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Author Topic: Can excessive consumption of carrot juice kill you?  (Read 4989 times)

Offline thedoc

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Gabriel Joshua asked the Naked Scientists:
   Dear Naked Scientists,
 I came across this story of Basil Brown, a health fanatic, who drank a gallon of carrot juice everyday and died 10 days later. Can excessive consumption of carrot juice actually kill you? I often blend loads of carrots and mix it with pepper when making a sauce, this story is now making me think twice if indeed it is true..
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 03/01/2016 10:03:08 by chris »


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Can exessive consumption of carrot juice kill you?
« Reply #1 on: 18/11/2015 10:09:30 »
Drinking 3 cups per day of carrot juice for a few weeks will turn your skin orange (Carotenemia), but is not considered harmful.

Drinking a gallon per day may be a very different story.

I am sure that carrots are very nutritious as part of a balanced diet, but a diet consisting entirely of carrot juice sounds decidedly unbalanced to me.
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: Can exessive consumption of carrot juice kill you?
« Reply #2 on: 18/11/2015 10:14:37 »
excessive amount of Vitamin A can be toxic. You would need to consume a silly amount of carrots and your skin would probably turn a yellow tinge due to excess carotene well before that.
Reports of polar bear livers being toxic + livers of other mammals.
This is one of the dangers of asuming that if something is good for you then lots of it must be even better.

Edit
Sorry Evan, crossed in posting - didnt realise yellow tinge could be from as little as that.
« Last Edit: 18/11/2015 10:16:10 by Colin2B »
 

Online Bored chemist

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Re: Can exessive consumption of carrot juice kill you?
« Reply #3 on: 18/11/2015 20:10:52 »
Enough of anything will kill you.
But carotene isn't vitamin A; the liver makes vitamin A from it, but it will stop once there's enough so you won't get vitamin A toxicity this way.
If I remember rightly the LD50 for water (measured in rats) is about a tenth of their bodyweight (I don't remember the time frame).
So, if nothing else, the water in the juice would kill you.
 
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Offline RD

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Re: Can exessive consumption of carrot juice kill you?
« Reply #4 on: 18/11/2015 22:00:41 »
Drinking a gallon of water every day would soon be sufficient for "dilutional hyponatremia" ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication

You'd have to be mad (or unmedicated diabetic) to consume a gallon of the same drink every day ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychogenic_polydipsia#Patient_profiles
« Last Edit: 18/11/2015 22:03:51 by RD »
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Can exessive consumption of carrot juice kill you?
« Reply #5 on: 19/11/2015 11:54:08 »
As BC wrote, too much of anything can kill you, but oh boy, would be able to see well in the dark.*

Trouble is, daylight might be painful and dangerous (a la Riddick).


*This is a myth.
 

Offline vhfpmr

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Re: Can exessive consumption of carrot juice kill you?
« Reply #6 on: 30/12/2015 15:42:37 »
Test subjects were given β-carotene supplements in the CARET study to test the hypothesis that antioxidants help reduce the risk of developing cancer. The study had to be terminated prematurely on ethical grounds, as it was found that the group taking β-carotene had an excess incidence of lung cancer. The ATBC Study also found the same.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Can exessive consumption of carrot juice kill you?
« Reply #7 on: 03/01/2016 06:22:08 »
My container of carrot juice says it has 380% of daily value of Vitamin A per 8 oz serving. Or 1,520% if you drank the whole bottle. The RDA for men is 900 micrograms or 3,000 IU. (2,300 for women)

So my 32 oz container has 45,600 IU if they are using the RDA for men (34,000 if they are using the RDA for women)

According to medscape the acute toxic dose is 25,000 IU. The chronic toxic dose is 4,000 IU every day for 6-15 months. It doesn't give a lethal dose. But there does seem to be enough vitamin A to give you liver damage if you downed a few of  these every day. In 2015 National Poison data center reports "Vitamin A - 445 single exposures, with 24 minor outcomes, five moderate outcomes, and no major outcomes or deaths".

Mayo Clinic lists symptoms of toxitiy as :
Vitamin A toxicity is rare in the general population. Vitamin A toxicity can occur with high amounts of vitamin A taken over short or long periods of time. Consequently, toxicity can be short or long-term. Symptoms of acute (short-term) toxicity include nausea, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, dizziness, dry skin, desquamation (loss of skin), and cerebral edema (swelling in the brain). Symptoms of chronic (longer-term) toxicity include dry itchy and cracking skin, desquamation, dry lips, scaling anorexia, headache, psychiatric changes, cerebral edema (excess fluid), bone and joint pain, osteoporosis (bone loss), and hip fracture. Severe toxicity can lead to eye damage, high levels of calcium, and liver damage. In children, signs of toxicity include irritability, drowsiness, dizziness, delirium, coma, vomiting, diarrhea, increased pressure in the brain with bulging fontanelles in infants, headache, swelling of the optic (eye) disk, bulging eyeballs, visual disturbances, and skin redness and peeling.
People with liver disease and high alcohol intake may be at risk for liver toxicity from vitamin A supplementation. Vitamin A toxicity may lead to intrahepatic cholestasis, where bile cannot flow from the liver into the intestines."
 

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Re: Can exessive consumption of carrot juice kill you?
« Reply #7 on: 03/01/2016 06:22:08 »

 

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