Health & Fit Apricot kernels can give you cyanide poisoning

22:56  13 september  2017
22:56  13 september  2017 Source:   nydailynews.com

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A man in Australia gave himself cyanide poisoning while consuming apricot kernels meant to prevent his prostate cancer from returning. The 67-year-old apricot kernel extract every day for five years, according to a report in BMJ Case Reports.

Many people believe that apricot kernels , which are found inside apricot pits, can beat cancer. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. A 67-year-old man in Australia got cyanide poisoning from the apricot kernel extract he was taking to beat cancer.

Apricot kernels can give you cyanide poisoning© Shutterstock Apricot kernels can give you cyanide poisoning A man in Australia gave himself cyanide poisoning while consuming apricot kernels meant to prevent his prostate cancer from returning.

The man, a 67-year-old from Australia, consumed apricot kernel extract every day for five years, according to a report in BMJ Case Reports. He took two teaspoons of the extract and three Novodalin tablets, an herbal fruit kernel supplement. That equaled about 17.23 milligrams of apricot kernel extract a day.

The man’s apricot obsession was self-prescribed, as it is an alternative medicine belief that apricot kernels can prevent or cure cancer. The man was in remission from prostate cancer and was trying to prevent it from returning.

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  People Are Selling a Fake Cancer Treatment That Could Actually Kill You <p>Apricot seeds are believed by some to be a "cancer cure." Not only do they not help — they can actually be poisonous to those who use them.</p>Online, apricot seeds are being presented as a wellness-boosting super ingredient, and sellers are pointing to a chemical compound found within them — it's called B17, amygdalin, or laetrile. B17 is not an officially recognized vitamin, and the Food and Drug Administration doesn't approve laetrile for the treatment of cancer or anything else.

A man in Australia gave himself cyanide poisoning while consuming apricot kernels meant to prevent his prostate cancer from returning. The 67-year-old apricot kernel extract every day for five years, according to a report in BMJ Case Reports.

Poison for feral animal control (e.g. rodenticide). Alternative medicines (e.g. derived from apricot kernels ). Fumigant in airplanes, buildings, ships. Due to this toxicity it should only be given if severe cyanide poisoning is strongly suspected.

Apricot kernels contain amygdalin, also called laetrile, which is converted into cyanide when it enters the body, then prevents cells from using oxygen, killing them. Those who say apricot kernel extract prevents cancer believe it only affects cancerous cells.

The man was lucky the doctors caught the evidence of cyanide, as he didn’t present with any symptoms — he was at the hospital for a routine procedure relating to his prostate cancer. Because the procedure required anesthesia, the doctors noticed low oxygen saturation and high thiocyanate, a byproduct of cyanide break down in the body.

Doctors told the man to stop ingesting the kernels, and he did — for just three days. Afterwards, he continued to administer the kernels.

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But he still won't give up the daily ritual. By Lara Pearce. The 67-year-old had been taking three tablets of the apricot kernel -based supplement Novodalin each day, as well as grinding up his own brew at home -- adding up to more than 17mg of cyanide a day.

Based on these numbers and the report findings, one would expect to see a lot more cases of cyanide poisoning —a fact not lost on one of the agencies involved. Bottom Line. It’s probably best not to give apricot kernels to small children to err on the side of caution. Adults who still want to eat more

Acute cyanide poisoning causes symptoms like headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, vomiting, seizures, loss of consciousness, cardiac arrest and death, usually within a few minutes. Chronic, long-term exposure, like the Australian patient, can lead to weakness, paralysis, lesions, nerve damage, and can affect liver and kidney function.

The United Kingdom, Canada and the United States all have maximums on either apricot kernel intake of safe levels or cyanide for foodstuffs. Australia, however, banned the sale of apricot kernels as food in late 2015.

Cherry seeds, peach pits and apple seeds can all break down into cyanide in the body but one one would need to eat more than 200 apple seeds, for instance, to receive a fatal dose.

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