Cyanide From Apple Seeds

It is well known that apples are rich in vitamins, flavonoids and polyphenols which are natural antioxidants for prevention of a variety of cardio-cerebral-vascular diseases. However, it is known by very little people that a little amount of cyanide is contained in the seeds of apples. This fact is found by some Australian scientists in recent years. Excessive sedimentation of cyanide in the body can lead to symptoms such as dizziness and headaches. The respiratory rate of some people can also be accelerated.


Although it is a truth that small amounts of harmful cyanide are contained in apple cores, you do not need to worry about it too much. This substances are normally found in apples seeds instead of flesh. So, it is advised that you should avoid touching the seeds while eating apples. Although consumption of apple seeds will not lead to poisoning immediately, it is a bad habit for your health in the long run.


The deadly effects of cyanide is that cyanide will enter the body’s circulatory system and release the toxic cyanide ion which can instantly inhibit the activity of 42 kinds of enzyme in the cell. Among those enzyme, cytochrome oxidase is the one most sensitive to cyanide. Cyanide ions can rapidly combine with ferric ions in oxidized cytochrome oxidase and prevent them to be restored back into ferrous ions. This will cause the suffocation of cells because they cannot use oxygen in the blood. The central nervous system is most sensitive to hypoxia, and the brain will be damaged quickly after inhalation of cyanide. Although cyanide are highly toxic, but small amount of such substances can also be used to cure diseases. This is because it has an inhibitory effect on respiratory system which can be helpful to relieve symptoms of cough related disorders.

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Image provided By André Karwath aka Aka (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

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