Showing posts with label Bacteria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bacteria. Show all posts

Jul 25, 2014

Bad Breath Eliminators

If you do not have any Listerine handy, here are a few other options. Sugar may cure hiccups, but it also can cause plaque, which is one cause of bad breath. Bad breath usually results from poor oral hygiene and gastrointestinal health. Breath odors originate inside the mouth and also from the digestive tract. The cause in both is mostly bacteria.

Coriander, spearmint, tarragon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and cardamom are all good for fighting bad breath, either by chewing, or steeping in hot water, as a tea.

Research also shows that live microorganisms in sugar free yogurt may reduce levels of bad breath germs. A serving of yogurt each day reduces the level of odor-causing hydrogen sulfide in the mouth. It also reduces bacteria in the mouth as well as reduces plaque and gum disease.

Apples, carrots, celery, and any fiber-rich fruits or vegetables also help fight halitosis. Plaque build-up causes odors and eating foods that increase saliva production keep the mouth moist and rinsed. Eating berries, citrus fruits, melons and other vitamin C foods create an inhospitable environment for bacteria growth and prevent gum disease and gingivitis.

Apr 4, 2014

Virus vs. Bacteria

Viruses and bacteria are very different and they can both be either beneficial or harmful. A virus is both living and non-living, and is incapable of reproducing on its own, while bacteria are complete, living organisms that can self-replicate. Bacteria are usually much larger, come in a wider variety of shapes, and serve in more beneficial roles than a virus.

Infections and illnesses can be viral or bacterial. We often hear the terms, and we might even have a vague idea of what they mean, but a complete understanding of the difference between the two can help you treat the illnesses they cause.

Viruses are tiny, microscopic things that exist in two different states. When they are floating in the air or lying on a table waiting for someone to come by and inhale them, they are non-living and inert. Once they are absorbed into a living host, they activate. A virus cannot replicate on its own, and requires a host cell to attach itself to in order to multiply. Some microbiologists classify viruses as microorganisms, while others don't because they are "nonliving" and describe viruses as microscopic infective agents.

After contacting a host cell, a virus will insert genetic material into the host and take over that host's functions. The infected cell continues to reproduce, but it reproduces more viral protein and genetic material instead of its usual products. It is this process that earns viruses the classification of "parasite".

However, a virus can also be useful, because a virus will naturally attach itself to a healthy living cell, a virus can be used as a delivery system when genetic material needs to be transferred to a human body. Injecting a virus with genetic material then releasing it into the body can result in the delivery and replication of cells. This type of gene therapy is still experimental, but showing progress. Some types of viruses can also target and destroy some types of bacteria, like E. coli.

Bacteria are tiny, living organisms that are not classified as either plant or animal. As such, they don’t rely on hosts in order to reproduce, and can exist, grow, and multiply outside of a living body. Few know that many bacteria not only coexist with us all the time, but help us do an array of useful things, like make vitamins, break down garbage, and maintain our atmosphere.

Bacteria consist of a single cell and have been found living in temperatures above the boiling point and in freezing cold. They consume everything from sugar and starch to sunlight, sulfur, and iron. There is a species of bacteria that can withstand blasts of radiation 1,000 times greater than would kill a human being. A gram of soil typically contains about 40 million bacterial cells. A milliliter of fresh water usually holds about one million bacterial cells.

A single bacterium contains more than a virus and can reproduce on its own. That means a cell wall, genetic material, and an appendage to propel itself. It’s different from plant and animal cells, however, as there’s no nucleus to contain the genetic material.

When magnified, a virus appears round. Bacteria can be a number of different shapes, including the ball-shaped, rod-shaped, and spiral. Within each general group of shape types, there is a wide variety that separates bacteria even further.

Because of their simplicity, a virus can be 10,000 times smaller than a bacterium. Examples of both can be found just about anywhere on Earth, in any environment.

Determining whether an illness is caused by bacteria or a virus determines how it is treated. Bacteria are vulnerable to antibiotics, while anti-viral agents are required to kill a virus, and vaccinations can help prevent them from infecting a body.

Dec 7, 2013

Toilet Tips

After analyzing 51 public restrooms, experts found that the stall closest to the restroom door consistently had the lowest bacteria levels (and the most toilet paper). The first stall probably sees less traffic because it's near the door and people want privacy. When you are finished, stand before you flush. When toilets are flushed, a fine mist of water containing contagious bacteria sprays up. You can catch intestinal bugs and hepatitis from it.

Relieve yourself and relieve some stress at the same time. Before you go to bed, put some small strips of flushable paper and a pencil in the bathroom. In the following morning, take a seat and write down the names of all the people or situations in your life causing you angst. When finished with your business, throw the paper in the bowl and flush. You will be amazed at how great this makes you feel.

