Writing Exercise #2

1) In the primary research paper “Symbiotic gut microbes modulate human metabolic phenotypes” (2007) Li et al determine the extent of the relation between individual gut microbiota and specific metabolic pathways which occur in the host. 2) Li et al showed that significant variations in gut microbiomic structural patterns are seen even in between family members, and gut microbiomes strongly influence host metabolic phenotypes. 3) The purpose of this study was to improve knowledge of human biology in order to allow for the creation of upgraded theories in disease prevention and treatments based upon an individual’s dysbiosis. 4) This study aims to give those working in or studying dietary and nutritional healthcare a better target for treatment based on gut microorganisms and their metabolic activity.

Writing Exercise #1

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

It’s hard for me to think of diseases that are non-infectious, but are directly influenced by microorganisms. An infectious disease is an illness caused by pathogenic microorganisms, so the connection of infections and microbes is pretty hard to get past. However,  I can think of two cases where a non-communicable disease can be either caused secondarily to the presence of microorganisms, or worsened by the presence of microorganisms.  In this manner, these diseases are not directly caused by the microbe, and thus are classified as “non-infectious”, but are in fact still influenced by the presence of microbes.

A list of non-infectious diseases caused secondarily to the presence of microorganisms that I can think of:

1. Gastric Cancer – Can be caused by H. pylori.
2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Inflammatory Bowl Disease – A general term for disorders of the bowel, which can be caused by shifts/changes in one’s microbiome, leading to overgrowth of specific microbes.
3. Gastritis – the presence of specific microbes can lead to more acidic stomach contents, which can lead to inflammation of the stomach lining.
4. Dementia – I’m certain that many different organisms can cause various forms of encephalopathy, or over time can lead to degenerative brain function.

A list of non-infectious diseases that can be worsened by the presence of microorganisms that I can think of:

1. Asthma – Any infection of the lungs, sinuses, or airway can exacerbate symptoms of asthma, but the disease its self is not directly caused by an infection.
2. Diabetes Mellitus – While I don’t know for certain if this is the case, I can hypothesize that certain microbes in the digestive tract can influence Diabetes by metabolizing (or not metabolizing) glucose.


I am certain there are more, however, I’m struggling to think of diseases that aren’t infectious in nature. I may have misunderstood the goal of this exercise, but I tried my best to answer it as accurately as I can!