It was a common claim when I grew up that eating a lot of sunflower seeds (most versions of the claim were specific to unhulled seeds) increase appendicitis risk or assuredly cause appendicitis (in more extreme versions).

Examples of the claim:

Does consuming sunflower seeds (especially unhulled) increase appendicitis risk?

1 Answer 1


In this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609170/ they checked 1969 removed appendices and in eight cases they found plant residuals and fruit seeds. No sunflower seeds are mentioned there, though.

On the other hand, in several occasions, like this one http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20838186 rectal bezoars (clumps of undigested food) caused by eating large amounts of sunflower seeds were found in the rectum (the abstract does not say were they hulls or not; other articles usually mention hulls).

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