Dangerous Lifesavers

Posted on 2/09/2010 | Comments ()
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Dr. Oz invites a courageous AOD to help show how some creepy crawly creatures that, while generally feared, could help save your life.

  • Maggots Used to treat wounds. They can eat away the dead skin and free the healthy tissue to heal and regenerate.  
  • Leaches These bloodsuckers are amazing healers. They have an anticoagulant in their saliva that thins the blood making them very helpful to plastic surgeons performing skin graphs.
  • Gila Monster This is 1 of only 2 types of venomous lizards in the world. The hormones that allow these to store fat and get rid of fat desirably could be a used as a weight-loss tool.
  • Horseshoe Crabs These creatures are over 300 million years old. Lacking an immune system, they clot their blood very quickly before viruses or infections can spread.

Other animals that can improve your health are:

  • The Brazilian Arrowhead Viper Researchers have isolated a molecule within the viper's venom that allows blood vessels to dilate and lower blood pressure.
  • Frogs Certain frogs' skins contain high concentrations of antimicrobial peptides - a form of antibiotics that allows for accelerated healing.
  • Pygmy Rattlesnake A molecule in this snake's venom leaves its prey bleeding profusely because their blood is unable to clot. This molecule was used to create an antiplatelet drug used to treat people with heart disease who are susceptible to sudden heart attacks.