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One Bad Apple

One Bad Apple

Nutrition Facts with Dr. GregerGo to Podcast Page

Michael Greger, M.D.
8 Clips
Aug 19, 2021
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Did you ever wonder if the food you eat? Is a direct effect on your health well-being and Longevity. Well, I'm here to end that mystery. You are the food, you eat. Welcome to the nutrition facts podcast. I'm your host. Dr. Michael Greger today. We asked about the right fruit to eat the best portion size and how it should be served. And we start with the Exotic lychee fruit, which is actually
Toxic under certain
circumstances. Lychee fruits have evidently been used in many cultures for the folk medicine treatment of everything from farts to testicular swelling. Yeah, but arsenic Mercury and Lead are also included in many traditional remedy. So how much is that really telling us but lychees have been apparently shown to exhibit numerous health benefits. Yeah, but they
These like this the protective effect of a lychee flower extract on cardiovascular health and high fat fed hamster. What are you supposed to do with that? You don't even eat the flowers and you're not a hamster hard to argue with this the way flavor. That's sweet fragrant and delicious, which is why I love them so much, but then I saw paper's like this. A
Old, killing toxin emerges from the Shadows. Scientists link mystery deaths to the consumption of lychees in Vietnam. It was called nightmare Encephalitis. Unexplained outbreaks and children, coinciding with lychee harvesting children, go to bed find, but wake up the next morning, seriously ill with brain function, derangement and seizures or don't wake up at all.
Same thing in India, killing up to nearly two out of three, kids affected in some places. And we're talking thousands of kids becoming one of the most pressing Public Health emergencies in the country was evidently one of the three long-standing mystery diseases on Wikipedia remaining a mystery for more than two decades.
All clinical samples were negative for known brain viruses. So some investigators thought it was caused by some unknown virus others thought it might have been the pesticides used in the orchard. All we knew is it seemed to coincide with the lychee Harvest? So maybe the fruit was attracting fruit bats and then the mosquitoes were transferring some new virus from bats to people. Okay, but then why would toddlers be spared mosquitoes bite, infants?
So maybe kids were swapping Spit with the fruit bats, eating half eaten fruit, or maybe it was just because it was summertime and they were all just getting heatstroke. Okay, then why wasn't the Heat or pesticides affecting adults? One of the clues, that finally helped investigators tease out the mystery was that the children consistently had low blood sugar. In some cases fatally low blood sugar.
Kind of sounds like Jamaican vomiting sickness perfectly. Well, when they went to bed, but by the next morning sick, then unconscious. And then both dead within 48 hours, all thanks to ding. Unripe Aki fruit, which contains a toxin known as hypoglycemic. That prevents your liver from turning out, blood sugar all night long to keep your brain alive, while you sleep. And Aki is a member of the soapberry family. Just like
Like lychees, ha ha, but Muzaffar for is a leading lychee producer and experts at the national lychee Center claimed. They completely refuted the lychee link but independent researchers, found it lychee, fruit contains. Methylene cyclopropyl. Glycine AKA ink the exact same hypoglycemia talks. So in the setting of malnourished children, who all
Already start out with depleted, energy stores in their liver to do to going to bed hungry, and general, malnutrition low blood sugar sets in and due to the excessive lychee consumption to production of new energy is blocked and the trouble starts.
It's a social tragedy that children are dying in the 21st century, due to low blood sugar, which could be easily corrected and just as tragic, that hungry children are forced to binge on lychees falling on the ground to get a meal. It's like something out of Grapes of Wrath.
The happy ending though is that rather than just focusing on better, treatments public health workers sought instead to treat the cause by educating folks that no child should go to bed at night without eating in cooked meal and for parents to restrict children, eating lychees in the evening to none or very few. And thankfully by applying these recommendations. The disease instance has been dramatically reduced in hindsight, it appears.
China was already warning citizens about the dangers of lychees, a decade earlier, but word had apparently just not gotten around. What are the implications in the West, in the US, the FDA tried to protect people against poisoning with this toxin, which is not destroyed by heating by mandating that canned Aki fruits, coming into the country, test below, a certain level, but there are no such regulations when it comes to importing lychees. Fortunately. They figured the highwomen.
High Cost of these imported fruits in the likelihood that they would be eaten in small quantities by well-nourished. Consumer suggest. There's a little reason for concern in the USA.
Small quantities. You don't know how I eat lychees. I used to sneak into movie theaters with big bags of them pounds of them, because they were just so, you know, fun to peel and eat. How many is too many and a series of a few hundred poisoning cases. People reported eating 300 grams to a kilo each lychees about 10 grams. So that's Thirty to a hundred fruit. Most of the cases were
In children, so we can probably safely say Thirty to a hundred lychees is too many at a time for kids. What about an adult and now self experiment? A researcher just down some lychees and measured the hypoglycemia levels in his blood and urine based on how much was in the fruit. How much she ended up peeing out in the urine levels. Found in victims. One can roughly calculate that adults shouldn't eat more than 200 fresh.
Lychees at a time or about 10
cans worth.
In our next story. We look at how dietary guidelines should stress fresh frozen and dried fruit rather than canned food. Cans used to be soldered with lead compounds so much so that people living off a canned food. May have died from lead poisoning. Thankfully. This is no longer a problem in the United States LED contamination, was actually one of the first priorities of the FDA before it was even called.
All the FDA back in 1906. It's great. That newspaper is now have online archives going back a century. So we can read about landmark historical events, like FDA proposed has led soldered cans, be banned way back Yonder, in 1993 going into effect, 1995. Evidently. It was complicated because lead solder was grandfathered in as a
