut microbiome

      Different components of our diet are beneficial for our health, however it is necessary to keep in mind that the effects that they exert are often linked to the activity of the gut microbiota.

    • Probiotics, prebiotics, postbiotics

      Do you know what is the difference between probiotic and prebiotic? Do you know that fermented foods most of the time, cannot be considered probiotics? During this activity, you will understand why.

    • Reflect on the week

      Share your views of week 2.

  • Week 3

    The Journey of Healthy to Unhealthy

    • The link between health and microbiome

      We already underlined in previous steps the important link between diet, health and microbiome. Here you will get the chance to understand and learn more about this intimate connection.

    • Microbiota and human host partnership: when things go wrong (dysbiosis, leaky gut, etc.)

      Microbiota plays an essential role in maintaining our health. Learn what happens when this delicate equilibrium breaks.

    • Gut microbiota and immune health (infections, allergy, inflammatory bowel disease)

      In this step, you will learn how the gut microbiota communicates with the cells of the immune system located at the intestine interface.

    • Gut microbiota and metabolic health: gut-liver-adipose tissue axes

      Diet can have an incredible role in the modulation of our gut microbiome. For this reason, what we eat can impact our health positively or negatively.

    • Gut microbiota and mental health: gut-brain axis

      Gut microbiota plays an essential role in producing molecules that can move around our body. The gut-brain axis is one of the most studied. Learn more about this.

    • Innovative approaches to modify the gut microbiota

      In the following step we will present a novel therapy to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

    • Final assessment and 'take home message'

      What do you take away with you at the end of this course? Check your knowledge and share your reflections with other learners.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe how the human microbiome changes throughout the human life
  • Identify the role of food in the modulation of human microbiome
  • Explain the functions that human microbiome has in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Discuss the links between the human microbiome and diseases
  • Debate the human microbiome and its relationship on our daily lives
  • Assess the complexity of the human microbiome communities

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in subjects related to the human microbiome, how food can influence it, and how this resultantly impacts on human health.

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on this topic, you might also find of interest the following EIT Food courses on health and nutrition:

What do people say about this course?

I've learned so much about the relationship between food and our gut.

"This course has inspired me to eat more of certain foods and less of others."

Who will you learn with?

I’m a professor in food microbiology at the University of Torino, Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences. My research focuses on food safety and microbial ecology of fermented foods.

I am a researcher interested in the communication between the gut microbiota and the cells our body, and its consequences on health.

I'm a Lecturer in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading. My research is focussed on better understanding the relationship between diet, gut microbiota and health

I am deputy Head of UK Food Databanks and a Group Leader in Diet & Health at QIB. My research focuses on the role of diet in preventing disease, and the interplay of nutrition with the gut microbiome.

Who developed the course?

EIT Food

EIT Food is Europe’s leading food initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted.

University of Turin

The University of Turin is one of the largest and most prestigious Italian universities, with about 70,000 students, 4,000 employees, and 1,800 research fellows, encompassing all academic sectors.

Endorsers and supporters

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Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 5 Aug 2024

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