How can lychees kill? Over the last two decades, hundreds of healthy children in a region of Bihar have died after eating lychees on an empty stomach. They woke up, screaming in the night before suffering convulsions and losing consciousness as they suffered acute swelling of the brain. Is the fruit toxic? US and Indian scientists now have an answer to this mysterious question.
New research onto the death of these children, published in the medical journal The Lancet, now suggests that they were poisoned by the fruit. Most of the victims were poor children in India’s main lychee-producing region who ate fruits that had fallen on to the ground in orchards, the journal said.
How Lychees Killed?
Lychees contain toxins, that inhibit the body’s ability to produce glucose. Most of the victims were poor children in India who most of the time missed dinner. With an already low level of glucose in the morning, eating fallen lychees was fatal.
Lychees contain hypoglycin, a toxin that prevents the body from making glucose. It is advisable to eat lychees only on a full stomach and avoid the fruit at night, where the level of glucose can decrease.