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Apple Seeds

Apple Seeds

C006/5231

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Credit

SCIMAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIMAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Apple seeds contain cyanogenic acids and could cause health problems even death if eaten in a large quantity without the fruits. Symptoms of mild poisoning include headache, dizziness, confusion, anxiety, and vomiting. Larger doses can lead to difficulty breathing, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and kidney failure. Reactions can include coma, convulsions, and death from respiratory arrest. The number of seeds eaten with whole apples is harmless because the body of an adult human can detoxify the cyanogens such as amygdalin (which are also present in the seeds of fruits such as pears, peaches, apricots, cherries, and plums and in almonds). Orchard varieties of apples cannot be propagated by seeds isolated from the fruits as the seedlings would grow into wild apple trees.

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