BSc Minor Food, Intestinal Homeostasis and Disease (WUFHD) / BSc


The relationship between gut, nutrition and resilience to infection and therefore general health is one of the major focus points of Wageningen University and Research Centre. The topic has tremendous societal as well as economic impact. Maintenance of health and prevention of infectious disease are critically dependent on a proper functioning of intestinal homeostasis. Therefore, when this homeostasis is compromised by the presence of infectious organisms, toxic compounds, bacterial dysbiosis, stress-related conditions, and exposure to particular dietary components, the health status of the individual is at risk. Often this condition will not directly result in overt clinical disease but in development of a chronic low-grade, sub clinical inflammation. This induction of chronic inflammation (often triggered by a particular infection) is the start of the development of many chronic diseases in humans and animals, like cardiovascular disease, obesitas, persistent infectious disease, allergy, and thereby lead to loss of quality of life, reproduction and survival.

This BSc minor is focussed on a better comprehension of the interplay between host (gut) immunity, infectious organisms, microbiota and nutrition to maintain intestinal homeostasis and prevent chronic inflammatory conditions. In addition, many plant-derived, food components have the ability to correct such detrimental conditions of which the basic mechanisms of action can help to better understand approaches geared at correcting these conditions, which are subjects embedded in a variety of MSc programmes.
This BSc minor is particularly interesting for students who take an interest in the interplay between host immunity, intestinal microbiota and how diet and nutrition can be utilised to balance intestinal homeostasis in humans and animals.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this minor students are expected to be able to:
- explain gut structure, microbiota composition, systemic and mucosal (intestinal) immunity and the interactions between these parameters;
- summarize methods to influence these interactions via targeted diet and nutrition;
- explain the interplay between exposure to infectious organisms, (immune) defense, and development of inflammation and clinical disease;
- select biomarkers reflecting gastrointestinal health which can be used to predict the outcome of dietary interventions of humans and animals.

BSc Minor Coordinator

Prof. dr ir H.F.J. Savelkoul
Phone: 0317-(4)83922/83925

Target Group

This minor is interesting for BBI-A, BBI-B, BBI-D, BML, BBT, BDW and BPW.

Components of the BSc Minor