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Author Topic: How Almonds Went From Deadly To Delicious  (Read 197 times)

JoeReal

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How Almonds Went From Deadly To Delicious
« on: June 13, 2019, 04:25:56 PM »
"Most almonds produced today are naturally tasty and safe to eat. Back then, though, many were bitter and poisonous."

A very interesting history of almonds. There's even a 14th century method to convert a wild poisonous almond into palatable and edible ones! There's no need to do that today.

"St. Basil's Hexaemeron, a Christian text from around the fourth century, contains a curious botanical instruction: Pierce an almond tree in the trunk near its roots, stick a "fat plug of pine" into its center, and its almond seeds will undergo a remarkable change.

"Thus the ... bitter almonds ... lose the acidity of their juice, and become delicious fruits," the text reads. "Let not the sinner then despair of himself. ... If agriculture can change the juices of plants, the efforts of the soul to arrive at virtue can certainly triumph over all infirmities." The cause of this change, scientists later theorized, was stress: Jamming pine wood into the almond tree's core may have halted production of the toxins.

We don't need pine wood to turn almonds sweet anymore. Most almonds produced today are naturally tasty and safe to eat. Back then, though, many were bitter and poisonous. Even today, consuming 50 or fewer wild, bitter almonds could potentially kill an adult, and just a handful contain enough cyanide to be lethal to a child.

Over time, farmers have bred domesticated almond trees to produce mostly sweet seeds. But wild almonds helped us out and now, we know just how they went from deadly to delicious. A study published this week in the journal Science, which sequenced the almond genome, shows that a single genetic mutation "turned off" the ability to make the toxic compound thousands of years ago a key step before humans could domesticate them."


https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/06/13/732160949/how-almonds-went-from-deadly-to-delicious

SeaWalnut

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Re: How Almonds Went From Deadly To Delicious
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2019, 11:03:42 PM »
The bitter ones have pink flowers and the sweet one have white flowers.
In childhood i got poisoned and got to hospital after i ate quite a lot of wild apricot seeds wich were bitter like those bitter almonds.Now ,after a long time i found somme italian cookies called amaretti wich are made with bitter almonds and their somme of my favourite sweets.
Also amaretto liquaour might be made with bitter almonds thogh im not sure.
This year ive planted a small orchard of 115 wild almond seedlings that are native in zone 5 and are really cold hardy.99 percent of them are sweet.The trees grow quite small not like regular almonds and they are the most drought tolerant trees native to my country.


« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 11:20:44 PM by SeaWalnut »

JoeReal

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Re: How Almonds Went From Deadly To Delicious
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 10:01:35 AM »
The bitter almonds or apricot kernels have anti-cancer properties because of Amygdalin (Vitamin B-17 or laetrile), a substance that can be toxic or cancer cure depending on dosage.  Although laetrile, the human marketed version of Amygdalin have been promoted online as an overhype type of hoax, there are actual biomedical literatures compiled by the National Institute of Health about it, and it shows promise, not the definite cure yet.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29308747
Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2018;18(12):1650-1655. doi: 10.2174/1871520618666180105161136.
Amygdalin from Apricot Kernels Induces Apoptosis and Causes Cell Cycle Arrest in Cancer Cells: An Updated Review.
Saleem M1, Asif J2, Asif M2, Saleem U2.
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Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Amygdalin is a cyanogenic glycoside which is described as a naturally occurring anticancer agent. Current review highlights apoptosis-inducing attributes of amygdalin towards different cancers and its potential application as an anti-cancer agent in cancer therapy.

METHOD:
Data about amygdalin was retrieved from all major scientific databases i.e., PubMed, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar, Scopus and Medline by using combination of keywords like amygdalin, apoptosis, laetrile, vitamin B- 17, pro-apoptotic proteins, anti-apoptotic proteins, hydrogen cyanide, mechanism of action of amygdalin and amygdalin therapy on humans. However, no specific time frame was followed for collection of data.

