Hello again everybody! As many of you already know, it’s the dreaded FINALS WEEK here at UCSD (if you’re a student here and didn’t know this, well… SURPRISE!). This will be our final post for The Plastics, or at the very least, our final graded blog post.
With the exception of our final papers, the quarter has just about wrapped up after we’ve been presented by a whirlwind of information. Luckily, we have our handy-dandy mind maps to guide us through each lecture (we all have definitely kept up with updating it). Out of all the information presented, one of the main ideas I pulled from each presentation is:
You (and your offspring) are what you eat
Our gut microbiome can essentially define who we are via the gut-brain axis. We first encounter gut microbiota through our mothers’ birth canal during vaginal birth. After this, simple activities such as eating a variety of foods or taking antibiotics can significantly alter our microbiome. Antibiotics act almost as a nuclear bomb when it comes to your gut flora. Sure, it may wipe out nasty pathogens, but it also clears out our buddies, the healthy microbiota, essentially knocking your entire gut microbiome out of balance. There are a variety of different disorders, both physical and psychological alike, that are just now being related back to a imbalanced gut microbiota. A poor mix of microbiota can be related back to obesity, anorexia nervosa, irritable bowel disease, allergies, and even asthma. Studies have shown that even a simple microbe transplant, either fecal or other domains, can significantly reverse and in some cases, cure, the negative symptomatology associated with a particular disorder. By simply changing our diets to include a more diverse array of microbiota, we can change who we are as a person*!
*to some extent
As we’ve learned, we not only have to regulate what foods we consume for our own health, but also for our offspring. A maternal high fat diet can induce a number of different risk factors in their offspring. A high fat diet can lead to/increase the risks of: Type II diabetes, insulin resistance, hyperinsulemia, inflammation, obesity, and hypertension within offspring just to name a few.
Insulin. If there’s anything I’ve learned at all from this is class, it’s that
INSULIN DOES EVERYTHING. IT HAS ITS HAND IN ALMOST ANYTHING YOU CAN THINK OF.
From day 1 we’ve learned the basics of insulin; from a simple viewpoint, diet can affect your insulin and glucose levels. Long-term high fat diets can lead to insulin resistance within an individual, in turn causing a number of malfunctions. Insulin resistance can lead to obvious dysfunctions, such as diabetes, and even to some not-so-obvious ones, such as neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, and schizophrenia (seriously, take a second and think about how crazy this is. It wasn’t too long ago that people thought insulin had no role in the central nervous system or could even pass the blood-brain barrier).
For the sake of my own studying time for upcoming finals, I feel like this is a good point to end this blog post. This was just a short and very superficial summary of everything we’ve learned in class, or at least, the main ideas.
Okay, now time to get a little cheesy. The Plastics would like to thank Dr. Mary Boyle, two of the best TAs, Billy & Bree, the always adorable Polly, and especially the rest of the class for such a great quarter; thanks for all the laughs and all of the wonderful presentations! To my graduating peers, good luck out there in the real world, I’m sure you all will do great things in this life. Alright, cheesiness aside, thank you all again for a great quarter; now back to my normal sarcastic self. Peace out (for now) fellow nerds.