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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We can add one more health effect of our gut bacteria to the growing list. Researchers from the UK have just reported that the gut microbiota plays a role, both directly and indirectly, on the toxicity and efficacy of chemotherapy. Their findings are published online in the journal Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
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.
Even when no one is in your kitchen, it is crowded. The refrigerator, sink, and counters are all covered with microbes that are just hanging around. They are inadvertent remnants from the raw chicken you used in that recipe last night, brewing a bacterial cocktail in your Nespresso machine, or just growing their merry little colonies on your leftovers.
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?
Move over whole wheat — white bread may be back in style after a new study shows that it may be your gut microbes that decide what kind of bread is best for you.
Most people know atopic dermatitis by its common name, eczema—that dry, flaky skin that itches incessantly. Along with the scratching comes frequent skin infections, often with Staphylococcus aureus.
The squiggly guys in this article's cover image are Propionibacterium acnes. These bacteria live in low-oxygen conditions at the base of hair follicles all over your body. They mind their own business, eating cellular debris and sebum, the oily stuff secreted by sebaceous glands that help keep things moisturized. Everybody has P. acnes bacteria—which are commonly blamed for causing acne—but researchers took a bigger view and discovered P. acnes may also play a part in keeping your skin clear.
Potbellies don't have to happen as we age, according to two studies done on twins published online in the International Journal of Obesity.
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.
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.
Specialized cells in the lining of the gut may provide a key to preventing an infectious brain disease caused by misfolded proteins.
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.
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.
Usually, the mucus lining of the female genital tract presents a barrier that helps prevent infections. But, somehow, the bacteria that causes gonorrhea gets around and through that barrier to invade the female genital tract.
We all know you are what you eat—or so the expression goes—but it's good to remember that what you are (at least intestinally) is mainly bacteria. A new study has shown that what you eat, and how your gut microbiome reacts to that food, might be a key player in your risk of developing a certain type of colon cancer—and changing your diet can help decrease your risk.