web analytics

What's the most dangerous naturally occurring toxin?

botoxThe Botulinum toxin, produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, is touted as the most deadly naturally-occurring toxin. Botulinum toxin is the active ingredient in Botox injections, that cosmetic procedure that gets rid of facial wrinkles.

Botulinum toxin is so deadly, an amount equal to a grain of salt is enough to kill a 200 lb man. It is said to be 40 million times more powerful than cyanide! In fact, they even suggest that it would only take 4kg of Botulinum toxin, properly dispersed, to wipe out the whole human population!

When the bacteria manage to enter a living animal, through contaminated food or open wounds, it triggers botulism, a severe infection that can easily kill children. If the bacteria manage to kill the host with their toxin, they get a new food source. Botulinum toxin is neurotoxic: it stops nerves and muscular contraction (this is also the mechanism by means of which the wrinkles' muscles relax). Injected tiny doses of botulinum paralyze a muscle for 4-6 months, a good method for a temporary elimination of facial wrinkles, but deadly if the toxin reaches the wrong muscles, like the heart.

Leave a reply