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Health & Fit Attention, gourd lovers: Toxic squash syndrome is a real, life-threatening condition

00:42  06 april  2018
00:42  06 april  2018 Source:   wellandgood.com

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What you should know about toxic squash syndrome: Stocksy-spaghetti-squash-Cameron-Whitman © Photo: Stocksy/Cameron Whitman Stocksy-spaghetti-squash-Cameron-Whitman

Did you know a serving of bitter squash could negatively influence your health? If you answered no, you're not alone: Recent case research published in JAMA Dermatology recounts the experiences of two unrelated women in France who bought produce from two different sellers and experienced harrowing effects, Live Science reported. They both developed toxic squash syndrome (AKA cucurbit poisoning), a rare condition that can cause food-poisoning symptoms and substantial hair loss.

One of the women experienced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as well as hair loss on a large part of her scalp, according to Live Science. The second woman had similar issues: vomiting an hour after eating and a large amount of hair loss from her head, underarms, and pubic area three weeks later.

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Because that bitter taste isn't a hot commodity, farmers grow plants that have little (if any!) of the chemicals in them, but sometimes cross-pollination causes plants to have super-high levels—and you can't tell the difference until you taste it.

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Live Science reported that squash and other produce in the Cucurbitaceae family contain a group of chemicals called cucurbitacins, which have a bitter taste and also can be toxic to humans. Because that bitter taste isn't exactly a hot commodity, farmers tend to grow plants that have little (if any!) of the chemicals in them, but sometimes accidental cross-pollination breeds plants that have super-high levels—and you reportedly can't tell the difference until you taste it.

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The toxic compounds in squash might "have a similar effect on hair follicles as do some chemotherapy drugs, which can lead to temporary hair loss." —Dr. Philippe Assouly

Though the medical world has known about toxic squash syndrome for a while—there have been reported cases over the years across France and Oregon, and Bustle reported one German man died from complications of it—the hair-loss aspect seems to be new, according to Philippe Assouly, MD, a dermatologist at Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris. Dr. Assouly told Live Science that the toxic compounds might "have a similar effect on hair follicles as do some chemotherapy drugs, which can lead to temporary hair loss." Yikes.

But don't adopt a gourd-free lifestyle just yet: If your squash, zucchini, or other produce in the Cucurbitaceae family taste bitter or abnormal, simply stop eating it, and you should be just fine. With all the vitamins and nutrients (hello, crazy-high levels of vitamin A!) these foods offer, it would be a mistake to banish them from your diet to avoid the risk of this kind of TSS.

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Slideshow: 20 healthy, low-calorie dishes for quick weight loss (Courtesy: Cheapism) 

HEALTHY EATING: <p>Ignore all the <span href=fad diets -- for weight loss, there’s no magic pill. That doesn’t mean dieters have to suffer with a piece of celery and a lettuce leaf for lunch, though. There are plenty of delicious foods that don't require worrying about packing on extra pounds or undoing a workout. These low-calorie dishes feature inexpensive and nutrient-dense foods to help lose weight quickly while still enjoying meals.

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20 Healthy, Low-Calorie Dishes for Quick Weight Loss


Teen who died on overnight school trip suffered from toxic shock syndrome, coroner says .
A coroner’s report has confirmed that Sara Manitosk, who died during an overnight school trip, suffered from toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Her sister is now warning others about the infection which can also affect&nbsp; men, children and postmenopausal women.<br>A coroner’s report has confirmed that a Canadian teen who died during an overnight school trip suffered from toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Sara Manitoski, who was on an outdoor education trip on Hornby Island, near Vancouver Island, was found lifeless in bed in March 2017.

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