BOTULINUM TOXIN: THE MOST POWERFUL NEUROTOXIN
The cosmetic use of botulinum toxin type A, of which trade name is Botox, is widespread. Due to its paralyzing effect on facial muscles, it is mainly used to relax the muscles that cause wrinkles on women's upper faces (especially foreheads), so the wrinkles disappear. The wrinkle-preventing effect of Botox lasts about three to four months. Serious side effects of Botox include trouble breathing, talking, or swallowing; hoarse voice, drooping eyelids; unusual or severe muscle weakness (especially in a body area that was not injected with the medication); loss of bladder control; problems with vision; crusting or drainage from your eyes; severe skin rash or itching; fast, slow, or uneven heartbeats; or chest pain or heavy feeling; pain spreading to the arm or shoulder; and general ill feeling.
While 2.4 million facial rejuvenation procedures were performed in the United States in 2010, 6.3 million facial rejuvenation procedures were performed in 2013 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Fortunately, one gram of the botulinum toxin is enough to satisfy the world's annual requirement of Botox.
In fact, Botulinum, is the most powerful and dangerous neurotoxin known to date. For instance, one gram of botulinum toxin, which causes acute paralytic disease, would be enough to kill 14,000 people if ingested, 1.25 million people if inhaled, and 8.3 million people if injected. A single nanogram of botulinum is enough to kill a person in a very short time.
Botulinum toxin is a protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. These bacteria may grow on poorly preserved or improperly prepared meat products. It causes botulism, a severe infection. Honey is linked to floppy baby syndrome, also referred to as infant botulism, since it is the only known dietary reservoir of Clostridium botulinum spores. For this reason, babies under the age of 12 months should not be given honey. While symptoms of adult botulism are blurred vision, slurred speech, muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing, double vision, and dry mouth, symptoms of infant botulism include constipation, floppy movements due to muscle weakness and trouble controlling the head, weak cry, irritability, drooling, drooping eyelids, tiredness, difficulty sucking or feeding, and paralysis. Infants with severe botulism may require mechanical ventilation as well as intensive care. Botulism may even result in death due to respiratory failure. However, its mortality rate of is less than 1% for hospitalized infants with botulism. Infants who survive an episode of botulism poisoning may have fatigue and shortness of breath for years and long-term therapy may be needed.