Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Penicillin Processing
Name: Cassie
Status: Student
Grade:  9-12
Location: NY
Country: New Zealand
Date: Spring 2010

If penicillin comes from a fungus (mold) could you eat moldy bread as a cure for a bacterial infection ?

Hi Cassie,

First, not all fungus makes penicillin, and some fungus makes substances that are bad for you. So I would advise against eating an unknown fungus.

Second, the amount of antibiotic that a fungus might make is very low. The antibiotic must be collected and purified to have a therapeutic effect. Eating raw fungus would not provide a high enough dose to mimic taking antibiotic pills.

So in summary, no, eating fungus is not a good cure for an infection.

Hope this helps,

Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory