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  • This is C. botulinum.

  • It's a bacterium that can produce one of the world's

  • most lethal substances.

  • It lives in lots of places including soil,

  • pollen, dust, and also in honey.

  • So why haven't you died from eating this sweet treat?

  • Because you're not a baby.

  • As C. botulinum grows, it produces botulinum toxin.

  • It's the same stuff used in Botox,

  • but Botox has an extremely

  • low dose compared to infected food.

  • In large amounts,

  • the toxin would attack your nervous system,

  • causing the illness known as botulism,

  • which can lead to paralysis and even death.

  • And since C. botulinum is so common in our environment,

  • researchers believe that bees pick it up on their way

  • to the hive where they produce honey.

  • One study found C. botulinum bacteria

  • in about 8% of honey samples.

  • But before you purge your pantry, consider this.

  • Normally when we encounter C. Botulinum, like in honey,

  • it's dormant.

  • In this sleepy state, it can't produce the toxin.

  • Even if you ate it.

  • Unless, of course, you're less than 1 year old.

  • When C. botulinum enters a baby's large intestine,

  • it comes alive because unlike children and adults,

  • babies less than 1 year old haven't been eating

  • real solid foods.

  • They've been drinking milk.

  • But when babies are around 4 to 6 months old,

  • they stop drinking human milk, and they start eating

  • other foods that they've never had before.

  • As a result, their gut microbes change very abruptly,

  • and it's during this transition period in the baby's gut

  • that the lethal C. botulinum bacteria are free to grow

  • and produce the toxin.

  • As the toxin enters the baby's bloodstream,

  • it blocks the ability of motor nerves to release

  • acetylcholine, a chemical messenger

  • that sends nerve signals to muscles.

  • As a result, the baby starts to lose control of muscles

  • and appears tired and floppy.

  • And as more toxin enters the bloodstream, the muscles

  • that control swallowing and breathing stop working.

  • Fortunately, infant botulism is not very common,

  • and infant botulism due to honey is even rarer.

  • Fewer than 100 cases occur in the US each year,

  • and while it's difficult to pinpoint the source

  • of the bacterium in many cases,

  • experts think that honey accounts for 15%.

  • So it's important that if your infant shows signs

  • of weakness, you take them to be evaluated

  • by medical professionals immediately.

  • In some cases, doctors can administer

  • an effective antitoxin,

  • but it can take babies weeks or a month to recover.

  • The FDA recommends waiting until your baby's first birthday

  • to feed them honey or any products

  • that are filled with or dipped in honey.

This is C. botulinum.


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B1 中級

赤ちゃんがはちみつを食べられない理由 (Why Babies Can't Eat Honey)

  • 212 12
    April Lu に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日