We’ve all heard the tale of The Snowhite and the seven dwarfs, and the famous scene when the cruel queen poisons Snowhite with an apple. We say that it is a tale and nothing real, but is it…??
Now you might have been ridiculed by this statement but no worries! According to healthline, apples are nutritious, can be good for weight loss, for your heart, have compounds that help in fighting with asthma antand has antioxidant properties etc. So, we’re good. But is it the apples that are poisonous…nope. The poison we are talking about resides in the seeds and the core of the apples….
- Apple seeds
These fruits come from the family of Rosaceae . They include namely apricots, cherries etc. They contain a compound called amygdalin, which releases a gas when in contact with human digestive enzymes.
Suppose, you ate an apple, maybe you were in hurry and ate the core of apple as well. Well now the seeds are maybe chewed by you or directly swallowed. But the problem is, it doesn’t matter if you chew or swallow it, the second it comes in the contact with the digestive enzymes, in your stomach, amygdalin will start releasing the cyanide gas.
- Cyanide poisoning
The amygdalin , which has now come into contact with the enzymes, will start releasing hydrogen cyanide (HCN). Now, you don’t mess with HCN because this gas is extremely poisonous. Infact, it is known to be one of the deadliest poisons ever existed. Cyanides made used in warfare and during mass suicide. Cyanide is present in many compounds and also occur naturally for eg. seeds. The seeds, not any seeds, but the seeds from Rosaceae family, release the HCN gas as mentioned above.Now, what makes this gas so dangerous and lethal, particularly to humans? Well, cyanide, once into your bloodstream, prevent the cells from the usage of oxygen.As a result, the cells affected die. Cyanide is A cell is a basic unit of life, as the textbooks say, without it, life would not be possible for we, multicellular creatures. And living like an amoeba seems inconvenient, doesn’t it?
Cyanide is fatal for our vital organs, the heart and the brain.Cyanide is also present in the cigerrates smoke, which makes it lethal, constant breathing theses smokes lead towards cancer. ( We are not telling that eating apple seeds will cause cancer, that’s a typical Google answer- No! The information given is purely on constant intake or breathing of cyanide)Cyanide is also used in the combustion of synthetic materials like plastic. There are many industrial uses of cyanide in various forms, one can only say that eating it would not be a good idea now, would it?
One advantage which we get is the swallowing the cyanide is less toxic than actually breathing it.
If all this does not give you goosebumps then damn! You hardcore!
According to the centres of Disease control and Prevention, only about 1-2 mg/kg is enough to be called fatal. So an average apple contains about 5 seeds, and daily consumption in prescribed as unhealthy.But this varies from person to person according to the health of a person. So, for death, about 200 apples would be needed.
Okay, but if the apple seeds are fatal…..what about apple seed oil? Or Apple juice?They are used widely, are they not poisonous?
The answer is that your body is strong enough to uphold small amounts of cyanide. A small amount of this compound is easily detoxified by the smart system of your body. So it’s alright if you accidentally gulp down a seed!
The problem arises when you do this on daily basis. That’s when the real thing happens.Same is for the case of apple juice, they usually contain very small amounts of cyanide often detoxified by the body. But as a precaution, checking the quantity of cyanide is recommended.
- Mode of cyanide poisoning
- Inhalation,through cigeratte smokes etc.
- Cyanide gas absorbed by the skin.
- Swallowing cyanide through the medium of amygdalin the seeds.
In olden times, their was a woman who was fed up by her husband. Maybe due to constant abuse and intoxication (not specifically identified through the source)
So she devised a plan to kill her husband. Everyday she would grind apple seeds and mix them with milk and give it to her husband to drink. Now apple seeds are a very sneaky things. They usually smell like bitter almonds to some people as smelling it is purely genetic and usually limited only to some people.So, even if the husband did smell the milk, he might have just knocked the thought thinking it to be almonds. And the husband, eventually died. The later part is not available but I am sure she would have felt a tiny bit guilty because death through cyanide poisoning is horrible.
- Rapid breathing and rapid heart rate
- Restlessness and Weakness
Now ,if you notice these Symptoms, it may not necessarily be cyanide poisoning so calm down!
But a visit to the doctor is advisable and important
Now, after introducing you to this possibility, it is only fair, if the solution is given.There are not many treatments, but it can be cure through some supplements and antidotes. Supportive medical care can be convenient because the symptoms can show up at any point of time. For further information, one can contact
Email id: email@example.com
Cyanide poisoning is not a great thing to go through with, but with caution to not eat apple or any seeds from the Rosaceae familiy or inhaling this gas. But in this complicated world, there are literally a million and more brutal ways death can occur, cyanide poisoning can atleast be identified!