RESULTS:
Data collected from already published articles revealed that apoptosis is a central process activated by amygdalin in cancer cells. It is suggested to stimulate apoptotic process by upregulating expression of Bax (proapoptotic protein) and caspase-3 and downregulating expression of Bcl-2 (anti-apoptotic protein). It also promotes arrest of cell cycle in G0/G1 phase and decrease number of cells entering S and G2/M phases. Thus, it is proposed to enhance deceleration of cell cycle by blocking cell proliferation and growth.

CONCLUSION:
The current review epitomizes published information and provides complete interpretations about all known anti-cancer mechanisms of amygdalin, possible role of naturally occurring amygdalin in fight against cancer and mistaken belief about cyanide toxicity causing potential of amygdalin. However, well-planned clinical trials are still needed to be conducted to prove effectiveness of this substance in vivo and to get approval for human use.



https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6352493/
The anti-proliferative effect of apricot and peach kernel extracts on human colon cancer cells in vitro
Wagheda Cassiemcorresponding author1 and Maryna de Kock2
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Data Availability Statement
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Abstract
Background
Colorectal malignant neoplasms is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women in the developed world and the incidence has recently increased markedly in South Africa. Studies have highlighted the beneficial effects of Amygdalin, a cyanogenic compound found in both peach and apricot kernels, in its ability to suppress the development of colon cancer. The focus of this study was to investigate the potential anti-proliferative properties of various apricot and peach kernels extractions from South Africa and China and to monitor alterations in cell cycle kinetics in colon cancer cells.

Methods
Studies were conducted on HT-29 colon cancer cells. The interactive role of three different kernel extractions on the modulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle progression was monitored over 24, 48 and 72 h periods.

Results
After 24 h, all extracts of the South African apricot kernels had a dose related bi-phasic proliferative effect on the HT-29 cells. It stimulated cell proliferation at the lowest and highest concentrations while at 500 μg/mL it inhibited cell proliferation. In contrast, after 72 h, the low concentration inhibited cell proliferation while the 500 μg/mL extracts stimulated cell proliferation. Morphological changes were observed in cells incubated with Chinese kernel extracts after 24 h and South African kernel treatment (1000 μg/mL) after 72 h. A possible intra-S-phase block after 24 and 48 h exposure to South African hydrophilic kernel extracts was observed. This transient block that is more concerned with tolerating and accommodating damage during replication rather than repairing it, could explain the initial anti-proliferative effects observed after 24 h exposure to the various Chinese kernel extract concentrations.

Conclusion
Abrogation of the block by exhaustion of the cyanide production, most likely allowed the cells to resume the cell cycle and continue into mitosis, whereas low ATP levels caused by the presence of amygdalin in the kernels, can also cause the induction of pycnosis or necrosis. These results highlight the possible mechanisms of growth inhibition by amygdalin containing extracts and may contribute towards the development of dietary anti-cancer therapies.

Keywords: Apricot kernel, Peach kernel, Amygdalin, Colon cancer, S-phase block


SeaWalnut

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Re: How Almonds Went From Deadly To Delicious
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2019, 08:32:42 PM »
A picture with my cold hardy wild almond seeds.I rated them to be solid zone 5 fruit trees and the size is smaller compared to the big seed ( its ,,Record de Teteny,, cultivar from Hungary ) but the taste of the small ones is better,sweeter and it was told to me by people that buys a lot of almonds for pastry and cookies.
As a curiosity,the big seed its more than 15 years old and i bet its still good to eat and i can feel the kernel moving when i shake it.I keep it for an experiment but wont open it now ;D.

SoCal2warm

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Re: How Almonds Went From Deadly To Delicious
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2019, 12:36:20 PM »
The same substance that makes almonds poisonous is also where the flavor comes from.

In small amounts it's delicious.

JoeReal

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Re: How Almonds Went From Deadly To Delicious
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2019, 03:23:12 PM »
The same substance that makes almonds poisonous is also where the flavor comes from.

In small amounts it's delicious.

It's the dosage that can make it medicinal or toxic.  Most poisons and venoms are like that too!

 

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