BHS 323 Writing Assignment #1

Prompt: List as many human non-infectious diseases that you can think of that are influenced by microorganisms.  

I just finished reading “The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age” by Dr. Stephen Gundry and it sparked a huge interest in the gut microbiome as a whole. It was amazing to me to see how microorganisms in our bodies are responsible for nearly every single non-infectious disease humans can be affected by. From metabolic disorders (diabetes), heart disease, cancers, digestive diseases (such as IBS or Crohn’s) and other autoimmune diseases (MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Lupus) to neurologic conditions (Alzheimer’s) and chronic inflammation, the list goes on and on.

Both from the book, and the intro lecture on the history of microorganisms and human health, it was interesting for me to learn about just how all of these diseases are linked to our microbiome and how much things have changed in the last 120 years. Dr. Gundry mentioned the changes that have occurred in the last 100 years that have contributed to a decline in microbiome health including increased antibiotic resistance and chronic inflammation in our bodies causing “leaky gut” syndrome. It will be interesting to me to see if/how these subjects will be discussed in this class and I look forward to hearing about the other connections between the microorganisms in our bodies and chronic, non-infectious health conditions.

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