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Medicine

Friendly Fungus Protects Our Mouths From Invaders 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-a-mouthful dept.
sciencehabit writes "When we talk about the human microbiome, bacteria usually get all the press. But microscopic fungi live in and on us, too. New research shows that a little-known fungus called Pichia lives in healthy mouths and may play an important role in protecting us from an infection caused by the harmful fungus Candida. The friendly fungus makes a substance that may even lead to a new anti-fungal drug."
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Friendly Fungus Protects Our Mouths From Invaders

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  • Colony Life Forms (Score:5, Interesting)

    by resistant (221968) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @09:09AM (#46498011) Homepage Journal

    We already knew ourselves to be essentially colony life forms riddled with remnant retroviruses and ancient symbionts such as mitochondria, but it's damn interesting to see just how deeply integrated we are into the extremely complex biosphere all around us. It's a little depressing, perhaps, but eventually the boffins will accumulate a body of knowledge that may finally sort out all the ridiculous little things that can and will go wrong with human bodies in the murk of general ignorance. Obesity, cancer and all manner of weird and supposedly unexplained ailments -- they could simply be unknown quirks of how our innumerable symbionts and parasites interact with our basic DNA programming. -_-

  • Mouthwash (Score:2, Interesting)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @09:17AM (#46498035) Homepage Journal

    I wonder what effect if any mouthwash (with and without alcohol in it) has on this type of fungus.

  • by transporter_ii (986545) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @09:39AM (#46498119) Homepage

    Probiotics and alternative medicine people have said things like this for decades. Modern life, with antibiotics for non-life threatening illnesses, and things to kill bacteria at every turn, is one big living experiment. Little things that have big consequences that are really unknown:

    Antiseptic Mouthwash Raises Heart Attack Risk
    http://www.medicaldaily.com/an... [medicaldaily.com]

  • Don't use mouthwash (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Blaskowicz (634489) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @09:50AM (#46498189)

    The dentist told me not to use mouthwash recently, and here's a good scientific reason apparently. I told them I used it about once a month but they said please use it only when we prescribe it to you.

    I also learned you can mess with them by drinking red wine before going to the appointment, they're like "wtf is that on your tongue?".

  • by dinfinity (2300094) on Sunday March 16, 2014 @01:10PM (#46499591)

    Terbinafine (Lamisil) is the most effective compound against that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]
    1 week of exposure is enough to eradicate all traces of the fungi that cause athlete's foot. Lamisil Once is very effective if you're lazy or forgetful.

    If you prefer 'natural' methods, you can apply (or soak in) a sufficiently acidic solution of citric acid or vinegar for two weeks. Skip a day and the two-week counter resets, as the method relies on the fungi not reproducing until they all die naturally. The same goes for most anti-fungal treatments, by the way (which is why Lamisil Once is so effective).

    While we're on the subject of fungi: dandruff is often caused by the fungus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org] (globosa), which feeds on the lipids on your scalp.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z... [wikipedia.org] is quite effective in dealing with the fuckers, without requiring a prescription from your doctor.

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