General, Research, Technology

Why does the most poisonous fish need poison?

In an article about a new pain medication, wementioned that the most poisonous fish in the world is the so-called puffer. Her liver and other parts of her body contain a substance called tetrodotoxin, which can paralyze the respiratory muscles of any living creature and lead to its death. Despite the danger of fish, many Asian chefs include in their menu dishes with the addition of its non-toxic organs. True, for cooking, captive-grown individuals with a low content of poison in the body are used. By comparing the fish that grew up in captivity and captivity, scientists were able to find out why they needed poison.

Puffer fish is one of the most poisonous fish in the world, but dishes are still prepared from it.

Reduced amount of poison in the body grownin captivity, the puffer is explained by the fact that they do not produce it themselves, but receive it from bacteria living inside them. The bacteria that produce tetrodotoxin in large numbers live only in the natural habitat of the puffer fish, so individuals grown in aquariums cannot boast of a large amount of poison. It is believed that a reduced amount of toxins worsens the taste of “incubator” fish and also negatively affects their health.

The most dangerous poison in the world

The last fact was proved by scientists from Japanesethe universities of Kitasato and Nagasaki, which published the results of their research in the scientific journal Toxicon. Researchers took two aquariums with puffer fish, one of which was supplemented with tetrodotoxin content over the course of a month. By comparing the health status of individuals from two different aquariums, they were able to find out how the toxic substance affects fish organisms and why they need it.

By the way, the first university is named afterJapanese bacteriologist Kitasato Shibasaburo, who was one of the first to discover the causative agent of the plague. One of the most disastrous epidemics in the history of mankind can be read in our material.

In the course of observations, scientists found that eatingWith a feed containing tetrodotoxin, the fish were 24% longer and more individuals from the second aquarium. It follows that the toxic substance contributes to the growth and proper development of puffer fish. It also turned out that fish with a sufficient level of tetrodotoxin have four times less cortisol, a hormone that contributes to the development of stress. Therefore, a toxic substance is a means of protection against stress.

Tetrodotoxin is one of the most dangerous poisons in the world.

How exactly does tetrodotoxin controlpuffer fish growth and affects their stress level, researchers still do not know. It may well be that they will be able to answer this question in the course of other scientific works. As for the poor taste of captive-raised fish, maybe the meat loses its taste just because of increased stress. In addition, scientists noticed that puffer aquarium fish stand out with particular aggression and attack each other, causing wounds. This, too, may well impair the taste of their meat.

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Whether the poison itself affects the taste of meat is unknown. Be that as it may, cooks completely cleanse the fish of the poisonous parts of the body, so that tetrodotoxin is not contained in the dishes. For cooking puffer fish dishes, restaurant employees undergo special training for at least three years. During this time, cooks learn to properly cut off the organs of the fish, the most dangerous of which is the liver.

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However, puffer fish meat is sold in someJapanese stores, which is extremely dangerous for inexperienced cooks. In 2018, an alarm was announced in the city of Gamagori, since in one supermarket they managed to sell fish meat without an extracted liver.