Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Weird fact of the day

From Wikipedia:

The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy notes that persimmons have been identified as causing epidemics of intestinal bezoars, and that up to ninety percent of food boluses that occur from eating too much of the fruit require surgery for removal.

Bezoar = a calciferous stone that forms in the intestines. Anciently reputed to have powers against poisons and therefore much valued.


Janice Thomson said...

Gosh never heard of this and I'm a nurse too. Will have to remember this one.

Kat said...

A few years ago we had this DELICACY available at our restaurant.

The process is very intensive ... hands on!!

eastcoastdweller said...

Nature can be so cruel. To proffer something as sweet and nutritious as a persimmon -- and then to have this as a distinct, unpleasant possibility from its consumption.

Apparently, it's because of the tannin shibuol, which polymerizes in the stomach.

Apparently, too, all the fiber and roughage we are urged to eat can also form these "bezoars."

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.