Health Care

Man develops cyanide poisoning from apricot kernel extract

Man develops cyanide poisoning from apricot kernel extract”

When the man was under anesthetic for the procedure, doctors noticed he had abnormally low levels of oxygen in his body, despite their attempts to deliver oxygen to him.

A seemingly healthy 67-year old Australian man developed cyanide poisoning after ingesting apricot kernel extract. But despite warnings from doctors about what might happen if he started taking it again... he started taking it again.

"It's not known what the effect of having a level of cyanide that's not enough to kill you suddenly, but (is) still quite high - we don't know what the long-term effects of it are". It's marketed as a preventative medicine for cancer, but it is associated with cyanide toxicity.

"Despite conveying our concerns regarding the continued ingestion of ake (apricot kernel extract) and being satisfied that our viewpoint was understood, the patient elected to continue self-administering ake", they write.

Apricot kernel is a commonly taken extract used for a range of ailments.

Apricot kernels, which come from splitting the stone inside apricots, contain amygdalin which is converted to cyanide in the human body. Some people have shown symptoms that include nausea, fever, headaches, numbness, thirst and insomnia.

Ingesting the extract through both tablets and homemade extracts, the man was taking in almost 17.32 milligrams of cyanide every day - enough to raise blood cyanide to around 25 times above acceptable levels.

The man, despite being warned of the risks of cyanide toxicity, chose to continue with his fruit kernel food supplements.

Apricot kernels have been widely publicised as a miracle cancer cure on and off since the 1950s. Food Standards of Australia and New Zealand recommend a maximum of two raw apricot kernels per day as being considered safe for consumption as food. It said bitter, apricot kernels, sweet apricot kernels, bitter almond kernels and powdered forms should not be consumed.



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