Koji is a culture made up of a certain fungus (mold) called Aspergillus oryzae, which has been used to ferment rice and soybeans in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean kitchens for centuries. Koji can actually have other involved fungi, but Aspergillus oryzae is the most common, and therefore the names can be used interchangeably. Its end purpose is to enhance the flavor of items like soy sauce, sake, and miso.
Potbellies don't have to happen as we age, according to two studies done on twins published online in the International Journal of Obesity.
News: Microbes Are Everywhere—But Those on Your Cell Phone Can Be Dangerous, Especially During Cold & Flu Season
It won't come as a surprise to hear that your cell phone, tablet, and laptop are loaded with bacteria and other organic material. While most of these bacteria are harmless, there are good reasons to reduce the capability of your mobile devices to infect you—or other people.
News: The Vaginal Microbiome Is Linked to Cancer & Disease—& We're Now Learning How to Keep It Healthy
Have you ever wondered what makes a healthy vagina? Bacteria play an important role in vaginal health. If you've ever had your vaginal microbiome—the bacterial community that lives in your vagina—wiped out by taking antibiotics, you probably are well aware of that.
The food TV chefs prepare make our mouths water. From one scrumptious creation to another, they fly through preparation without frustration or error. They make us think we can do the same with similar ease and delectable, picture-perfect results. Some of us have noticed, though, that these TV chefs don't always adhere to the same safe food handling guidelines we've been taught to follow.
News: Undergrad Student Scientist Made Beer Good for You — and Your Gut Microbes — by Adding Probiotics
When Chan Mei Zhi Alcine chose her senior project, she thought outside the box by thinking inside the bottle. Along with a research team at her university, she found a way to combine health and enjoyment, while meeting a challenge not so definitively met before in alcoholic beverages. She and a research team at her university claim they've created the world's first probiotic sour beer.
Autism affects 1 in 68 children in the US, and that means it affects at least 1 in every 68 families. More boys than girls are diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, and it's estimated that almost 60,000 12-year-olds in the US have autism. That is a 37-fold increase from the 1 in 2,500 children diagnosed just 30 years ago.
Not all bacteria in the eyes cause infection. A group of researchers from the National Eye Institue has shown that not only is there a population of bacteria on the eyes that reside there but they perform an important function. They help activate the immune system to get rid of bad, potentially infection-causing — pathogenic — bacteria there.
Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a rare eye infection caused by the Acanthamoeba ameba found in tap water, affects a few dozen people in the US every year. In some cases, it can have devastating effects, like what Irenie Ekkeshis has experienced; She was blinded by AK in her right eye due to a contaminated contact lens.
Regarding foodborne pathogens, eating fish is not as hazardous as it was a few years ago — but if fins are on the menu, it's good to have a heads-up about what's good and what's bad these days.
An innovative new wound dressing has been developed by a research team at Lodz University of Technology in Poland that uses crustacean shells to create a bandage that packs an antimicrobial punch — and even more potential to help solve a global problem.
What's in a sneeze? Quite a lot—dirt, mucus, and infectious germs—it seems. And sneezing the right way can reduce the germs you share with neighbors.
Intense exercise can cause problems with our digestive tract. It even has a name — "Exercise-induced Gastrointestinal Syndrome." Simply put, strenuous exercise can damage the gut and let the bacteria that reside there potentially pass into the bloodstream.
Bacteria gets a bad rap. Most headlines focus on the danger and discomfort posed by pathogens like bacteria, but many of the bacteria that live on and in us are vital to our health. Many products out there, called probiotics, are sold with the implication that they're supporting these healthy bacteria that share our bodies — but do they actually work?
The community of bacteria that lives in our gut has a lot to tell us. It can give clues to what we eat, the environment we live in, and diseases and disorders we may have. Now, scientists have linked these bacterial species to how we feel. A new research study found an association between women's gut bacteria and their emotions.
Breastfeeding is the ultimate in farm-to-table dining. It is sustenance prepared just for the baby and delivered with a very personal touch. Along with bonding, breastfeeding provides powerful protection to infants and young children in the form of beneficial bacteria, hormones, vitamins, protein, sugar, and antibodies manufactured on site to support infant health.
News: More Than 20 Pathogens Found Lurking in Medical Marijuana—Dosing Users with (Potentially) Deadly Fungus
Marijuana is legal to use for medical purposes in 28 states and the District of Columbia, but the quick development of this new industry could have left some regulation issues in the lurch.
When you have an infection, a doctor prescribes antibiotics to make the bacteria that causes it disappear. Sounds like a good idea, but the disappearance of microorganisms that have inhabited humans for millennia could be driving rising numbers of serious illness and debilitating conditions.
With new diet and health claims coming at you everyday, it's sometimes hard to know what to believe. Well, here's a bright spot: A pair of studies confirm that whole grains are healthy for you, and for the diversity of microbes living in your gut.
As researchers learn more and more about our intestinal bacteria—also called the gut microbiome—we're finding out that these microbes aren't just influencing our health and wellness, they're a useful tool for improving it, too.