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It's often noted that fruit pits, the hardened seeds inside peaches, cherries, and plums, contain amygdalin, which breaks down into cyanide in the body. It is also often noted that apple seeds and some others also have amygdalin, though admittedly less than pits.

Cyanide, of course, is very toxic. It doesn't take much to kill you. However, from what I can find, it would take quite a few seeds or pits to get enough amygdalin to poison anybody, yet, I've read claims that people have indeed died from cyanide poisoning originating from amygdalin found naturally in these seeds.

No one has survived eating more than 38 [apricot pits].
Source

The quote implies that some people have indeed died from eating apricot pits. Is this true? What were the circumstances (e.g. did they eat a bunch intentionally)?

marked as duplicate by Sklivvz Jul 13 '15 at 22:18

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  • Flagging as "Not notable": That source itself does not provide a source for the claim, except for maybe (presumably) that doctor. Also, I would say an equally valid claim is, "No one has died from eating more than 38 apricot pits," since I can hardly imagine someone getting one down, let alone thirty-eight. – Reinstate Monica iamnotmaynard Jul 13 '15 at 21:12
  • @iamnotmaynard Cracking them open and intentionally eating them is certainly one way. Another would be smoothies. Apricot pits can certainly be crushed up pretty good in larger, nicer blenders. Same for cherries. Probably not peaches or nectarines though. – fredsbend Jul 13 '15 at 22:12
  • @iamnotmaynard So, does the article author not count? I don't participate here often, but the "notability" requirement is probably not a problem here. – fredsbend Jul 13 '15 at 22:14
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    @Sklivvz, I don't think this should have been marked as a duplicate. The other question address only the question of almonds, whereas this question is about all amygdalin containing fruit pits. For example, I am now curious if any other fruit pits besides wild bitter almonds would be fatal in small amounts. – Jonah Sep 6 '15 at 0:12
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    The fact that this is just ignored as a duplicate is a complete joke. This question concerns all amygdalin-containing fruits, and also asks specifically "has anoyone died"- which is a question not even touched upon by the supposed duplicate. The flagging of this as duplicate shrouds the whole StackExchange moderation community in utter shame. Or something. – Jimpanzee Apr 30 '16 at 23:57

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