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For a teen, what are fungi?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Fungi, which are about one hundred times bigger than bacteria, are actually a primitive vegetable; they’re small plants without chlorophyll that can’t make their own food but can get it from other organisms, like your toenails. Some fungi we eat, like mushrooms and yeast in bread. And since their natural enemies are bacteria, they naturally produce antibiotics like penicillin that we can take to protect ourselves. But some can also cause ailments such as athlete’s foot and vaginal infections, both of which can be treated with medication that kills the infection-causing fungus.

YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

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YOU: The Owner's Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life

A few years ago, we wrote YOU: The Owner’s Manual, which taught people about the inner workings of their bodies—and how to keep them running strong. But you know what? There’s a big difference...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.