Solanine - a poison from a potato
There are many concerns about poisoning with solanine from potatoes, but at the same time, little information on the network can be found about this. There are conflicting opinions, for example, on the effectiveness of poison neutralization by thermal processing of potatoes. And some give recommendations at the forums on the therapeutic use of toxin.
Let's find out what the solanine is, are there cases of poisoning them in humans? What are the fruits of it, what is the level of toxicity? We also analyze ways to neutralize poison, symptoms of poisoning, treatment and prevention of poisoning. First, let's look at what a solanin is.
What a poison - solanine
Solanin is a natural poison of plant origin. It consists of glucose and solanoidin. The structure of the substance is represented by crystals. It is practically insoluble in water, but it is diluted with alcohol. Solanin is found in the representatives of the family of nightshade.
Solanine is found in all parts of the plant, least of all in root crops. It is found in potatoes, rinds of ripe eggplant, in immature tomatoes. Very little toxin is contained in the ripe potato with proper storage for up to 3 months. After six months in the tubers, the amount of solanine begins to increase and more of it is found in the green potato sprouted.
Can I poison myself with solanine
Theoretically, the likelihood of intoxication with solanine appears if you eat boiled potato with peel, green potato peels, unripe tomatoes, unpeeled eggplants. But since almost no one does this, therefore, not a single case of poisoning with potato and other root crops was detected.
Poisoning by toxin from other sources, especially berries from potato leaves, green nightshade - is more likely due to the high concentration of poison in them.
In the ripe potato contains only 0.05% solanine. But in old, greenery, sprouted potatoes, its concentration is noticeably increasing.
To earn easy poisoning enough to eat 20 mg of solanine, contained in green potatoes, especially in the sprouted.
The release of 200-400 mg of poison into the blood leads to a lethal outcome. And since the absorption of the toxin does not take place completely, then to induce such a toxin content in the blood, even more solanine should enter the intestine. But eating such amounts of solanine is quite problematic.
Symptoms of poisoning with solanine
The mechanism of action of solanine is associated with a direct toxic effect on the tissues with direct contact with them - first the digestive system will suffer. The use of a toxic dose will manifest itself:
- liquid stool;
- spastic pain in the abdomen;
- a feeling of bitterness in the mouth;
- a sore throat.
On average, 2 hours after eating the nightshade, the flow of solanine into the blood begins. Due to this, there are signs of toxic effects on the cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, urinary system. There is difficulty in breathing, general weakness, lethargy, headaches, dizziness, decreased urination, a protein appears in the urine, part of which is hemoglobin.
With severe poisoning with solanine, symptoms appear:
- lowering blood pressure;
- interruptions in the heart, followed by a slowing of the rhythm.
Under the action of the poison, erythrocytes are destroyed, twitching of the muscles begins, which turns into convulsions. They are followed by pareses, paralyzes. Death occurs from the cessation of the work of the respiratory center.
The first help in poisoning with solanine is reduced to the release of the intestine from the poison. To do this, the stomach is washed with a weak solution of potassium permanganate. Then give activated carbon or other drugs from the group of sorbents. It is recommended to drink enveloping drinks: jelly, milk, egg white. They give laxatives, astringents (tannin, oak bark). All this is done at an early stage with suspicion of intoxication in the shortest possible time. Then you need to call an ambulance.
With severe poisoning, treatment should be carried out in a hospital.
In the hospital, in this case, efforts are made to remove the poison from the intestine and blood by all available means. The gastric lavage is repeated, diuresis is stimulated, intravenous-drip solutions are introduced, hemosorption is performed, if necessary - hemodialysis. Symptomatic treatment aimed at maintaining normal breathing, heart and kidney function is prescribed. In severe patients, antibiotics are used to prevent infectious complications.
Prevention of poisoning with solanine
Solanine during heat treatment is destroyed only after heating more than 250⁰C. That is boiling and even frying (the boiling point of the oil does not exceed 180⁰ C) does not destroy the natural toxin. What to do?
- Sprouted potatoes are not recommended.
- If there are green areas on the tubers, cut them along with the peel.
- It is important to be able to store potatoes correctly. Before wintering, the dug out is well dried and kept in a cellar, basement or other place. It is important that there was a cool, dry, working ventilation - the tubers begin to deteriorate in heat and dampness. When conditions for germination are created, in such roots, the amount of solanine increases greatly. The potatoes are stored in boxes with a height of 1.5 meters at a temperature of 2-3⁰ C, humidity not exceeding 90%.
- Solanin in eggplants will be cleared of peeling vegetables.
- Unripened tomatoes can only be used for marinovki (acetic acid neutralizes poison).
Let's sum up
So, solanine is a complex plant poison contained in the family of nightshade. The toxin is resistant to temperature influence, therefore at thermal processing of products in house conditions does not collapse. With a therapeutic purpose, the toxin is not used now. Only 20 mg of poison is enough to cause symptoms of poisoning. Therefore, you should not listen to the advice of lovers to be treated not traditionally and take it for the sake of imaginary recovery.
Intoxication often occurs not from vegetables, but with the use of green berries or other parts of the plant, where the level of poison is high. Symptoms of poisoning develop gradually, which is due to the peculiarities of absorption of solanine. Neutralize the poison with acidic drinks and to a certain extent a weak solution of potassium permanganate, which helps in the treatment of such poisonings. In other respects, the treatment does not differ from the general algorithm of actions with intoxication.