ID#: 21520
Description: Caption:
This 1966 image depicted an opened akee plant seed pod, Blighia sapida, which is native to tropical West African nations, including Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea, and Sierra Leone to name a few. It is also found in Jamaica, after having been imported from its West African origins. Present in the unripe the compounds, hypoglycin A, found in both the seeds and the arils, and hypoglycin B, present only in the seeds, are both toxic to humans. The arils are actually the edible fruit, which when prepared from ripened pods in the proper manner, is a traditional food eaten throughout the plant’s habitat. Ingestion of the poison causes a malady referred to as Jamaican vomiting sickness, which involves a disruption of fatty acid metabolism, leading to fatty acid accumulating in the liver. With an unavailability of fatty acids, the body resorts to using glucose and glycogen for its energy, which then leads to hypoglycemia.
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Content Providers(s): CDC/ Frank L. Bryan, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Creation Date: 1966
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Copyright Restrictions: None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.