Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1 is one of the best studied Lactobacilli, notably as its genome was unravelled over 12 years ago. L. plantarum WCFS1 can be grown to high densities, is amenable to genetic transformation and highly robust with a relatively high survival rate during the gastrointestinal passage. In this review, we present and discuss the main insights provided by the functional genomics research on L. plantarum WCFS1 with specific attention for the molecular mechanisms related to its interaction with the human host and its potential to modify the immune system, and induce other health-related benefits. Whereas most insight has been gained in mouse and other model studies, only five human studies have been reported with L. plantarum WCFS1. Hence NCIMB 8826 (the parental strain of L. plantarum WCFS1) in human trials as to capitalize on the wealth of knowledge that is summarized here.