Cyanide is highly toxic to red blood cells.

  • Basis of cyanide:     -C≡N

How does cyanide cause death?

  • The open bond on the carbon side is desparate for pairing / bonding.
  • It is highly selective to minerals and especially iron stored in red blood cells
  • When cyanide enters the blood it rips the iron our of the cell
  • This renders the red blood cell unable to carry oxygen in and carbon dioxide out of the body
  • we suffocate rapidly and die

Cyanide: the plant war

  • Plants, do not breath oxygen
  • Animals die without oxygen
  • Seeds and nuts contain cyanide
  • cyanide aggressively stops oxygen dependent life
  • plants with cyanide laced seeds stop animals from eating the seeds
  • oxygen war, the plant always wins in this case

Cyanide: the virus war

Cyanide: the bacterial war

Bacteria, fungi and plants make cyanide to fight axygen breathing animals.

  • Destroys red blood cells
  • Causes low hemoglobin
  • Low iron, low ferroglobulin
  • Anemia,
  • hemolytic diseases
  • Life with oxygen is highly bohtered by cyanide.

Plants concentrate cyandie into their seeds and nuts.
Animals that eat the seeds get sick.
Birds often do not chew or grind the seeds and so are safe.
Birds help plants distribute their seeds to new locations.
Tree plants rely on birds and encourage them by growing sweet fruit.
Ground plants often rely on roots to expand their territory.

Cyandie in the food chain:

sea salt, ferrocyanide

Concentrated cyanide

  • almond nuts
  • apple seeds

Salt substitues and added to salt as a "food improvement agent"

  • E535 sodium ferrocyanide
  • E536 potassium ferrocyanide
  • E538 calcium ferrocyanide

many salts contain anti-caking, free-flowing, or conditioning agents

Tissues highly dependent on oxygen such as the heart and central nervous systme are most affected by cyanide poisoning.

Kidneys are the organ ofr ferrocyanide toxicity.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. IBS is a chronic condition that you'll need to manage long term. Bacteria commonly found in IBS patients like to feed on iron in the ferrocycanide form. 

Ferrocyanide was banned initially until Capital Health Care lobbied hard to allow ferrocyanide in our diet.