Botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, is one of the deadliest substances on Earth. It is produced by a bacterium and can be found in nature in a variety of forms. In its crystalline form, it is estimated that one gram of the toxin could kill up to one million people. It is so powerful that only 160 nanograms are needed to kill an 80kg human being.
Botox is used for cosmetic purposes, such as temporarily improving glabellar lines, as well as for medical treatments such as cervical dystonia, strabismus, blepharospasm, and primary axillary hyperhidrosis. It works by entering the nerves and destroying vital proteins, which stops communication between nerves and muscles. This can cause respiratory failure and death if the dose is too high. Research has shown that Botox is safe for most patients and also has some pretty significant medical benefits.
However, there have been cases of death associated with the use of Botox mixed with lidocaine given to a woman for chronic neck and back pain. In order to understand how Botox works, researchers have injected it into nerve cells and looked at the molecular level where it was traveling. From the bacterium's point of view, it is producing the toxin to remove tissue from its environment so that it can expand and colonize new areas. Despite its popularity, it is important to remember that Botox is a powerful toxin and should be used with caution. Africa Check is an independent organization that evaluates claims made in the public arena using skills journalistic and evidence drawn from the latest online tools, readers, public sources and experts.