Naturally occurring organic poison / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A toxin is a naturally occurring organic poison[1] produced by metabolic activities of living cells or organisms.[2] They occur especially as proteins, often conjugated.[3] The term was first used by organic chemist Ludwig Brieger (1849–1919)[4] and is derived from the word "toxic".

The Amanita muscaria mushroom, an iconic toxic mushroom.

Toxins can be small molecules, peptides, or proteins that are capable of causing disease on contact with or absorption by body tissues interacting with biological macromolecules such as enzymes or cellular receptors. They vary greatly in their toxicity, ranging from usually minor (such as a bee sting) to potentially fatal even at extremely low doses (such as botulinum toxin).[5][6]