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25 Aug 2019, Edition - 1503, Sunday

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Health Matters

Do apple seeds really contain cyanide?

www.bfirst.in

A news is making rounds on social media that an Indian woman killed her husband by giving him crushed apple seeds which contain cyanide. According to news sources, Sofia Sam (34) and her lover Arun (36), both hailing from Kollam in Kerala, have been sentenced for 22 years and 27 years in prison.

But the news sources claim that the lovers killed the victim by pouring cyanide-laced orange juice into the mouth of Sam while he was asleep and there is no confirmation yet that they used crushed apple seeds to kill Sam. Meanwhile, questioned have been raised as to how dangerous apple seeds are.

Can they really be fatal? According to an article published on Medical News Today, apple peels and flesh are very healthy and pose no risks to your health. However, chewed or crushed apple seeds release small amounts of cyanide, which is highly toxic. “Nevertheless, you would probably need to thoroughly chew and swallow over 150 seeds before you experienced any adverse symptoms.

So if you accidentally eat a few apple seeds, there is no need to worry,” says the report, allaying fears about apple seeds.

The amygdalin content in one gram of apple seeds ranges from 1-4 mg, depending on the variety. However, the amount of cyanide derived from apple seeds is much less. One gram of finely crushed or chewed apple seeds may deliver up to 0.06-0.24 mg of cyanide. As a result, eating two cups of ground apple seeds might be fatal.

At the very least, it could make you sick, the healthcare website published from the UK has said. “The exact lethal dose of apple seeds varies widely. It depends on body weight, individual tolerance and the type of apple. Keep in mind that much lower amounts might make you sick,” it added.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the health protection agency of the USA, one would need to finely chew and eat about 200 apple seeds, or about 40 apple cores, to receive a fatal dose. However, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says that exposure to even small amounts of cyanide can be dangerous.

Cyanide can harm the heart and brain, and even lead to coma and death. It adds that people should avoid eating the seeds of apples, and the pits of fruits that include peaches, apricots and cherries. So why to take risk?

SOURCE : http://www.bfirst.in/health/do-apple-seeds-really-contain-cyanide-496805

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