Do apple seeds contain cyanide?

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The apple is one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world. However, few know that it is potentially toxic because its seeds contain cyanide, a potent poison. It has been proven that the seeds contain a very low dose of cyanide, which means that if you consume about 50 seeds, your life would be at risk.

The apple is one of the most widely consumed fruits worldwide. However, few know that it is potentially toxic because its seeds contain cyanide, a potent poison.it has been proven that the seeds contain a very low dose of cyanide, which means that if you consume around 50 seeds, your life would be at risk.

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It is harmless when intact, but when chewed or otherwise broken, the amygdala degrades into hydrogen cyanide. “This is very poisonous and even lethal in high doses,” specifies the specialized site Medical News Today.

“If you swallow the seeds without chewing them, you will eliminate them intact, and if you manage to break them in your mouth, the amount of cyanide present is so minimal that the body will take care of the detoxification without causing any consequences. So stay calm, and if you swallow the seeds, don’t worry,” complements physician, pathologist and geneticist Jorge Dotto, in a Huffington Post column.

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A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information detailed that the amygdala content in apple seeds was approximately 3 milligrams per gram of seeds (one seed is approximately 0.7 g).

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The truth is that things are not as easy as they may seem at first. In fact, science and research are advancing to make natural foods like milk, for example, much safer than they were before. Moreover, in nature we can also find poisons such as hemlock or foods containing amygdalin, a compound that turns into cyanide when it comes into contact with certain substances in our body. It happens, for example, with bitter almonds, apricots, peaches, apples, pears or cherries.

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Robles warns that, although it is recommended to avoid them, nothing happens if we eat one of these pits or seeds unintentionally. “The lethal dose of cyanide is between 0.5 and 3.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (between 35 and 245 milligrams for a 60-kilogram adult), and the cyanide content in the seeds ranges between 500 and 3,800 milligrams per kilogram, and each one weighs 0.5 grams, so in the worst-case scenario, you would have to eat at least 18 pits to cause death,” writes the expert in her book.

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The truth is that things are not as easy as they might first appear. In fact, science and research are advancing to make natural foods like milk, for example, much safer than they were before. Moreover, in nature we can also find poisons such as hemlock or foods containing amygdalin, a compound that turns into cyanide when it comes into contact with certain substances in our body. It happens, for example, with bitter almonds, apricots, peaches, apples, pears or cherries.

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Robles warns that, although it is recommended to avoid them, nothing happens if we eat one of these pits or seeds unintentionally. “The lethal dose of cyanide is between 0.5 and 3.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (between 35 and 245 milligrams for a 60-kilogram adult), and the cyanide content in the seeds ranges between 500 and 3,800 milligrams per kilogram, and each one weighs 0.5 grams, so in the worst-case scenario, you would have to eat at least 18 pits to cause death,” writes the expert in her book.