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Medical Metabolization of Amygdalin

  1. Dec 27, 2016 #1
    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.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2016 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    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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