Scientists have discovered a new but rather unlikely ingredient to help improve heart and blood pressure drugs – snake venom.
New research found the venom can be used to counter-act the side effects of some heart medicines.
Boffins found the snake venom can inhibit the effects of angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE).
The enzyme is found in many drugs taken by millions of people in the UK to tackle high blood pressure and heart disease
But it can also cause side effects such as a persistent coughs and swelling of the face and throat.
Researchers at the University of Bath studied the 3D molecular structures of snake venom and found it could help stop the side effects.
The research has been published in the prestigious journal Scientific Reports.
Professor Ravi Acharya, from the Department of Biology & Biochemistry at Bath, said the discovery could help develop new heart medicine.
He said: "These findings highlight a very exciting opportunity to design new antihypertensive drugs.”