Litchi is that yummy summer fruit we all love to eat. It is also rich in Vitamin C hence considered good for health. I have had my mom making it a point that everyone gets the benefit out of this fruit.

Have you been doing the same with your child? If yes, you need to stop it. Here is why!

Since 1995 a town in Bihar, Muzaffarpur, which is largest litchi farming region in India has been witnessing a sudden illness which comes during mid-may. The children who are usually fine the night before gets ill with seizures all of a sudden. They would then slip in and out of coma and around 40% of them die. What the disease does was evident, it produced swelling in the brain. But what could be the reason? The doctors had been struggling since to find the cause of such an epidemic which just as suddenly starts during May, ends as the monsoon begins. Infections had been thought to be the reason earlier but none of the kids presented with fever or elevated white blood cells.

In 2014, researchers conducted a comparative study where they compared 400 children affected with this illness with 100 normal healthy children. The urine sample of more than two-thirds showed exposure to fruit-based toxins- methylenecyclopropy glycine and hypoglycine, which are found in litchi seeds especially unripe fruit. These are known to cause hypoglycemia, which was also seen in many ill children.

Since not all the children who consumed litchi got affected, further research was done. It was found that the affected children, after eating lot of litchi in the orchards, skipped their evening meals. This might have been the reason for night hypoglycemia.

The next time you serve litchis to your family, specially kids, make sure you do not serve a lot of it and do have a meal after consuming litchis.

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