July 12, 2005

You Don't Want this Gold

Gold is nice to have around when it is the pretty metal kind that you can use to purchase such things as food and shelter. But watch out for gold bacteria(did you know that bacteria had color?) apparently it may glitter but it isn't good.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Gold-colored bacteria that cause more disease than colorless strains do so because they carry antioxidants to protect themselves against immune system attack, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

Their findings, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggest a potential new way to treat some serious infections, the researchers said.

Gold-colored strains of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which get their color from antioxidant compounds called carotenoids, tend to cause more disease than colorless strains.

Carotenoids also give carrots their color and include the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene.

Victor Nizet of the University of California San Diego and colleagues found that the carotenoids help defend Staph aureus bacteria from the toxic molecules made by immune system cells called neutrophils.

When they removed the carotenoids from the bacteria, they were easier to kill.

Drugs that interfere with the bacteria's ability to make carotenoids might help in fighting antibiotic-resistant staph infections, which are on the rise globally, Nizet said.

I think I'm going to go have a carrot. I figure what's good for the bacteria is good for my body as well.

Posted by Rachel Ann at July 12, 2005 08:48 AM | TrackBack

This is really interesting . . . thanks for the link.

I don't know if I would want to eat a carrot until we discover whether the carrots have turned against us and are collaborating with the enemy. ; )

Posted by: Anne at July 13, 2005 10:25 PM
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