You might have heard that Botox is one of the best wrinkle treatments around, but have you also heard that it was discovered through food poisoning? That’s right — Botox is actually the brand name of a popular strain of neurotoxin. Back in the early 19th century, Dr. Justinus Kerner was trying to figure out why a batch of blood sausages poisoned dozens of people. Turns out there was a potentially lethal toxin in the meat, which came to be known as botulinum toxin.
And that’s not the only weird thing you might not have known!
It was almost used as a weapon in World War II. – Yes, you read that right. Botox was almost used as a weapon in the Second World War. The U.S. started researching biological weapons, including the botulinum toxin. One plan actually involved slipping pills of the stuff into the food and drink of high-ranking Japanese officers. The plan got so far that they actually had the pills produced, but it was never enacted.
It paralyzes your muscles. – Once one of the seven types of Botox latch onto a nerve ending, it blocks the chemical responsible for starting muscle contractions, because they’re after the protein that releases acetylocholine. In other words, it prevents the body from telling the muscles to contract, I.E. paralyzing it.
It can help depression. – Believe it or not, botox treatments can help with depression. Emotions are tied to the body’s facial muscles. Because botox relaxes the facial muscles, it disrupts the connection. One study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that interrupting the feedback from the facial musculature to the brain could be involved in the development and maintenance of negative emotions.
Who would have ever thought that a case of food poisoning would lead to the development of Botox treatments? If you know of any other crazy facts, feel free to share in the comments.