Ricin, one of the deadliest protein toxins, shares its origins with the ubiquitous castor oil — both are derived from the castor bean plant (Ricinus communis L.). Castor oil contains high amounts of ricinoleic, linoleic, and oleic fatty acids, and it is commonly used for technological purposes and as a drug and dietary supplement. (Castor oil has a laxative effect because ricinoleic acid irritates the colon receptors and increases peristalsis .) Heating during manufacturing inactivates ricin in castor oil, but the poison can be isolated from the castor oilcake.
Date: Apr 19, 2012
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