The snake venom : deadly poison or hope for medicine?

What effects does the venom of snakes have on the body?

The snake venom : deadly poison or hope for medicine?


Captopril, a large-scale medication for arterial hypertension, is derived from the study of a small jararaca venom protein. It is by observing the collapse of the blood pressure of the people bitten by this serpent that Brazilian researchers had the idea to synthesize a molecule derived from the tetratide. The action of this derivative is opposed to the effects of the system Rénine Angiotensine Aldosterone (yes yes, we know it is a bit of a barbaric name …) which designates a system of physiological regulation that decreases the diameter of the arteries, thus contributing to increase Intravascular pressure.
You did not understand everything? Normal, it’s not simple! Try to imagine … you have to visualize the blood circulating in an artery like the water circulating in a garden hose. When the end of the pipe is pressed, the water emerges more violently, so that the pressure inside is greater. This is due to the reduction in the diameter of the pipe. However, captopril is opposed to this action, by preventing the production of angiotensin which decreases the volume of the arteries !


These snake venom peptides are also used in cardiac surgery. During these particularly heavy procedures, blood clots may form. It is by observing the great haemorrhages caused by the bite of the Echis carinatus (echidated keeled) that a molecule has been developed from its venom: Tirofiban. This molecule, which fluidizes the blood, reduces the risk of clot formation and allows to operate in complete serenity by limiting the risk of excessive coagulation.
These anti-coagulant properties are found in the venom of a Chinese snake. With this in mind, a research team at the Institut Pasteur is working on a drug that can rapidly dissolve the clots responsible for vascular accidents. This is a source of hope for all the emergency personnel who are promptly taking charge of this type of patient whose life expectancy is engaged …


Research would also be conducted on the venom of the royal cobra. The original toxin has an interesting analgesic (which softens pain) but neurotoxic. By modifying the venom peptide to rid it of its toxic part, a team of researchers hopes to develop a new class of painkiller outlawing morphine!


At Garancia snake venom peptides are at the heart of some of our care. They exert a botox-like action by reducing muscle micro-contractions at the origin of expression wrinkles. Moreover, this famous botox, derived from botulinum toxin, has an action similar to one of the components present in the venom of cobra.

So still scary, snakes?


Check our range of snake venom products on :


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