Taking high doses of apricot kernel extract could be lethal

Employees remove the seeds of apricots as they work inside a factory of the Conserves Chtaura- food processing and trade company in Qab Elias the Bekaa Valley Leban

Employees remove the seeds of apricots as they work inside a factory of the Conserves Chtaura- food processing and trade company in Qab Elias the Bekaa Valley Leban

A 67-year old healthy Australian man got cyanide poisoning after ingesting apricot kernel extract.

The man was taking more than 17 milligrammes of the extract every day, enough to raise blood cyanide to about 25 times acceptable levels, said the team.

When he woke up, the man told doctors he had been taking a daily dose of two teaspoons of homemade apricot kernel extract for five years.

Despite expressing our concerns regarding the continued consumption of apricot kernel extract and being satisfied that our viewpoint was understood, the patient elected to continue self-administering apricot kernel extract. - the doctors wrote.

The man's self-prescribed apricot regimen was based on an alternative medicine belief that apricot kernels can prevent or cure cancer.

The researchers said that the seeds contain an amygdalin substance, a chemical compound by which the body turns into cyanide.

Luckily, doctors detected the cyanide in his body because there were not any symptoms presented and he visited the hospital for just routine surgery of his prostate cancer. Those who say apricot kernel extract prevents cancer believe it only affects cancerous cells.

Vomiting, headaches, breath shortness, seizures, dizziness, loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest and death are the symptoms of severe cyanide poisoning. Chronic, long-term exposure, like the Australian patient, can lead to weakness, paralysis, lesions, nerve damage, and may affect liver and kidney function.

Australia, be that as it may, restricted the offer of apricot bits as sustenance in late 2015.

The United Kingdom, Canada and the United States all have maximums on either apricot kernel intake of safe levels or cyanide for foodstuffs.

Cherry seeds, peach pits and apple seeds would all be able to separate into cyanide in the body yet one would need to eat more than 200 apple seeds, for example, to get a lethal measurements.

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