Writing Exercise #9

Prompt: List and describe as many changes in human behaviors as you can think of that contribute to decreased exposure to microbes.

Your body is chock full of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, archaea and viruses. Altogether,  they help regulate the body by playing an important role in digestion, as well as producing chemicals that shape your metabolic rates. There are certain behaviors that can limit the exposure of microbes in your body, therefore decreasing your microbiome.

Such behaviors that can limit microbe exposure:

Diet: The Western Diet or also known as the Standard American Diet (SAD) is a modern-day style diet that mostly contains high amounts of processed foods, red meat, high-fat dairy products, high-sugar foods, and pre-packaged foods, that increase the risk of chronic illness. Having a diet like this can:

  • Decrease overall total bacteria and beneficial Bifidobacterium and Eubacterium species.
  • Mucus degradation
  • Reduced short chain fatty acids

Mental Stress and Anxiety: Stress and anxiety can effect gut motility intestinal permeability, and GI secretion which overall negatively alter the composition of the gut microbiota.

Antibiotics/Medication: Antibiotic resistance could occur which bad bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. This could allow the bad bacteria to further colonize and cause more harm to the host.

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