JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Scorpion venom is used in a number of medical fields, including cancer research. Scientists see the natural compounds found in scorpion venom can be used as a painkiller. In addition, scorpion venom can also help prevent the rejection of transplanted organs.
As quoted from Wired, Monday (7/3), there are five health benefits of scorpion venom discovered by researchers:
1. Pain Relief Remedy
Researchers have investigated the natural compounds found in scorpion venom as a painkiller. A study published in 2013 found that scorpion venom actively acts as a painkiller. The hope, the findings could ultimately lead to the development of new drugs for humans.
2. Illuminate Cancer Cells
A painful scorpion poison can also be used to help treat cancer in the future. Researchers from Kaker Research Center Fred Hutchinson, University of Washington and startup Blaze Biscience have developed a "tumor paint" that uses fluorescent molecules that stick to natural toxins such as scorpion venom. It attaches itself to cancer, effectively illuminating cancer cells.
This method undergoes clinical trials and allows the doctor to determine the exact location and growth rate of cancer in the body.
3. Help Prevent Organ Rejection
Scorpion venom or its synthesized version, also has potential for use in immunosuppressant drugs. These medicines are used to reduce the body that rejects the transplant organ. Immunosuppressants often cause severe side effects for patients so developing a new type may be beneficial.
4. Treating Arthritis
Research shows that scorpion venom can block bone loss, making it a beneficial substance to treat conditions such as rheumatic diseases or rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In 2011, a 71-year-old Cuban man claimed he could overcome his pain by letting the scorpion sting him at least once a month.
5. Preventing Malaria
Scorpion venom is also an unlikely ally in the fight against malaria. In 2011, a researcher from the University of Maryland modified a parasitic fungus loaded with a substance found in scorpion venom to attack the malaria parasite found in mosquitoes.