As tasty and popular as lychees may be, there are health dangers associated with the exotic fruits that most people are unaware of. “The threat of lychees” started almost three years ago, when a lot of children in Bihar died after consuming the fruits. India is currently the largest producer of the exotic fruit in the world.
Many health experts and scientists investigated the issue but were unable to find the cause that killed so many people. Among the researchers, there were some that believed it had something to do with a deadly virus. Others warned about the dangers associated with the consumption of raw lychees. Nevertheless, these were mere speculations as researchers were unable to pin down the root of the problem.
Nowadays, scientists claim they have identified the culprit that claimed so many lives in India. According to a new study, lychees contain a wide range of natural toxins that are stored mainly in the seeds. However, researchers say that the fact the exotic fruits contain these toxins was already known. Moreover, the fruits are thought to have originated in ancient China, and locals were cautious when consuming lychees.
The study, which was published in the medical journal The Lancet and conducted by a joint team of researchers from India and the U.S. notes that the acute neurological illness outbreaks among Indian children who died after consuming the fruits were linked to the litchi’s toxic properties. Moreover, their conditions likely worsened because of the heat the patients were exposed to, and exposure to pesticides and increased humidity.
Furthermore, the researchers revealed that unripe fruits were more at fault than the ready to eat ones, as they were packed with a certain amino acid that severely impacts glucose levels in the consumer’s blood.
Parents of the children who experienced the negative effects of the lychees’ toxic compounds say their children would return home in the evening after spending their day in the nearby orchards eating the exotic fruits with no interest in a nutritious meal. Almost in all of the cases, they were rushed to the hospital in critical condition shortly afterward either already unconscious or seizing.
Image Source: Pixabay
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