Poison in apple seeds?
Name: Richardo Cossyleon
Is it true apple seeds contain small traces of poison?
I've not studied this in depth but understand that apple seeds do
contain a certain amount of toxic compounds. I've heard, but cannot confirm,
that while small numbers of seeds are dangerous, eating a larger number will
induce vomiting before the poison is absorbed. The whole business seems a bit
unlikely to me, I confess, since apples are so widely eaten and we never hear
directly of apple-related fatalities.
Apple seeds contain "prunasin" which is a cyanogenic glycoside - a
chemical that can become a poison when it is digested - it releases cyanide.
Apples are in the genus Prunus and members of Prunus make these types of poisons.
Susan P McCormick
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Update: June 2012