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Botulinum Toxin

  1. Feb 12, 2009 #1
    If someone drank botulinum toxin, would they die?

    My friend and I have a bet. I say yes. (note we're not actually going to drink it, we are both chem and bio geeks though and I say yes and he says no.)

    I think you'd die almost instantly, right? He says you wouldn't because its the same stuff they use Botox for.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2009 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    You won. As with every poison, it depends on the dose. Small dose enough and no problems, large enough and you are done. Botulin is one of the most potent toxins known, and large enough means something in the 1 microgram range per person. Doses used in Botox injections are much smaller.
     
  4. Feb 12, 2009 #3
    Awesome, thanks!
     
  5. Feb 12, 2009 #4
    food borne botulism is the result of direct effects of the produced toxin rather than internal production by the bacteria) Heating contminated food can destroy the toxin without necessarily killing the bacterial spores. This generally isn't a problem in adults but in infants it can result in the colinization of the GI tract and later botulism poisoning.
     
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