Can Potatoes Be Poisonous?   

Can Potatoes Be Poisonous?

Yes, they can! And many of us have put ourselves at risk without realising it. Also known as solanum tuberosum poisoning, potato poisoning can happen when you consume new sprouts of the potato plant or the green portion that is slightly below the skin.

The poison is distributed throughout the plant, but seems to be concentrated in these areas.

Potato alkaloids exert their toxic effects on the nervous system by interfering with the body’s ability to regulate acetylcholine, a chemical responsible for conducting nerve impulses.

The main types of glycoalkaloids found in potato sprouts are a-solanine and a-chaconine. A-chaconine is considered more toxic than a-solanine.

If you experience symptoms like diarrhoea , hallucinat ions, nausea, vomiting and urinary retention fol lowing a meal that included potatoes, consult a doctor at once.

To avoid the "greening" process that can lead to solanine formation, don't buy green potatoes and call any potatoes with green coloration to the attention of the produce manager at your market. At home, follow these guidelines:

•Store potatoes in a dark, cool place, such as in a basement.
•Wash potatoes before cooking and check carefully for green areas.
•Peel potatoes deeply enough to remove any green tissue present.

Happy reading,

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