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5 Important Botox Facts

Botox is Related to Food Poisoning. Sort Of.

Botulism is a paralyzing illness. One type of botulism, the foodborne strain, is contracted through eating food that wasn't processed properly. The source is commonly home-canned vegetables, although cases of illness have been caused by foil-wrapped baked potatoes and carrot juice [source: CDC]. Wound botulism is often linked to heroin injections. The bacterium Clostridium botulinum is also found in soil and dust.

The bacteria produce neurotoxins, substances that damage nerve tissue. Those poisons are what scorpions and tarantulas use to paralyze their prey and their enemies. In humans, the effects of botulism include muscle weakness, vision problems and droopy eyelids.

Botulinum toxin A is one of the neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum -- and that is what Botox is made of. But in this case, paralysis is a good thing. Find out why next.