Writing Exercise #5

What choices do you make in terms of food/nutrition/product use and consumption that may have an impact on your microbial communities?

First of all, I don’t believe human adults should be consuming animal milk. Milk is made by a mother for a baby. It is meant for babies. Why do we drink milk made for a different species babies. We wean our own babies off of our own milk, but then we drink animals milks. It doesn’t make any sense.

I fully made the switch to plant based milk products a long time ago – I think this was the first step in being more aware of what I eat and how it affects me. I also enjoy fake meat products. I use yogurt for the “probiotics”

Consider choices that are intentional, and choices that are perhaps non-intentional.

Intentional choices are those like changing to a different type of milk

Non intentional are our own food preferences. Some people have a “sweet tooth” or people who like “savory” – this to me is a non-intentional choice and affects people differently. Fat people make other fat people because of two reasons, genetics and their lifestyle. If you’re fat, your kids will probably be fat because their fat is deposited in the same areas on your body as theirs will be. (Personal example: I got my dad’s chin, which is a double chin, a super baby faced man with a soft jaw.) I see people who are huge and fat and yet they don’t have a double chin. It’s just a matter of where our body feels comfortable putting that excess.

Writing Exercise #4

(1) Correa and Piazuelo in their study of gastric cancer entitled “Helicobacter pylori infection and Gastric adenocarcinoma” (2011) assert that there is much complexity in determining causality of gastric cancer and that prevention is most likely to reduce new cases. (2) Correa and Piazuelo provide examples of environmental factors contributing to an increase in gastric cancer cases including ethnicity, diet, and smoking habits. (3) The purpose of this exploration is to describe the complexity of treating causality and symptoms of chronic gastritis that sometimes lead to gastric cancer so we may learn more about how to prevent gastric cancer. (4) Correa and Piazuelo are both medically trained physicians who are both professors in medicine, engage in research and Piazuelo is part of the division of gastroenterology at Vanderbilt University.

Correa, P., & Piazuelo, M. B. (2011). Helicobacter pylori Infection and Gastric Adenocarcinoma. US gastroenterology & hepatology review7(1), 59–64.

Writing Exercise #3

Brainstorm a list of behaviors that an individual could engage in that could cause changes to a gut microbial community. For each behavior you list, discuss how that behavior could change the microbial community, and what potential health impacts (beneficial, detrimental, neutral) that change could be for the individual’s health.

Eating yogurt or probiotics – Beneficial, will improve gut flora and help with regular elimination.

Not drinking water – Detrimental, will cause bloating and inability to remove waste from the body as waste will store in kidneys, unable to leave.

Eat a lot of sugar – Detrimental, will create a highly acidic internal environment pushing the scales too far in one direction and encouraging more growth of certain bacterial microorganisms that really should be kept in balance with those that grow in a more alkaline environment.

Being on antibiotics – Neutral, depending on what’s happening in your body. If you need antibiotics to treat an infection, then antibiotics are necessary and you should treat that situation and then afterwards ingest probiotics to return your gut flora to normal. Use this strategy sparingly.

Binge drinking – Detrimental, too much alcohol causes the stomach to make too much gastritis which can lead to indigestion and heartburn. In the gut, it can cause too much of certain bacteria to grow and not enough of others to have a healthy balance.

Sedentary lifestyle – Detrimental, exercise helps to boost movement in the body which includes elimination. Sitting around in the same position makes it hard to stay active in it’s own procedures. Exercise can help reduce gut inflammation.

Smoke cigarettes – Detrimental, smoking contributes to heartburn and GERD. It creates an environment in the body that is imbalanced. The effects cause the body to be too acidic and an imbalance in bacteria produced because of it.

Writing Exercise #2

Women have likely heard about HPV. The basics covered were that it was a series of injections and women have no symptoms, at least the noticeable symptoms of mouth sores in herpes. HPV is a disease transmitted through “close contact” and strains 16, 18, 31, and 45 are recognized as “high risk” HPVs because their infection causes roughly 80% of cervical cancer. Because these strains carry a higher risk, this is where our research should hone focus. A new treatment that will prevent the exacerbation of HPV into cervical cancer would largely be recognized as a medical miracle, especially as sexually transmitted diseases are still prevalent in society.

Strains 33, 35, 39, 51, 52, 56, 58, and 59 are also known to contribute to cancer or at least associated with cervical cancer but not at all close to the “high risk” of the others mentioned.

An interesting fact to note is that HPV was not recognized to be cancer-causing all the way up until 2008.

Currently there is vaccine available for strains 16 and 18, so to focus new research, I would suggest funds be directed towards developing vaccine for the remaining high risk strains of HPV – 31 and 35.

Writing Exercise #1

Non-infectious diseases caused by microorganisms

Non-infectious: A disease that is not likely to be transmitted person-to-person.

Microorganism: A microscopic organism, fungi, bacteria, or virus.

There are many common non-infectious diseases which immediately come to mind but whether or not they are caused by a microorganism is less clear. Initially, I thought of the big ones we talk about in healthcare all the time; COPD, CHF, and cancer.

Microorganism may cause COPD if it is a secondary infection that leads to weakness or susceptibility to other infection. CHF is the same way, it cannot be transmitted, it is not infectious. Cancer is an opportunistic infection and often happens after another infection has weakened our immune system, so in that sense, it would be caused by a microorganism.

A whole host of autoimmune diseases are both caused by microorganisms and not infectious. Genetic defects are also caused by microorganisms and not infectious. It helps that I just finished the course Human Virology because we studied so many viruses that caused genetic defects – Multiple Sclerosis, Myocarditis, Diabetes, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Myasthenia Gravis, and Guillan-Barre Syndrome. These are all caused by an infectious disease and are noninfectious, themselves.

An important detail to remember is the opportunistic infections, both bacterial, viral, or fungal infections or sepsis can cause other diseases.