Metabolization of Amygdalin

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  • Thread starter Steve Cox
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I have some bitter/sweet news. A friend of mine recently ingested about 5 ml of cherry seeds. He cracked the stone open and took out the seeds, chewing them before swallowing. I've heard that cherry seeds contain amygdalin, which, in case you don't know, is a cyanogenic compound. It metabolizes in the stomach to form Hydrogen Cyanide, which is poisonous because it leads to cellular hypoxia. My question is what do I have to thank for my friend's continued life?

More background: The cherries consumed were bitter cherries. The seeds were several months old so I was wondering if amygdalin potentially decomposes into a less toxic state. He has a normal diet and his medications are Adderall and Pentropezol.

Thank you for your thoughts.
 

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jim mcnamara
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First off, we cannot provide any kind of medical assistance here.
Answer:
LD50 is an estimate of how much of a compound ingested per Kg of body weight results in the death of 50% of the test subjects (obviously rats):
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2932206

5ml (less than ~5mg) is below that value for an adult human. Any time someone ingests something like what you saw, call the Poison Control Center or go to www.poison.org, as a first step.
 
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