What are toxins? – Definition, Concept and Examples

What are toxins

Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous or toxic to humans.

They also include medications that are useful in small doses, but toxic when used in large quantities.Toxins

Most of the toxins that cause problems in humans are secreted by microorganisms such as bacteria. For example, cholera is due to a bacterial toxin.

It is important to bear in mind that the effects of toxins, which act when absorbed or simply when establishing contact, are very varied.

Some toxins hardly cause a slight itching on the skin, while others can cause death in a few minutes.

Toxin Differences

According to its chemical composition, it is possible to differentiate between carbohydrate-lipid-polypeptide toxins and protein toxins.

In the first set, in turn, we can recognize the neurotoxins, hemotoxins, myotoxins, and mycotoxins, which are defined below:

Neurotoxins:

they are a large group of exogenous chemical substances (formed on the outside of an organism) capable of causing negative effects on the function of nervous tissue, regardless of the stage of its development.

The term used to represent these neurologically damaging toxins comes from the Old Greek terms equivalent to “nerve” and “toxin”.

It should be mentioned that a neurotoxin is also used to refer to endogenous compounds that may damage the nervous system if they are found in abnormal concentrations;

Hemotoxins

These are toxins that eliminate red blood cells (this destructive phenomenon is known as hemolysis), interrupt the flow of blood because it coagulates it, cause deterioration of certain organs and damage various tissues.

That said, it is possible to show that the etymology of the term is not entirely accurate, since this type of toxin not only damages the blood.

A wound caused by a hemotoxic agent usually causes pain and permanent injuries. Even when treatment is applied immediately, it is common that it becomes necessary to amputate the attacked limb;

Myotoxins

Are small peptides that are found in the venom of some snakes, such as rattlesnake. A peptide, on the other hand, is a kind of molecule that is formed when several amino acids are linked through bonds called peptides, that is, those that take place between the amino group of one amino acid and the carboxyl of another.

It should be noted that these mixtures present a great complexity. The toxins secreted by some snakes can destroy the skeletal muscle cells, thus facilitating the digestion of their prey;

Toxin * Mycotoxins

As can be seen in its etymology, which refers to two words of Ancient Greek that we can translate as “fungus” and “poison”, mycotoxins are produced by the fungi kingdom, inside which we find yeasts, molds, and mushrooms

These are toxic substances that can affect certain vertebrate animals in relatively low concentrations, and those that exclusively damage plants and bacteria are not included in this group.

Although it seems a bit arbitrary, poisonous mushroom toxins do not fall into this category either.

According to a function of chemical properties and origin

The toxins can be divided, according to their chemical properties and according to their origin, into fundamental groups:

Exotoxins, which are soluble proteins generated by pathogens, and present in gram positive and gram negative bacteria, have cytolytic enzymes. Three types are known:

Enterotoxin, which colonize the gastrointestinal tract.

Cytotoxins are toxins that are resistant to heat. As:
Chutoxins
Renatoxins
Gastrotoxins
Aflatoxin, produced by fungi such as Amanita phalloides, Aspergillus flavus or Aspergillus parasiticus, can contaminate seeds and nuts with carcinogenic substances.

According to the attacking parties and their consequences

They can also be divided according to the parts that attack and their consequences:
Hemolysin: Attacks the blood (preventing it from coagulating) and destroys tissues and organs.

Estomostoxina: It causes intense pain.
Necrotoxin: the substance produced by certain strains of staphylococci that destroy the cells of tissues.
Neurotoxin: Attacks the nervous system.
Conotoxin: Causes paralysis.
Atraxicotoxin: Causes an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and asphyxia.
Cardiotoxin: Causes heart attacks, asphyxia, cardio-respiratory arrest and heart attacks.
Myotoxin: Attacks the muscles.
Batraciotoxina or Batracotoxina: It is the most lethal of all, is produced by the frog Poisonous Dart, in addition to the pituí that produces the call homobatracotoxina with similar effects.

Causes of the increase of toxins in the body

A sedentary life, lack of exercise leads to a decrease in metabolism and lack of energy.
Not eating a balanced diet, some of the foods we consume today are mostly processed

(fast food) lacking nutrients and natural fibers that help the digestive processes.
If we add that we feed ourselves in excess causing our body to work others, the digestive system does not do its correct function accumulating badly digested food and the fearsome toxins.

Do not drink enough water a day.

Some medicines because, the digestive system loses its balance and affects the intestinal flora.

Eating at night, is even worse, because when we sleep a cell repair is performed and internal cleaning, if we dine this process is not done because the energy is occupied in the digestion of food.

WHERE ARE THE TOXINS PRESENTED?

  1. The toxins are present in:
  2. The air we breathe.
  3. The drugs.
  4. The preservatives and chemical additives.
  5. The tobacco and alcohol.
  6. Food processed industrially or treated with chemical compounds.

The problem is when we accumulate a significant amount of toxins in our body because, without realizing it, we are causing unnecessary stress inside our cells that make them work at medium gas and it is when we notice that lack of energy that always we complain and we do not know the reason for its appearance.

Therefore, we should avoid as much as possible situations that cause us a continuous stress, as we cause the so-called “oxidative stress” that increases the risk of suffering from chronic diseases.

Heavy digestions cause a large amount of waste in our body after the process of digestion.
We absorb the nutrients once they have passed into the bloodstream, but for this we need our digestive system is free of waste and we can make the passage of nutrients to the blood as easy as possible, keeping the capillaries as clean as possible.

To eliminate toxins from the body

To eliminate the toxins it is necessary to ingest water to neutralize them, in addition, to eliminate them through the skin (sweat) and exercise.

The lack of water is the worst for our body if we are made up of 75% water, it is necessary to cleanse our body, eliminating toxins and metabolic waste.

It is advisable to drink 8 to 10 glasses a day to clean at depth. The water must be pure because some toxins are filtered in contaminated water. Take care that it is 100% potable and boiled.

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