Writing Exercise #7

Potential factors that the mother or the infant could be exposed to that could influence the colonization of the microbial community in the newborn infant:

Delivery and feeding technique: Infants who are born through the vaginal canal compared to being born through a cesarean section, encounter a variety of bacteria that lies within the canal. A technique that has been done during delivery to expose infants who are born through a cesarean section to bacteria is by collecting the bacteria within the vaginal canal of the mother and spread it onto the newborn child. In addition to this, newborns also experience bacteria through formula feeding or breastfeeding. The type of bacteria’s the infant is exposed to varies between feeding techniques which the colonize of the infant.

Bacteria present in amniotic fluid: Infants who are not yet born encounter bacteria that exists within the amniotic fluid. However, there is no substantial evidence that a microbiome is formed within the placenta.

Smoking: Women who partake in smoking expose their child to serious health risks such as being born prematurely, effects to facial features, issues in development such as the adult microbiota.

Exposure to Antibiotics: Due to the fact that antibiotics are non-specific, meaning they function to destroy all forms of bacteria, they can cause harm to the development of microbiomes. Therefore, when a mother or an infant is exposed to antibiotics, it can cause dysbiosis.


Writing Exercise #6

When being prescribed antibiotics in the past, I honestly did not think much about what I was taking and how it would affect my body. Normally I would be prescribed antibiotics by a doctor or physician assistant in urgent after going in with flu like symptoms. My primary physician has prescribed me antibiotics many times before when I had an appointment regarding flu like symptoms as well. In both cases of doctor visits, I never have thought to talk about why this treatment is being prescribed to me and what the percussions may be. Since becoming more educated about the gut microbiome, I think I would have asked for other ways in which I could treatment my illness. I do have an autoimmune disease, so antibiotics can help with flair ups or enhanced symptoms but I would choose alternating taking antibiotics and another alternative the next time I got sick. I do think that antibiotics are beneficial, but it is always important to let your body try and fight infection on its own or use another treatment method to deter infection.


Writing Exercise #5

I have always been told how important nutrition was to my health when growing up, but I never paid too much attention to it. I grew up in a poor community that did not provide great options in terms of nutritional education, or the healthiest options were not within reach, financially. In addition to my nutritional tendencies, I was never really involved in physical activities. After I graduated high school and started my freshman year in college, I had free access to the school gym that was within walking distance of my dorm room. I also have had the opportunity to learn more about the importance of nutrition through my courses I have taken in college. By becoming more active and educated since entering college, I have had more control and understanding of my health. I have religiously stayed clear of any processed food and have implemented more food that contains probiotics to benefit my gut microbiota, and I workout four days out of the week for physical activity. Both my diet and activity are beneficial to my gut microbiome because the diet provides “good bacteria”, probiotics, and exercise promotes the development of short-chain fatty acids that aid in lowering the risk of inflammatory diseases and other diseases such as diabetes ( A detrimental health habit that I often partake in is eating late at night and then going straight to bed. Eating late and going to bed is hard on your digestive system because the body has a harder time breaking down food when you’re asleep, compared to when you are exercising and burning calories.


Writing Exercise #4

From the article, “The Evolution of Helicobacter pylori Antibiotics Resistance Over 10 years in Beijing, China” (2010), researchers Wen Gao and Hong Cheng’s study shows that antibiotic resistance towards the bacterium H. pylori is climbing. Over a 10 year period samples that were cultured were collected from participants who had been either treated or not treated. Findings from these samples showed that the more antibiotics that an individual received, the greater chance H. pylori strains were antibiotic resistance. The research article investigates the characteristics of varying H. pylori strains, along with other techniques or methods used to treat this harmful bacterium. To further this research, Gao and Cheng plan to expand on their knowledge on this bacteria and its effects, by connecting with other gastroenterologists, microbiologists, and physicians who are working on new research regarding H. pylori.


Writing Exercise #3

Behaviors that have the ability to cause changes to the gut microbial community:


The gut microbiota within those who are young compared to those who are older is much different according to the article “Role of the gut microbiota in health and chronic gastrointestinal disease: understanding a hidden metabolic organ.” However, the microbiome within children is established around the age of two and is comparable to those of adults.


From the primary research article, “An altered Gut Microbiome Profile in a child Affected by Crohn’s Disease Normalized After Nutritional Therapy,” the finding showed that a diet with increased amounts of protein, anti-inflammatory fats, and antioxidants is linked to a decrease in symptoms of Crohn’s Disease. Food that is put into our body either has the ability to be negative or beneficial to our gut’s microbial community.


Probiotics are known to promote the healthy bacteria within our gut’s community. Although ingesting beneficial bacteria may not give your body enough bacteria to have your gut in equilibrium, it does have the ability to promote the growth and establishment of helpful bacteria. Positive outcomes of this may reduce gut inflammation or issues that may arise intestinally.


To put it simply, antibiotics do not target one specific bacteria or virus. They are used to eliminate any sort of microbe that may be present in within the body or in this case, the gut microbial community. Overall, they aim to lover a wide range of microbes and do not target one specific microbe.


Smoking is known to cause an unbalanced microbiome by increasing the levels of unhealthy bacteria in the gut and decreasing any bacteria that is good for the gut’s microbiome.


Living in different environments can subject you to more or less microbiota in terms of both quantity and variety. It may surprise some individuals, but living in a less microbe-rich environment may be negative to their gut health. For example, from the article “Linking the Gut Microbial Ecosystem with the Environment: Does Gut Health Depend on Where We Live?” it mentions that due to the “western lifestyle” that includes sanitization, antibiotics, formula feeding, and more, there is a decline microbiota within the gut. With that being said, there has been an increase in diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease.