JAKARTA, NNC - A 67-year-old man in Australia got cyanide poisoning for routinely taking apricot kernel extract to prevent his prostate cancer from coming back, BMJ Case Reports said.
Quoted Wednesday (9/13/2017) from the NY Daily News, the man ingests two teaspoons of apricot kernel extract and three Novodalin tablets, a herbal fruit seed supplement, equiling to 17.23 milligrams of cyanide.
The dose of the apricot he takes is self-determined based on an alternative treatment belief that apricot kernel can prevent or cure cancer. The man is in recovery from prostate cancer and is currently trying to prevent the it back.
Apricot seeds contain amygdalin, also called laetrile, which is converted into cyanide as it enters the body, then prevents cells from using oxygen, which can result in death. Those who say the apricot kernel extract prevent cancer believes that it only affects cancer cells.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Preventiuon), fruit seeds such as apricots, apples, and peaches contain a number of chemicals that can be metabolized to cyanide. Although in low levels but there are times when cyanide directly stop oxygen from our body cells. Cyanide is a toxin that causes nausea and vomiting, dizziness, headaches, even death.
The man was lucky because his doctor noticed cyanide traces in his body. Actually, he did not experience any symptoms related to cyanide. The unnamed man came to the hospital for routine procedures related to his prostate cancer.
As the procedure requires anesthesia, the doctors pay attention to the low oxygen saturation and high thiocyanate levels, which is the effect of the cyanide split in the body.
The doctor told him to stop taking apricot kernel and he did, but only for three days, as he strongly believes in the power of apricot kernel.
UK, Canada and USA all have the maximum amount of safe or cyanide apricot kernel intake for foodstuffs. Australia, even banned the sale of apricot kernels as food by the end of 2015.
Cherry, peach pits and apple seeds can all be broke down into cyanide in the body but to receive a fatal dose of cyanide you would need to eat more than 200 apple seeds.