Writing Exercise #4- Behaviors that could influence gut microbiota

One potential behavior that may influence the gut microbes in an individual is over eating to the point of developing obesity. Obesity has shown to be linked to different gut microbes than that of a normal, healthy human. This change in microbial population has shown to be detrimental to an individuals health because there has also been a linkage between the gut microbiota, insulin resistance, and chronic inflammation [1].

Another potential behavior that could influence the gut microbial population is the living environment. One research study showed that co-housing could potentially alter the microbial environment. The study found that OB mice microbial population was invaded by their Ln cage mates microbial population, more specifically by the bacteroidetes. I feel that more research needs to be done to determine the health impacts but for now I feel that this effect is fairly neutral [2].

Some other potential behaviors that could alter gut microbiota are smoking, drinking, and the amount of exercise an individual participates in. As for the smoking and drinking, I would assume that the effects would be detrimental to the gut microbiota, since smoking and drinking are heavily linked to disease. As for increased levels of exercise, this could have a positive on the gut microbial population but more research would need to be done.


  1. Boulange C, Nevas A, Chilloux J, Nicholson J, Dumas M. (2016). Impact of the gut microbiota on inflammation, obesity, and metabolic disease. Retrieved from: Micro Comm Gut Obesity_Poulange et al 2016. Pdf.
  2. Ridaura, V. K., J. J. Faith, F. E. Rey, J. Cheng, A. E. Duncan, A. L. Kau, N. W. Griffin, V. Lombard, B. Henrissat, J. R. Bain, M. J. Muehlbauer, O. Ilkayeva, C. F. Semenkovich, K. Funai, D. K. Hayashi, B. J. Lyle, M. C. Martini, L. K. Ursell, J. C. Clemente, W. Van, W. A. Walters, R. Knight, C. B. Newgard, A. C. Heath, and J. I. Gordon. “Gut Microbiota from Twins Discordant for Obesity Modulate Metabolism in Mice.” Science (New York, N.Y.). September 06, 2013. Accessed April 29, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24009397.
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