Everyone loves eating fruit. It’s an easy way to stay healthy while making sure that you fulfill all of your daily vitamin requirements. And while you can appreciate most fruits for their health benefits, some should be avoided at all costs.
The lychee berry, a member of the soapberry family, is a tropical fruit that is indigenous to China. Since people began harvesting it some 2,000 years ago, it’s become popular around the world—especially in India.
So when researchers in Muzzafarpur, India noticed hundreds of lower-income children becoming sick at the same time each year, they suspected the culprit was related to their diet—specifically one popular fruit that was harvested around that time. Not only were the researchers correct, but the truth was worse than they thought…
In Muzzafarpur, India, doctors grew concerned when they noticed hundreds of low-income kids were suffering from seizures and swelling of the brain between mid-May and June each year.
Strangely, these dates coincided with the season during which lychee berries were harvested in the area. The researchers believed that children suffered these symptoms when ingesting too many lychees on an empty stomach.
They also noted that the more impoverished the patient, the less likely they were to have eaten anything else that day. Essentially, they were consuming the fruit on an empty stomach.
Lychees are known to create hypoclycin, a toxin that prevents the human body from making glucose; this causes blood sugar levels to drop extremely low. This can result in people slipping into unconsciousness or even experiencing seizures.
While there’s no way to prevent the low blood sugar that comes from consuming lychees, doctors and researchers suggest that people consume entire meals before eating the fruit.
It’s so scary to think that something that occurs naturally from the earth could be so harmful to human beings. That said, it’s important to note that eating lychees could have different effects on people. Be sure to consult a doctor before deciding to eat one for yourself!
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