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The enigma of litchi toxicity: an emerging health concern in southern Asia

01/04/2017 | Lancet Global Health

How is it possible that lychee, a deliciously sweet tropical fruit, could induce a fatal hypoglycemic encephalopathy in children? The answer is straightforward: the edible fruit (aril) of lychee or litchi (Litchi sinensis or Litchi chinensis), and other members of the Soapberry family (Sapindaceae), contains unusual amino acids that disrupt gluconeogenesis and β-oxidation of fatty acids. (Comment)

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