Diet rumors in 2012: Prawns + vitamin C= eating poison? Published: 2012-12-17 16:00:00

As the pseudo health knowledge, some diet rumors give out error information out of "goodwill" and raise a false alarm.

Rumor says "Eating prawns and vitamin C together like eating arsenic trioxide!" 

Food that one cannot eat together include prawns and vitamin C, which will cause arsenic poisoning; cold remedy and Coke, which will cause poisoning; eggs and saccharin; tofu and honey, which will cause deafness; kelp and coagulated pig blood, which will cause constipation; potatoes and banana, which will cause freckles; beef and brown sugar, which will lead to abdominal distention; dog meat and eels, which will lead to death; mutton and mud snails, which will lead to retention of food; celery and rabbit meat, which will lead to alopecia; tomatoes and green beans, which will undermine vigor; and goose meat and pear, which will injure one's kidney.

The truth is:

According to the rumors, the reason that people should not eat prawns and vitamin C together is that prawns contain a high concentration of arsenic compound, which is non-toxic to the human body but the vitamin C can transform it into highly toxic "trivalent arsenic," that is arsenic trioxide, causing acute poisoning even death.

Westerners like putting in lemon juice when cooking prawns and Chinese people also like such dishes as stir-fried prawns with Longjing Tea and prawns in tomato sauce. If the explain is true and the vitamin C in lemon, tea and tomatoes reacts with prawns, why no one is poisoned after eating them?

In fact, the vast majority of arsenic contained in prawns is stable organic arsenic and the content of inorganic arsenic is less than 4 percent.

According to China's national standards, the content of inorganic arsenic per kilogram of prawns shall not exceed 0.5 milligram. Even if all of the inorganic arsenic can be transformed into arsenic trioxide, one must eat approximately 105 kilograms of prawns to reach the oral dose of arsenic trioxide causing death.

Experts said that the following three toxic substances are more worthy of attention:

First, some toxic substances are naturally existed in the food such as puffer fish meat. Second, the toxic substances naturally exist in some food but people have found a way to detoxify them, such as the raw soya-bean milk and hyacinth beans, which can be detoxified through thorough heating. Third, it mainly includes the pollutants especially the biological contaminants.

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