Mar 22, 2013

Another Food Myth Debunked

Never Use Wooden Cutting Boards with Meat. This comes from the thought that using a wooden cutting board will result in tiny scratches and cuts from your knife, and if you use that cutting board with meat, especially raw meat, that all those meat juices will settle into the tiny cuts in the board and cause germs. The solution proposed is to use plastic cutting boards, which can be dishwashed and sanitized, and therefore must be safer.

There is much research that disputes this myth. One of the most famous studies was conducted by Dean O. Cliver, Ph.D of the UC-Davis Food Safety Laboratory. His research points out that there is no significant antibacterial benefit from using a plastic cutting board over a wood one. He notes that even if you apply bacteria to a wooden cutting board, its natural properties cause the bacteria to pass through the top layer of the wood and settle inside, where they are very difficult to bring out unless you split the board open.

Although the bacteria that disappeared from the wood surfaces are found alive inside the wood for some time, they do not multiply and gradually die. They can be detected only by splitting or gouging the wood or by forcing water completely through from one surface to the other. If a sharp knife is used to cut into the work surfaces after used plastic or wood has been contaminated with bacteria and cleaned manually, more bacteria are recovered from a used plastic surface than from a used wood surface.

Dr. Cliver's study tested 10 different hardwoods and 4 different plastic polymers. It found, if you want a plastic cutting board, anti-bacterial property is no reason to buy one. If you want a wooden cutting board, bacterial infection should not scare you away.

Bottom line: It is more important that you properly clean and disinfect whatever board you buy, regardless of what it is made of. Cutting boards touted as being coated or made with anti-microbial chemicals or materials are mostly not.

Mar 16, 2013

Novel Uses for Sugar

Healers in Africa have been putting crushed sugar cane on wounds for generations. Moses Murandu is a nurse who grew up watching his father use the remedy in Africa and was surprised to find that doctors in England didn't use it. He started a study to research the idea and tested it on patients with bed sores, leg ulcers, and amputations before dressing the wounds. They found that sugar can reduce pain and kill bacteria that slow healing. Sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it naturally absorbs water, which bacteria needs to survive. Sugar is also much cheaper than modern antibiotics. The next time you cut yourself, give it a sprinkle of sugar before putting on a band-aid.

Oct 9, 2012

Flu Season

It is that time of year again when the flu bugs invade and many people get the flu or a cold. Most viruses last a week or less, while others last for weeks. There is no cure, due to the many varieties of viruses.

The name “common cold” came into use in the 1500s, because its symptoms seemed to appear in cold weather. Of course, we now know that a common cold is not limited to cold weather. It seems more prevalent, because people spend more time indoors in close proximity to each other and sharing the virus.

Good news, kissing reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, thereby lowering blood pressure and optimizing immune response. Also, kissing a person with a cold will not cause you to catch it. The quantity of virus on the lips and mouth are miniscule.

Zinc, echinacea, vitamin C, garlic, eucalyptus, honey, lemon, menthol, steam, hot toddies, alcohol, Zicam, chicken soup, and many other “cures” have been repeatedly tested and have been scientifically proven to not prevent or shorten the duration of a cold. At best they provide some physical relief.

Flu shots are designed to prevent the most common types of virus. Most are effective for only those types.

Antibiotics do not cure a cold as they work on bacteria and most colds are caused by virus. However, if it is bacterial, such as half of pneumonia strains, it does help. Bacterial pneumonia usually comes on suddenly and viral types take some time to develop.

Sep 6, 2012

Sugar Cure

Healers in Africa have been putting crushed sugar cane on wounds for generations. A study was conducted testing sugar on patients with bed sores, leg ulcers and amputations before dressing the wounds.

Results showed sugar can reduce pain and kill bacteria that slow healing. Sugar is hygroscopic, meaning it naturally absorbs water which the bacteria need to survive. Sugar is also much cheaper than many antibiotics. Try giving that cut a sprinkle of sugar before putting on a band-aid.

Aug 28, 2012

Yogurt Breath

Research shows that the live bacteria in yogurt can suppress levels of bad breath causing bacteria. "Good" bugs in yogurt may crowd out the "bad" stink-causing bacteria or create an unhealthy environment for it.

Oct 7, 2010

Reusable Grocery Bag Bacteria

They may be good for the environment, but reusable grocery bags are also a breeding ground for bacteria. Many responsible shoppers choose their groceries and put them into the same bags during each trip to the store. Bits of food and debris drop to the bottom and form a perfect haven for bacteria. New food becomes contaminated and provides new droppings for the germs already in the bag.

If you plan to use reusable bags, the best idea is to find some that are washable and wash them in hot water to kill those little buggers living in the bottom.