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Health Benefits of Appricot Kernels

Appricot Kernels

Appricot Kernels

An apricot kernel is the seed of anapricot.It is known for containing amygdalin, an ineffective, and sometimes dangerous, purported alternative cancer treatment.[1]Seeds or kernels of the apricot grown in central Asia and around theMediterranean are so sweet that they may be substituted for almonds. The Italian liqueur amaretto and amarettibiscotti are flavored with extract of apricot kernels as well as almonds. Oilpressed from these cultivars has been used as cooking oil.[citation needed]Apricot kernels can sometimes be strong-tasting and bitter. They feature in recipes for apricot jam, and Italian amaretto cookies and liqueur.[citation needed] Taken in excess, they may produce symptoms ofcyanide poisoning, including nausea,fever, rash, headaches, insomnia, increased thirst, weakness, lethargy,nervousness, various aches and pains in joints and muscles, and a drop inblood pressure.In 1993, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets tested the cyanide content of two 220 gram (8 oz) packages of apricot kernels imported from Pakistan that were being sold in health-food stores as a snack. The results showed that each package, if consumed entirely, contained at least double the minimum lethal dosage of cyanide for an adult human. The apricot pits were recalled and removed from stores.[2] There was one reported case in the medical literature of cyanide toxicity from apricot kernels from 1979 to 1998 in the United States.[3] On average, bitter apricot kernels contain about 5% amygdalin and sweet kernels about 0.9% amygdalin.[4] These values correspond to 0.3% and 0.05% ofcyanide. Since a typical apricot kernel weighs 600 mg, bitter and sweet varieties contain respectively 1.8 and 0.3 mg of cyanide. Reference 

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