fire sanctioned substance. Now that the LED is gone though. Our canned foods healthy primarily depends on what's in the can. If it's spam Dandy, I'd probably pass let's give canned food. The benefit of Doubt though, what about canned fruit when we know fruits and vegetables in general may help protect us from dying from cardiovascular disease and when it comes to preventing Strokes fruit, maybe even
Or protect him. But whether food processing effects, this Association was unknown, this study found that unprocessed produce mostly apples and oranges appeared, Superior to processed produce, but that was mainly, orange, and apple juice. I mean, no, surprise. Whole fruit is better than fruit juice. What about whole fruit just in? A can dietary guidelines, encourage all fruit, fresh frozen and canned. But few Studies have examined, the health benefits of canned fruit.
Until now, canned fruit did not seem able to enable people live longer. In fact, moving from fresh or dried fruit to canned. Fruit might even shorten one's
So maybe dietary guidelines should stress fresh frozen and dried rather than can why the difference. There's no more lead, but there is that Plastics chemical BPA that is used in the lining of most cans.
And leach into the food and might counter balance. Some of the fruit benefits. Recently, blood levels of this chemical was associated with thickening of the lining, the arteries going up to the brains of young adults. For example, canned fruit is often packed in syrup as well with all that added sugar and the canning process might diminish some nutrients potentially wiping out 20 to 40 percent of the phenolic phytonutrients and about half of the vitamin C, you know, maybe
One of the reasons Citrus appears particularly protective against stroke is the vitamin C. It appears, the more vitamin C in our diet, the lower our risk of stroke, and the more vitamin C in our bloodstream, the lower our risk of stroke. But how did the vitamin C get in our bloodstream? These people must have been eating a lot of healthy foods, like citrus tropical fruits, broccoli bell peppers there for the observed effect of vitamin C on stroke reduction, May simply be a proxy for specific healthy foods. That
Lower stroke risk. How could we tell? Well, we could just give people vitamin C pills instead and see if they work and they don't citrus fruits, have all sorts of other compounds associated with lower stroke risk. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You can't capture mother nature in a pill. It's like the apocryphal beta-carotene story dozens of studies, show that people, who ate more beta, carotene rich foods, like
Like greens and sweet potatoes, and therefore, had more beta-carotene circulating in their system. Had lower cancer risk, but how much money can we make selling carrots? So, they tried giving people beta-carotene pills and not only did they not work. They may have even caused more cancer. So, I assumed this National Cancer Institute, researcher would conclude the obvious produce, not pills, but know, maybe we should have tried lower dose bills, or maybe Alpha carotene pills, or
As with other phytochemicals are multiple combinations. After all, it's likely that neither the public nor the scientific Community will be satisfied with recommendations concerned solely with mere Foods. Finally, today. We ask does the threshold for toxicity of fructose apply to fruit or just a added Industrial Sugar such as sucrose and high fructose. Corn syrup, previously, explored, how adding blueberries to our meals can actually blonde
Aunt, the detrimental effects of high glycemic foods, but how many berries the purpose of this study was to determine the minimum level of blueberry consumption, at which a consumer May realistically expect to receive an antioxidant benefit after eating blueberries with a sugary breakfast. Cereal, if we eat a bowl of cornflakes with no berries, within 2 hours. So many free radicals are created. It puts us into oxidative debt. The antioxidant power of our bloodstream drops below where we started from before breakfast, as the antitoxin Center.
To get used up and a quarter cup of blueberries, didn't seem to help much but 1/2 cup of blueberries. Did what about fruit for diabetics? Most guidelines recommend eating a diet with a high intake of fiber rich food, including fruit because they're so healthy antioxidants, anti-inflammatories improve, arterial function and reduce cancer risk. However, some health professionals have concerns about the sugar content of fruit and therefore recommend restricting, the
Fruit intake. Okay, let's put it to the test. Diabetics are randomized into two groups. One told to eat, at least two pieces of fruit a day. And the other told Ed most to fruits a day, the reduced fruit group, reduced their fruit, but had no effect on the control. Their diabetes are weighed and some the intake of fruits should not be restricted in patients with type 2 diabetes. And emerging literature has shown that low dose.
Fructose may actually benefit blood sugar control. So having a piece of fruit with each meal would be expected to lower, not raise the blood sugar response. The threshold for toxicity of fructose may be around 50 grams. The problem is that the current average adult fructose consumption. Thanks to Industrial sugars, like table, sugar and high fructose, corn syrup. So the levels of half of all, adults, are likely above the threshold for fructose toxicity. And Adolescence currently are
Courage 75. Now is that the limit for added sugars or for all fructose? If we don't want more than 50 and there's like 10 and a piece of fruit. Should we not eat more than five foot a day? According from the Harvard Health letter, the nutritional problems of fructose ensure calm when they are added to Foods fruit, on the other hand is beneficial in almost any amount.
What do they mean by almost? Can we go ten for today? How about 24 today? It's actually been put to the test 17. People were made the 20 servings A Day fruit, despite the extraordinary high fructose content to their diet. Presumably about 200 grams a day eight cans of soda worth. The investigators reported. No adverse effects possible benefit actually for body weight. Blood pressure, and insulin and lipid levels of fats in the blood after three to
Months, more recently, Jenkins and colleagues put people on about a 20 servings of fruit a day diet for a few weeks and no adverse effects on waiter blood pressure, triglycerides and an astounding thirty-eight Point drop in LDL cholesterol. There was one side effect though given the forty four servings of vegetables. They had on top of all that fruit. They recorded the largest bowel movements apparently ever documented in a dietary intervention.
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