Ideal for nutritionists, wellness coaches, health food bloggers or anyone interested in enhancing their health and wellbeing, this gut microbiome course explores the function and management of the human gut microbiome. The human gut microbiome consists of trillions of fungi, bacteria and other microbes. This abundant and complex ecosystem requires a delicate balance to function optimally as it impacts nutrition, mood, mental health, behaviour and immunity.
In our Certificate of Gut Microbiome you will study practical approaches and strategies to maintaining a health gut microbe. This course will give you insights into the functions of microbiome and how to recognise the signs of dysbiosis — a disruption to the microbiota homeostasis caused by an imbalance in the microflora, changes in their functional composition and metabolic activities, or a shift in their local distribution. You will also learn how to implement a plan for optimising health through improving the gut microbiome.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a gut microbiome course include:
- Learning what microbiome are and how gut microbiome are established and maintaining the microbiome as adults
- Exploring the gastrointestinal tract, stomach and small and large intestine
- Gaining an understanding of birthing and breastfeeding
- Studying diet and nutrition for improving the microbiome, lifestyle and other factors and the gut microbiome effect
- Examining the contribution to metabolic function and protecting against pathogens
- Understanding how to educate the immune system and gut microbe disruption and dysbiosis
- Attaining knowledge of genetics, metagenomics and metabolomics
- Gaining insights into bioinformatics, microbiome heritability, health hereditary, metabolomics and technologies
- Learning about bacteria metabolism, short chain fatty acids, organic acids and vitamins
- Exploring DNA sequencing technologies, next generation sequencing, the applications of PCR and DNA sequencing and metagenomics
- Gaining an understanding of samples and sampling techniques, biopsy, luminal brushing, laser capture micro-dissection and sampling considerations
- Learning about firmicutes, proteobacteria and bad biota
- Exploring about diet, how to nurture a healthy gut and what happens to microbes with antibiotics
- Gaining an understanding of how to maintain the gut environment
- Studying an anatomy overview, the stomach and the small and large intestine environment
- Examining how to manage the large intestine and the large intestine environment, diarrhoea and digestion
- Understanding microbiome and hormones and microbiome and allergies
- Attaining knowledge of microbe imbalances, gut dysbiosis, stomach conditions and abdominal pain
- Gaining insights into bloating, leaky gut syndrome and then function and process of inflammation
- Learning about biosensors, gut health treatment and nutrition-based interventions
- Exploring lifestyle practices including stress reducing techniques
- Gaining an understanding of faecal microbiota transplants
- Studying diseases and immunity
- Gaining an understanding of homeostatis and gut microbiota and how nutrition can affect it
- Attaining knowledge of the future of psychobioticsand psychobiotics in the diet
- Gaining insights into the applications of gut microbiome management
- Learning how to cultivate and grow the gut microbiome and the right conditions for microbes to thrive
- Exploring pre-schoolers, young children and the microbiome
- Gaining an understanding of teenagers, young adults and the microbiome
- Understanding adults and the microbiome
- Studying behaviour and temperament and improving cognition and learning
- Examining mucosal immunity, stress, arthritis and pain management and grief and emotional disturbances
- Understanding how to increase psychobiotics in the diet and enhancing microbiota in ways other than through eating
- Attaining knowledge of more strategies to address SIBO and responding to subsequent small intestinal fungal overgrowth (SIFO) or eradication of H.Pylori
- Gaining insights into biofilm disruption and preventing sporulatio
Australia’s first Microbiome Research Centre
The UNSW Microbiome Research Centre (MRC) is Australia’s first research centre solely dedicated to studying the microbiota in health and disease. Located in the major health care campus of the St George and Sutherland Hospitals in Southern Sydney, it was founded in 2017 by Prof Emad El- Omar, Professor of Medicine at UNSW Sydney.
In 2017, it was awarded a $4M grant from the Australian Federal Government and in 2018, an additional $1.5M by the NSW Government and $1M from the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District to support the setting up of the MRC.
Why is microbiome research important?
