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January 02, 2004

You Go, Gurt

A yogurt a day keeps the microbes away.

Visiting, working on, or living on a dairy farm increased the risk of infection by multidrug-resistant Salmonella Newport by 12-fold, the researchers note, whereas yogurt consumption reduced the risk by 87 percent.

This was determined by one of the unsung heroes of medicine, the rat feces wrangler, whose job it is to count the number of bacteria in a given rat turd. When rats infected with Salmonella were fed yogurt, the baterial count at the other end of the pipeline declined remarkably.

Why does yogurt affect Salmonella so? Two reasons, really. One is that the calcium in milk interferes with the reproductive cycle of Salmonella. In order to multiply, a salmonella bacteria must first insert itself into a cell in the intestinal lining in order to breed.

When a cell has been infected with salmonella for two hours, it dies. As it does so, it bursts open, spreading salmonella to surrounding cells. A process of invasion and destruction begins. Within just eight hours, the stomach is swarming with one million salmonella bacteria. This number will continue to grow exponentially: within nine hours, there are four million of the bacteria in the stomach.

The calcium in milk somehow inhibits the death of an infected cell, though no one seems to know exactly how this occurs, not even the rat feces wrangles.*

As well, Yogurt is a type of probiotic, as opposed to an antibiotic. It teems with wee little beasties, the the Lactobacilli, which can live quite peaceably in the human intestine. Essentially, the great numbers of benign Lacto bacteria introduced to the system overwhelm the more dangerous Salmonella bacteria with numbers, keeping them as weak, starved, and harmless as a Idaho Democrat.


*It may be that the process has been described in intimate detail, and I am simply unable to locate it on the Net.

Posted by Bigwig at January 2, 2004 01:07 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

I read that half of the volume of every turd is good bacteria (acidophilus, bifidus, etc.). Freaky!

Posted by: Jim at January 2, 2004 01:15 PM
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