Illegal Toad Venom 'Aphrodisiac' Linked to NYC Man's Death

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Illegal Toad Venom 'Aphrodisiac' Linked to NYC Man's Death

Post by Cr6 on Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:47 am

Illegal Toad Venom 'Aphrodisiac' Linked to NYC Man's Death
News Picture: Illegal Toad Venom 'Aphrodisiac' Linked to NYC Man's Death
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THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- "Stone," an illegal aphrodisiac that contains substances derived from toad venom, may have claimed the life of a New York City man and should be avoided, city health officials warned.

Last week, a hospital told the New York Poison Control Center about a 39-year-old man who died after taking the product, also known as Piedra China, Jamaican Stone, Love Stone, Black Stone or China Rock.

Similar products caused poisonings and deaths in the 1990s, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a news release. Since 2000, there have been seven such cases, including the most recent one and one earlier this year.

These supposed aphrodisiacs are banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but are imported illegally. Stone is a hard, dark brown substance typically sold as a solid chunk less than a square inch in size.

Stone's active ingredients include chemicals known as bufadienolides, which are derived from toad venom and some trees. These chemicals can disrupt heart rhythm, city health officials said. The products pose the greatest risk when ingested, but can also cause harm when applied to the skin, the typical use.

Symptoms of poisoning include chest pain, abdominal pain and vomiting. People should call the Poison Control Center immediately if poisoning from stone is suspected.

People with these products should immediately stop using them and wrap them and put them in the garbage. Do not flush them down the toilet, the health department said.

City officials are working with federal authorities to halt sales of these product, the health department said.

-- Robert Preidt

MedicalNews
Copyright ©️ 2015 HealthDay. All rights reserved.


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Re: Illegal Toad Venom 'Aphrodisiac' Linked to NYC Man's Death

Post by Cr6 on Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:10 am

Scientists have found a possible cure for Type 2 diabetes: Platypus venom

A hormone produced in the venom of platypus - one of Australia’s most iconic native animals - may pave the way for potential new treatments for Type 2 diabetes in humans, a new study suggests.

The hormone, known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), is normally secreted in the gut of both humans and animals, stimulating the release of insulin to lower blood glucose.(Shutterstock)

A hormone produced in the venom of platypus - one of Australia’s most iconic native animals - may pave the way for potential new treatments for Type 2 diabetes in humans, a new study suggests. The hormone, known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), is normally secreted in the gut of both humans and animals, stimulating the release of insulin to lower blood glucose.

However, GLP-1 typically degrades within minutes, researchers from the University of Adelaide and Flinders University in Australia said.

In people with type 2 diabetes, the short stimulus triggered by GLP-1 is not sufficient to maintain a proper blood sugar balance. As a result, medication that includes a longer lasting form of the hormone is needed to help provide an extended release of insulin.

“Our research team has discovered that monotremes - our iconic platypus and echidna - have evolved changes in the hormone GLP-1 that make it resistant to the rapid degradation normally seen in humans,” said Professor Frank Grutzner, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Biological Sciences and the Robinson Research Institute.

“We’ve found that GLP-1 is degraded in monotremes by a completely different mechanism. Further analysis of the genetics of monotremes reveals that there seems to be a kind of molecular warfare going on between the function of GLP-1, which is produced in the gut but surprisingly also in their venom,” Grutzner said.

The platypus produces a powerful venom during breeding season, which is used in competition among males for females. “We’ve discovered conflicting functions of GLP-1 in the platypus: in the gut as a regulator of blood glucose, and in venom to fend off other platypus males during breeding season. This tug of war between the different functions has resulted in dramatic changes in the GLP-1 system,” said Associate Professor Briony Forbes, from Flinders University’s School of Medicine.

   Experts have found conflicting functions of the hormone in the platypus: In the gut as a regulator of blood glucose, and in venom to fend off other platypus males during breeding season.

“The function in venom has most likely triggered the evolution of a stable form of GLP-1 in monotremes. Excitingly, stable GLP-1 molecules are highly desirable as potential type 2 diabetes treatments,” she said. “This is an amazing example of how millions of years of evolution can shape molecules and optimise their function,” Grutzner said.

“These findings have the potential to inform diabetes treatment, one of our greatest health challenges, although exactly how we can convert this finding into a treatment will need to be the subject of future research,” he said.

GLP-1 has also been discovered in the venom of echidnas. However, while the platypus has spurs on its hind limbs for delivering a large amount of venom to its opponent, there is no such spur on echidnas. “The lack of a spur on echidnas remains an evolutionary mystery, but the fact that both platypus and echidnas have evolved the same long-lasting form of the hormone GLP-1 is in itself a very exciting finding,” Grutzner said. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
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https://www.hindustantimes.com/health-and-fitness/scientists-have-found-a-possible-cure-for-type-2-diabetes-platypus-venom/story-ZGlYdt4zlFV1wBCL0gnkoM.html

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