Fungal Toxins in Apples

Fungal Toxins in Apples
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Researchers report levels of a fungal toxin in organic and conventional apple juice.

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Fact or fiction, though? Many of us were told as kids not to eat the brown parts. But can we eat the whole apple, bruises and all?

Patulin is a mycotoxin produced by a fungus that infects apples, and can cause those characteristic brown patches. If it is a human carcinogen—and we’re still not sure—it’s a pretty weak one. So the concern is not with the apples themselves—because we can just cut away the brown parts—but with apple juice, where companies can get away with using fallen, rotting, moldy apples—and we would never know, unless researchers started testing apple juice for the presence of fungal toxins.

And in countries around the world, patulin levels in apple juice—the #1 source of fruit servings for toddlers in this country—have in many cases exceeded the World Health Organization safety guidelines.

Always better to consume apples than apple juice. But if you are going to drink apple juice, choose organic, as none of the samples of organic juice in the latest 2009 study exceeded those safety limits.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Fact or fiction, though? Many of us were told as kids not to eat the brown parts. But can we eat the whole apple, bruises and all?

Patulin is a mycotoxin produced by a fungus that infects apples, and can cause those characteristic brown patches. If it is a human carcinogen—and we’re still not sure—it’s a pretty weak one. So the concern is not with the apples themselves—because we can just cut away the brown parts—but with apple juice, where companies can get away with using fallen, rotting, moldy apples—and we would never know, unless researchers started testing apple juice for the presence of fungal toxins.

And in countries around the world, patulin levels in apple juice—the #1 source of fruit servings for toddlers in this country—have in many cases exceeded the World Health Organization safety guidelines.

Always better to consume apples than apple juice. But if you are going to drink apple juice, choose organic, as none of the samples of organic juice in the latest 2009 study exceeded those safety limits.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

Check out these videos on apples:

And check out my other videos on juice

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9 responses to “Fungal Toxins in Apples

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    1. Hey there!
      I had these random tiny cluster of what looked like bruises that appeared… and the same time I had a bigger bruise on my upper thigh. It’s been about 2 and a half weeks sense I get them and the one on my leg seems the same and doesn’t hurt… it just randomly appeared the same day as the tiny ones that where on my shoulder seem area hip side area.
      Do you know what the cause could be?




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  1. I love apples eat them all time, however, after eating them my lips and sometimes my tongue will swell a little or tingle. This usually happens for only a few minutes. It doesn’t seem to matter how well I wash the apples or if they are regular or organic. Is this an allergy or is it something that is on the skin of the apple?




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    1. Hi KB, Your symptoms fit the diagnosis, Oral Allergy Syndrome. It is fairly common and usually localized to the mouth and might be related to remnants of pollens in the fruit. It is usually not associated with dangerous systemic symptoms but can sometimes cause additional intestinal symptoms. Cooking the apples may eliminate the problem. The safest course is to avoid the apples. To find out the most current recommendations for this condition you might consider a visit an Allergy Specialist.




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    2. super late reply from me but maybe it still helps (or someone else who reads this):
      ive had the same issue
      but once i went vegan it gone away
      i was certain i had overcome that allergy and so one day after being vegan for a long long time i ate 2 pieces of pork (deep fried with eggs and breadcrumbs)(around 250g each)
      later the same day i was really hungry for mangos and nuts so i ate some – and lo and behold my tongue and lips started to itch like they used to
      not sure if it was the meat or the eggs (or the deeped fried oils)
      im pretty sure it was the meat ;O




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  2. Are black bananas safe to eat? Many people I know wait till they are black (and then some) before using them in banana nut bread.




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  3. Apples are great for one’s health. Though with the chemicals being used to treat the fruit we can’t actually ensure its safety anymore. That’s why it is important to practice proper handling of food to prevent any health problems. It goes too with handling of medical waste and disposal. Non-observance with result sometimes in fatalities. see: http://www.medicalwasteact.com/




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