Humans are host to an enormous invisible ecosystem of microbes that influence almost every system in the body. The most common microbes that live in or on our bodies are bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi and protozoa. This intriguing community of microbes are collectively known as our microbiota.
Our microbiota contributes to over fifty percent of our cellular makeup and can influence a wide range of physiological functions including our appetite, mood and immune responses. The collective genetic material of the microbiota, our microbiome, is remarkably dynamic.
However, we know very little about how our microbiome swings the pendulum between disease and health. What we do know, and what you’ll study in a gut microbiome course, is that there is an inextricable link between the balance and diversity of our microbiome and our susceptibility to disease.
The abundance of our thriving, beneficial microbes keeps the pathogenic microbes in check and maintains a harmonious balance. However, when pathogenic microbes dominate, this balance is disturbed and we enter a state of dysbiosis.
Dysbiosis is associated with several diseases including cancer, obesity, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Our diet, lifestyle choices, medications and the environment we live in can influence the composition of the microbiome.
MRC research is realising the potential of the human microbiome. By understanding how over one million genes contributed by the human microbiome, together with our 25,000 inherited genes nurture our state of health, we can better improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of several diseases.
The MRC is studying several diseases that fall under the following themes — cancer, immunity and inflammation, infection, critical care, women and children’s health, and mental health and neuroscience. It is particularly interested in skin cancer, liver cancer and gastrointestinal cancers including gastric, oesophageal and colorectal cancer. It is also studying the role of microbiome in inflammatory bowel disease, fatty liver disease, urogynecological diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, thrombosis, pregnancy and pregnancy-related diseases, Helicobacter pylori infection and its associated diseases, and schizophrenia and various autoimmune diseases.
Microbiome test kits
Many experts believe gut flora plays a significant role in preventing disease and may even influence your mental health. If you are studying a gut microbiome course, you may be familiar with books such as Giulia Enders’ Gut and Michael Mosley’s Clever Guts, as well as direct-to-consumer (DTC) gut microbiome tests.
As scientists continue to unravel the secrets of the human gut, many are fascinated by the possibilities these discoveries may offer. And understanding our own unique gut microbiome and how we can optimise it to potentially prevent disease, improve health and enhance our quality of life is certainly a compelling prospect. But what do the experts say?
Dr Sam Forster, group leader at the Microbiota and Systems Biology Laboratory, Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, looked at the results of two of the most popular gut microbiome tests.
He was impressed at how they were interpreted and presented, however, comments, “I think there’s a danger of people over-interpreting their results and making major diet and lifestyle changes based on an association with a particular bacteria that may be detrimental for some people but beneficial for others. It should be seen as a component of a wider evaluation of your health”.
While scientific knowledge of the gut microbiome has come a long way in a short space of time, Forster says it’s important to be mindful that we still have a great deal to learn.
“I do see the weaknesses at the moment, and it’s our lack of knowledge. We aren’t yet able to say that for you, at this time of your life, with your genetics, with your lifestyle, that this bacteria is absolutely going to be positive or negative,” he says.
Forster adds that, while interesting, no action should be taken on the results of these tests without the advice and supervision of a medical specialist or dietitian who is able to interpret the results.
“I don’t think it will ever be a scenario where you’d be interpreting the results on your own. I mean, it’s equivalent to someone getting a detailed blood chemistry result and trying to interpret it,” he says.
Nicole Dynan, an accredited practising dietitian, a spokesperson for Dietitians Australia and a Microba-certified dietitian has also commented that although they are a great resource for curious people, they are not yet ready to be used as a diagnostic tool.
As she says, “The reason to take that test is really from the point of view of being interested in the information it provides. These tests aren’t necessarily diagnostic at this stage but they certainly can give you some insight. It’s definitely worth speaking with somebody that’s had some training in these test interpretations, to make sure you’re reading it correctly. You should be aware of the limitations of these results and if you have any concerns you should definitely talk to your health professional about it”.
Kylie Matthews & Rachel Clemons, 2020, Gut health check-up: should you use a microbiome test kit? Choice
Enhance your career prospects and your own health and wellbeing with a gut microbiome course such as our Certificate of Gut Microbiome.