All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

In 2010, the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization / World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) concluded that acrylamide is a human health concern. Certain doses of acrylamide are toxic to animals and humans.

Although acrylamide has known toxic effects on the nervous system and on fertility, the 2002 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded the intake level required to observe neuropathy (0.5 mg/kg body weight/day) was 500 times higher than the average dietary intake of acrylamide (1 μg/kg body weight/day). For effects on fertility, the level is 2,000 times higher than the average intake.

Acrylamide is a neurotoxin by either oral (in animals) or inhalation exposure (in humans and in animals). Toxic effects are central and peripheral neuropathy causing drowsiness, hallucinations, distal numbness, and ataxia. Recovery is possible after cessation of exposure. 

Acrylamide is typically found in plant-based foods cooked with high heat (e.g., frying, roasting, and baking), not raw plant-based foods or foods cooked by steaming or boiling (below 120 degrees Celsius / 248 Fahrenheit). Potato chips and French fries were found to contain higher levels of acrylamide compared with other foods.

The European Chemical Agency added acrylamide to the list of substances of very high concern in March 2010.

Acrylamide is known to cause cancer in animals. It is not clear, as of 2016, whether acrylamide consumption increases people's risk of developing cancer. 

Dalai Lama

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to a man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not to die, so do other creatures.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, or ascorbate, is an essential nutrient for humans, a water-soluble vitamin. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C, so it is an essential dietary component. 

  • Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen (an essential component of connective tissue), L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters, it is also involved in protein metabolism.
  • Vitamin C is also an important physiological antioxidant and has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Vitamin C regenerates vitamin E by reducing vitamin E radicals formed when vitamin E scavenges the oxygen radicals. 
  • Vitamin C plays an important role in immune function and improves the absorption of nonheme iron, the form of iron present in plant-based foods.

Approximately 70%–90% of vitamin C is absorbed at moderate intakes of 30–180 mg a day. At doses above 1 g a day, absorption falls to less than 50% and absorbed, unmetabolized ascorbic acid is excreted in the urine. 

Insufficient vitamin C intake causes scurvy, which is characterized by fatigue or lassitude, connective tissue weakness, and capillary fragility.

Cells accumulate vitamin C. The total body content of vitamin C ranges from 300 mg (at near scurvy) to about 2 g.

  • High levels of vitamin C are maintained in cells and tissues, and are highest in leukocytes (white blood cells), eyes, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and brain.
  • Relatively low levels of vitamin C are found in extracellular fluids, such as plasma, red blood cells, and saliva.

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