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A cancer patient nearly died from cyanide poisoning because of his burning passion for apricot kernel extract.
The unidentified man, 67, consumed two teaspoons of the 'complimentary medicine' each day, in the belief it would keep him in remission.
Tablets - Novodalin - Fruit - Kernel - Reason
He was also taking three tablets of Novodalin - a commercially made herbal fruit kernel supplement daily for the same reason.
But his habit eventually caught up with him, a case study reveals. He was beginning to become starved of oxygen - which is how cyanide kills.
Doctors - Times - Limit - Toxin - Body
Doctors found him to have 25 times above the safe limit of the toxin in his body - an amount that can have serious side effects.
His serious condition was spotted during a follow-up examination of his prostate by experts at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne.
Levels - Oxygen - Body - Hypoxia
They noticed that he had abnormally low levels of oxygen in his body, also known as hypoxia, when he was under anaesthetic.
In this situation, hypoxia can be a 'potentially life-threatening condition', the medic wrote in BMJ Case Reports.
Blood - Tests - Toxicity - Amygdalin - Kernels
Blood tests then showed cyanide toxicity, formed when amygdalin in apricot kernels is ingested in the body.
The patient told doctors he had been taking two teaspoons of home-made apricot kernel extract and three tablets of Novodalin every day for the past five years.
Apricot - Kernels - Health - Fad
Apricot kernels: The health fad
Apricot kernels have been a popular complimentary medicine since the 1970s as it is claimed they can stop cancers. Hollywood actor Steve McQueen even tried laetrile - also known as amygdalin - in his battle against...
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