BHS 323 Writing Assignment #8

Prompt: Free write. This writing exercise is designed to help you begin to think about a topic you are interested in pursuing for your final essay project in the course. 

5 minute free write #1

I am interested in the role that diet plays in our gut microbiome. Nutrition is very interesting to me and especially the long term effects of a particular diet on all aspects of the body (endocrine, neurological, etc.). The ways in which the gut microbiome is affected by what we eat or ingest that can hurt or harm the microbes. I would like to know more about leaky gut syndrome and the other systemic effects caused by disruption to the gut microbiome. I am also interested in the role that pesticides (antibiotics) have played in our microbiome, if there has been a change nationally in our microbiome with the addition of more processed foods, RoundUp, etc coming into our diets. How we can eat specific foods to target good gut bacteria proliferation and reduce foods that are harmful. I know some things about leaky gut and believe it is somewhat related to the microbiome and partially related to breakdown or inflammation in the gut lining that increases systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation as a result from dysbiosis in the gut is also something I would like to learn more about. I know there is a big correlation with neurological diseases like parkinson’s and alzheimer’s, which would be interesting to take a look at.

5 minute free write #2

I know that “Leaky gut syndrome” is caused by inflammation in the gut that causes microbes to “leak” into systemic tissues, which usually triggers inflammation and an immune response. It would be interesting to learn more about what can be done to counteract this and if there is any correlation to autoimmune diseases. Working in dermatology, I have exposure to patients with skin components of some autoimmune diseases and I know that diet can play a large role in that. It would be interesting to see if there was a microbial component to autoimmune diseases characterized by inflammation that was maybe caused by leaky gut. Is leaky gut something that can be reversed? I know there are a number of “bad” microbes that feed on simple sugars and processed foods, so eliminating inflammatory carbohydrates can be beneficial for many people. It would be interesting to look at a diet protocol for patients with lots of inflammation or immune conditions. Is systemic inflammation typically caused by the foods we eat? There is a lot of hype about “inflammation” right now and all of the “trendy” things we can do to decrease inflammation. I would like to know which microbes specifically are targeted by sugary foods and maybe lead to increased inflammation or leaky gut syndrome.


I think that writing my final paper on a particular anti-inflammatory diet protocol would be very interesting. If I could find research that talks about foods to increase “good” gut microbial communities or foods to eliminate that are more inflammatory or lead to proliferation of bacteria that contribute to inflammation in the gut or even systemically, that would be very interesting. I am drawn to nutrition, its role in our lives, and finding ways to improve our diet to increase longevity and health. I will look at information that is out there and look into more of what leaky gut syndrome is caused by (if it is a symptom of microbial dysbiosis) and see what I can find!

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